Team Penske says that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway chooses the winner of the Indianapolis 500. Josef Newgarden who has yet to win the Indianapolis 500 alongside his teammate and rookie Scott McLaughlin and speaking during a press conference this morning, the two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion said:
Well, I had to make sure we brought someone else in that hasn’t won it in the team so I’m not the solo guy that hasn’t won the Indianapolis 500 on the team.
Like Tim said, you never know when it’s your day, and I know having driven this place nine times, going into my tenth, you’ve just got to be prepared for the opportunity. You’ve got to put yourself in position here. That’s the key element, I think, is giving yourself an opportunity to win the race, and if it’s your day, then you need to seize it.
Yeah, we feel good. It’s been a blast working with everybody, as always. I’m always excited to be here. Always have fun every single day. Trying to stay calm and collected and make sure you’re absorbing any knowledge you can each day. Whether it’s good or bad knowledge, it all helps you at the end of the day.
Will Power commented saying:
Yeah, when it comes up on 10 years, I guess it was added pressure, especially when you’ve won a championship and you know that the other box that you have to tick to be regarded as a successful INDYCAR driver was to win this race. Yeah, it certainly built a lot, and you’d started to wonder if you’d ever win it.
Like these guys have said, Tim said, the place basically chooses you. I remember in ’18, the week before, I almost said to my wife, I know I’m going to win the race. I just felt that way. I don’t know why. It was just a pretty normal month, car felt really comfortable.
Then waking up on race day, just had such an easy, good feeling. Yeah, it’s such a funny race. It’s so hard to even kind of predict what you think is going to happen. You just don’t know the things it’s going to throw at you over the years. Yeah, it’s a hard one to win, but when you win it, it’s the most satisfying moment of your whole career.
SIMON PAGENAUD said:
Yeah, more than the recognition in the business, for me it was more a personal thing, just all the work that you do since you’re eight years old in a go-kart learning, and then learning the right way and going every step of the way through the racing ladder.