Newgarden and Pagenaud kiss and make up

Josef Newgarden
Josef Newgarden

After Josef Newgarden put a bump and run move on Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud at Gateway, we asked him at Watkins Glen Friday if he and Pagenaud had talked over the incident and whether any animosity still existed.

"I don't think there's any animosity, no," Newgarden said.

"I see Simon quite often actually. We all live very close to the race shop, both Simon, Will and myself. I see them actually all the time, after race weekends, before race weekends. We've already seen each other, already spoken afterwards.

"I know it seems like a show sometimes, but we actually do work really well together in this team. That comes from the top down, from the leadership. So we're good, yeah, absolutely. I think we're excited to work together here this weekend.

"He's a real professional racecar driver. So he's easy to work with, easy to get along with. I don't think there's any problems with us as far as going forward. We're going to work together like we always have."

We also asked him about treating the surface at places like Gateway to open up another groove, similar to what NASCAR has been doing. The single groove required that Newgarden be aggressive with Pagenaud in order to make the winning pass.

"I don't want to say never. I wouldn't want to close my mind to it just because I have no experience with that type of thing. But it's probably not what I would prefer to do. I think some of that will hopefully evolve and develop and become better as we get the new kit.

"As we work closer with Firestone, with the IndyCar Series, I think that's going to get better as far as the race-ability of the track. Exactly what you talked about, it became difficult at Gateway because it was so one-laned, similar to Phoenix, there was only so much you could do to get by someone.

"I'm hoping that absolutely, I think everyone is hoping we can do more with the cars to make the drivability better in multiple lanes.

"Like I said, I'm not a fan of the track treatment yet, but I would never be closed-minded to it because I have no experience with it. It could be a good solution. I think we should try and fix the problem with the racecars first, or try and improve the product with the racecars first, which is what we're going to have a shot at doing next year."


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