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After the conclusion of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar season, Team Penske announced two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya would not be back full-time in 2017. Josef Newgarden was tapped as his replacement, joining an already stacked Penske team. Newgarden enters this season as a three-time IndyCar winner and has finished on the podium on ten different occasions across four full-time seasons.

At first, Josef was known as a driver who was always Top 5 on the speed charts,  but would find trouble on race day. Even though this isn’t uncommon, with the strict testing restrictions on teams and very little opportunity to get behind the wheel, big teams were hesitant to give the Tennessee native a chance. Recently though, Newgarden has dominated races and brought the car home in one piece, attracting offers and opportunities by many of the great teams across IndyCar in the offseason.

Signing with Team Penske, arguably the best team in the sport, Newgarden is an obvious championship contender. Outside of a Simon Pagenaud 2015 season, Josef, if he can handle the pressure of driving for The Captain, will be an Indianapolis 500 favorite and an Astor Cup favorite.