Josef Newgarden Day_McWhorter (Left), Newgarden (Middle), Ezell (Right)

IndyCar: Tennessee Honors Native Josef Newgarden

The state of Tennessee proclaimed July 31, 2023, as “Josef Newgarden Day” around the Volunteer State, in recognition of the Team Penske driver becoming the first Tennessean to win the Indianapolis 500.

The proclamation was read from the Bridge Building on the banks of the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville, just off the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix (BMMCGP) circuit, by Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Stuart C. McWhorter and Mark Ezell, Tennessee Tourist Development Commissioner.

Josef Newgarden Day_McWhorter (Left), Newgarden (Middle), Ezell (Right)
Josef Newgarden Day_McWhorter (Left), Newgarden (Middle), Ezell (Right)

The event served as the unofficial start to race week festivities in downtown Nashville that will culminate with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES (NICS) taking to the streets of Nashville on Sunday, August 6.

“As we welcome people from across the globe to Nashville for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES race, it’s fitting that we honor Tennessee native and the first-ever Indy 500 champion from the Volunteer State, Josef Newgarden,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “There’s no better stage for racing than Music City, and this week, we’re excited to show fans all that Tennessee has to offer.”

Newgarden, a native of Hendersonville, took the checkered flag in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on May 28, 2023, for his first Indianapolis 500 win and the 19th in the history of Team Penske. Newgarden has collected four wins this season and is currently runner-up in the NICS championship points.

“It is one of the highest honors of my career, being recognized by my home state for winning the Indianapolis 500,” said Josef Newgarden, 2023 Indianapolis 500 Champion. “I’m a proud Tennessean and had to move away for a time to chase my motorsports dreams, but I always knew I would return. Racing has gone from nearly extinct in Nashville to now being one of our bedrock forms of entertainment. I will continue to do my part to ensure racing remains part of our growing sports scene.”

The two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion has been a fierce proponent of the BMMCGP and the ability of Nashville to host marquee events. The green flag for the third edition of the race waves Sunday, August 6 at 12:00 pm CT.

Following the BMMCGP, four races remain on the 2023 NICS schedule. The season concludes at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, on Sunday, September 10. In addition to chasing his third NICS title, Newgarden will also attempt to sweep all five oval races on the schedule when the series moves to World Wide Technology Raceway just outside St. Louis on August 27.

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