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Driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, 20-year-old Josef Newgarden has earned two pole positions and four wins from nine Firestone Indy Lights races held this season, and currently holds the championship lead. Newgarden told SPEED.com he still has his sights firmly set on the Indy Lights title, but a move to IndyCar in 2012 is also a high priority.
“It really depends on the championship and what happens towards the end of the year,” he said. “It’s looking like we have a possibility of winning the championship, but that could change at any times so I can’t count on that, but we’re certainly working on IndyCar for next year. If IndyCar isn’t possible, then we’ll have to evaluate things from there.”
“We’ve been focusing on IndyCar since the beginning of the season. With the new cars coming, I think you have to get a good head start on things. If things go well for me [in Indy Lights] in August, I think that will help for next year.”
“The possibility of the series prize does play into things a little bit, but we don’t know what that will be. I’d guess every Indy Lights driver with a shot at the title is thinking the same thing. It doesn’t change how we go about finding the sponsors to run next year. We’ve been working on the plan and a budget without it in mind. If we win the championship and receive support—maybe a tire deal or and engine deal—that would be great. But from a business standpoint, you really have to build a solid foundation for your funding."
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