Driver Josef Newgarden leads an Indycar series returning this week to the streets of the Motor City for the Detroit Grand Prix.
Newgarden arrives fresh from winning the series’ marquee event, the Indianapolis 500, on Sunday — a race that was stopped three times in the final laps.
Separate crashes involving numerous drivers repeatedly brought the fastest field of cars in Indy history to a halt.
Newgarden made his move on the final restart with one lap to go, taking the lead and claiming his first victory at the Indy 500. He then stopped his car on the track and sprinted into the throng of fans in the grandstands.
“I wanted to celebrate with the people. I just thought it would be so cool to be in that energy because I know what that energy is like on race day,” Newgarden said after the race. “This was a dream of mine…If this was ever going to happen I wanted to do that.”
A two-time IndyCar season champion, Newgarden now fills a glaring void in his racing resume.
“You know…they look at you like you’re a failure if you don’t win it [Indy 500]. And I was emotional the whole last 10 laps ‘cause we were…I knew we were in a position to fight for this win at the end,” says Newgarden.
Newgarden’s victory marks a historic day for Detroit-based Team Penske, whose namesake Roger Penske owns the Indy Speedway and now a record 19 wins at the famed racing track.
The Detroit Grand Prix kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday. Along with the race events, Hart Plaza will host concerts on Friday and Saturday headlined by Outkasts’ Big Boi and EDM veteran Steve Aoki.