|Newgarden was a product of the European training grounds having raced in Europe in Formula Ford, Formula Palmer Audi and GP3. He then came to the USA and decimated Indy Lights in 2011 to win the title going away|
Josef Newgarden labeled his 2017 title as a "dream come true" after he was crowned as IndyCar's new champion by finishing second in the season finale at Sonoma.
Newgarden entered the last race with a four-point advantage over Ganassi's Scott Dixon, having claimed pole position, and his coronation as champion was rarely in doubt throughout the 85-lap race.
The three-stopping American was overhauled in the fight for victory by four-stopping team-mate Simon Pagenaud, but second was still more than enough for Newgarden to take the title.
"I'm so proud of these guys, I don't even know what to say, it was all year," Newgarden said of his Penske crew.
"I'm happy to have this car for the championship. It's super fitting; and all the other partners we've had at Penske.
|After coming back from Europe In 2011 Newgarden won 5 of 11 races in IndyLights and in one race lapped the entire field showing just how weak the USA training grounds were back then|
"To finally get it done is a dream come true. It's too awesome. It was hard."
On his Sonoma scrap with Pagenaud, Newgarden said: "I was using my natural instincts.
"I was trying to get Simon there because that's what I normally do. I try to win the race whenever possible.
"They [the team] were telling me to be patient and not do something stupid. I tried to get him, but I also tried not to do anything dumb for the team.
"Like I said, this has been a team effort, so I'm happy for Pagenaud. He had the pace to win, for sure; he's very deserving.
"This entire group makes this happen. I'm so thankful and happy with everything that Penske has done."