Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden in the No.1 Hitachi Chevrolet is aiming to become the first NTT IndyCar Series driver since Dario Franchitti in 2011 to win back to back championships and the first Team Penske driver to do it since Gil De Ferran won back to back CART championships in 2000 and 2001.
The odds are currently stacked in Scott Dixon’s favor as the Iceman goes into the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg with a 32 point lead in the championship however this is the NTT IndyCar Series where the only thing that is predictable is how unpredictable the sport is.
Dixon has led the championship since the season opening Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway however, Newgarden has clawed his way back with some impressive drives including victory in race 1 of the Harvest Grand Prix doubleheader.
The Tennessee native has also taken victory in Iowa race 2 leading a Penske 1-2 with Will Power second while Newgarden also took victory in the Bommarito Automotive Group Race Race 2. Newgarden has also scored three NTT P1 Awards this season.
Newgarden heads to St Pete as the defending race winner from 2019 where he came home ahead of Dixon if it were to happen like this again next weekend, Dixon would be crowned champion for the six time in his career.
Newgarden understands the challenge that he faces next weekend but is hopeful that his luck will continue. Newgarden will have added support next weekend as Scott McLaughlin will make his NTT IndyCar Series race debut next weekend meaning that Penske will have four cars in the field for the race which add an extra element of excitement in what is already looking like and incredible title showdown between Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon.
In order to win his second championship in succession, Newgarden will need to win the race and score all bonus points for pole, fastest lap, lead lap and most laps led and hope that Scott Dixon finishes the race in ninth place or lower.