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Josef Newgarden

Source: Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment / other

INDIANAPOLIS — Let’s make one thing clear. Josef Newgarden’s love for IndyCar racing has never wavered. That was certainly made apparent after winning the Indianapolis 500, one of four wins in 2023.

But, a 5th place finish in the season championship certainly left him and his Team Penske compatriots wanting.

Between a popular “Bus Bros.” podcast, which he was non-commital about going forward, and other media ventures outside the cockpit, Newgarden said it was a challenge in 2023 to balance his focus on life and driving.

He added he often felt “bogged down” as the season wore on.

“I paired down this offseason a lot of things, which I think has been productive,” Newgarden said. “I’m trying to refocus my priorities. In a lot of ways, just to be transparent, I want to get back to loving (IndyCar racing). I’m excited to get back to why I started doing this.”

Now entering the 13th year of his driving career in IndyCar, Newgarden acknowledges that his body, mind, and career are all in a completely different place than they were when he first got into the sport.

Understanding what is next for his career, for him, means getting back to some simplicity.

“I’m trying to just find clarity on what is most important to me objective-wise,” said Newgarden. “So I’ve gone through that process a little bit (this offseason).”

Helping that process for Newgarden will be going into yet another season with one of the most stable teams in the sport in Team Penske. Boasting no changes to their driver line-up from 2023, Penske continues to move forward with Newgarden, Will Power, and Scott McLaughlin.

McLaughlin was 3rd in the overall championship last year and Power was 7th.

With two IndyCar championships and now an Indianapolis 500 victory on his resume, his next objective in IndyCar could appear to be up in the air but Newgarden assures you his next objective is all about the numbers.

“It’s still the bottom line numbers,” he said. “What’s the ultimate result? I care about that stuff. I think everybody that’s in here does. You talk to Roger Penske, he’s more motivated than anybody to win the 20th Indy 500. I’m the same way.”