Roger Penske went 1-2-3 in the IndyCar standings this year. He figured he could have done better.
Team Penske added Josef Newgarden to its roster on Wednesday, giving the organisation the top-four finishing drivers in this season’s IndyCar standings, including Australia’s Will Power.
Newgarden, who finished fourth this year in the series, was the top free agent in IndyCar and becomes the first American driver on Penske’s open wheel roster since Sam Hornish Jr in 2007.
“That’s not the reason we hired him,” Penske team president Tim Cindric said, “but a bonus for sure.”
Newgarden was hired because he’s the future of IndyCar. The Tennessee native turns 26 in December, and although he has just three career wins in four seasons, he found success with tiny Ed Carpenter Racing in a series that is dominated by Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing.
He’ll replace Juan Pablo Montoya, who won the Indianapolis 500 last year for Penske and lost the series title on a tie-breaker.
Newgarden joins a line-up that also includes reigning champion Simon Pagenaud, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and former series champ Will Power.