Josef Newgarden enjoyed a dream first season with Team Penske in 2017 as he captured the Verizon IndyCar Series (VICS) championship and established himself as a true star of the sport. Newgarden will look to raise the bar even higher in 2018 as he’ll carry the champion’s No. 1 on the Verizon/Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet this season for Team Penske.

After joining Team Penske in October 2016, it didn’t take long for Newgarden to make his mark in the record books of the winningest team in INDYCAR history. He closed the 2017 season – Newgarden’s seventh year competing in the Verizon IndyCar Series – with the team’s 15th series title and its 30th championship overall. The Henderson, Tennessee native got off to a quick start with a victory at Barber Motorsports Park in just his third start for Team Penske. He drove the No. 2 Chevrolet to Victory Lane three more times – at Toronto, Mid-Ohio and Gateway – over the course of the season to lead all series drivers in wins with four. Newgarden also captured his lone Verizon P1 Pole Award at the right time in the season finale at Sonoma that proved instrumental in securing his first series title. For the season, Newgarden posted 10 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes while leading at least one lap in a series-best 12 races.

By claiming the INDYCAR championship in his first season with Team Penske, Newgarden joined some pretty elite company. Rick Mears, Al Unser Sr., Al Unser Jr., and Gil de Ferran are the only other drivers to accomplish that feat in the team’s storied history. At 26 years of age, Newgarden also became the youngest series champion since Scott Dixon won it all in 2003 at 23 and he was the first American-born driver to claim the crown since Ryan Hunter Reay in 2012.