[dcs_p]IZOD IndyCar Series – Season Highlights[/dcs_p]
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Josef Newgarden’s journey began at New Castle Motorsports Park in Central Indiana when, at 13 years old he first steered a racing cart out of the pit lane towards turn 1.
Since then, he hasn’t looked back. What followed where multiple wins and karting championships before the move to open-wheel racecars in 2007.
Early Junior formula success culminated with a history making achievement in October 2008. Josef’s win in the Kent class at the Formula Ford Festival at the Brands Hatch Circuit in England, as part of the Team USA Scholarship program, earned him the honor of being the first American driver in the 36-year history of the event to reach the top step of the podium. Like Formula One stars before him such as Jenson Button and Mark Webber, Newgarden’s victory bestowed not just confidence on the track, but also the notoriety off of it to climb the next rung on the motorsport ladder.
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Josef spent 2009 honing his racecraft in the world’s toughest motorsport training ground, the British Formula Ford Series. He impressed even the most jaded of industry experts as he scored 9 wins and 16 podiums from 25 races and finished the season in 2nd overall and earning the Rookie of the Year title. Josef also competed in the more advanced and powerful Formula Audi cars in 2009, winning two of three races in that series. The racing world was surely now paying close attention to the young American with the European-sounding name.
For 2010, Newgarden moved up to the FIA GP3 Series which, as a mere two steps from Formula 1, attracts the most talented young formula car drivers from around the world. Despite several mechanical troubles, Josef took 5 top-ten finishes and 1 pole position from 16 starts, a more than credible record considering the competition.
The year 2011 saw a dramatic change in course for Newgarden as several Firestone Indy Lights teams expressed their interest in having Josef return to North America to compete for the championship. In the end, the dominant and defending championship squad of Sam Schmidt Motorsports secured the services of the now 20-year-old Newgarden. Midway through his rookie season in Indy Lights, Josef leads the points with 3 wins from 7 starts, including an impressive victory in the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With Josef’s immediate sights now set on securing the Indy Lights championship and moving up to the IZOD IndyCar Series, the question now becomes is Josef still the Racer of Tomorrow or is he the Racer of Today?