Josef Newgarden is the 2017 IndyCar Series champion!
IndyCar Series points-leader Josef Newgarden survived the season’s finale at Sonoma Raceway and converted his lead into his first championship title in the North American premier open-wheel racing competition. The driver of Team Penske’s #2 Chevrolet finished second in the Grand Prix of Sonoma, behind teammate Simon Pagenaud, to end a season with 13-point advantage over last year’s champion.
Will Power finished third at Sonoma, making it the full podium of Team Penske’s drivers. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, who was the closest rival to Newgarden before the race, finished in the fourth place at Sonoma and dropped to third place in the final championship standings.
Josef Newgarden started the final race from pole position, which earned him s valuable point in the title fight. In the caution-free 85-lap race, he finished 1.0986 seconds behind Simon Pagenaud, who win at Sonoma for second year in a row. Last year, Pagenaud became a champion, this year, he was second in the points.
It’s interesting that Newgarden grabbed championship title in his 100th career IndyCar Series race. He becomes the first American to win the crown since Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2012 and earned the 15th Indy car season title for Team Penske.
“I don’t even know what to say. It was all year and it took a lot to make it happen. Thank you to my teammates. They were giving me a lot of help to make sure we got this done. It’s a huge team effort at Team Penske. To finally get it done is a dream come true,” said Newgarden.