Josef Newgarden - Winner - 2023 Indy 500

IndyCar: Newgarden Sets Sights on Unique $1 million challenge

Last year, Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden won the biggest prize in the prestigious “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” history when he took home a record $3.666 million dollars with his Team Penske/Shell Chevrolet IndyCar team.

The two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion from Nashville, Tenn., attained a childhood dream last May by crossing the famed ‘Yard of Bricks” for the checkered flag in scoring his first Indy 500 title and the huge payoff.

Now, Newgarden sets his sights on another big payout on March 22-24 at The Thermal Club when he battled 26 other INDYCAR drivers for the coveted victory in the inaugural $1 MILLION CHALLENGE. The $1 million winner’s prize makes the new open-wheel Coachella Valley event the largest payout for a road race in NTT INDYCAR SERIES history.

Newgarden, the winningest American-born driver in the open-wheel series, has captured his 29 feature races in his illustrious NTT INDYCAR SERIES career including 14 in road and street competition, and he would love to add the $1 MILLION CHALLENGE victory to his career resumé.

Josef Newgarden - Thermal Club
Josef Newgarden – Thermal Club

The IndyCar All-Star event, contested at the start-of-the-art 3.067-mile, 19-turn road circuit, will feature practice rounds, qualifying, heat races and a 20-lap feature race that will be televised live nationally on the NBC network. The $1 MILLION CHALLENGE is a non-points event.

“I’ve got to say I’m excited about $1 MILLION CHALLENGE, and this is one of the things the drivers have been chatting about in the off-season,” said Newgarden, who’ll drive the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet at The Thermal Club. “You see All-Star races across the board in motorsports and it’s a great exhibition race with no points on the line. In a lot of ways, it’s made for TV which is great for our fans around the world.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of money to win which is motivating for everybody. There’s just the motivation that you want to be top of the pack. I think it’ll be a really fun challenge for everybody. Every event you show up for, you have to be putting in the maximum effort without going over the limit. That is our challenge every single time we go racing. And The Thermal Club race will be a hard-fought event for that $1 million top prize.”

Josef Newgarden - Thermal Club
Josef Newgarden – Thermal Club

Newgarden will have a strong list of challengers for the coveted $1 million winner’s purse on March 22-24 including defending NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou, six-time series titleholder Scott Dixon, former Indy 500 and series champion Will Power, former Indy 500 winners Alexander Rossi and Marcus Ericsson, young phenoms Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward, Kyle Kirkwood and Scott McLaughlin as well as veterans Graham Rahal, Romain Grosjean and Rinus Veekay.

“We are extremely excited to bring the $1 MILLION CHALLENGE to The Thermal Club on March 22-24,” said Tim Rogers, founder, owner and operator of The Thermal Club. “The entry list for this inaugural event is a ‘Who’s Who’ of North American open-wheel racing with some many Indy 500 winners and NTT INDYCAR SERIES champions battling for the $1 million top prize. Coachella Valley has so many entertainment activities each year and the $1 MILLION CHALLENGE adds to that list with 200 mile-per-hour action right in its background now.”

Established in 2012, The Thermal Club is a picturesque, private motorsport country club surrounding one of the longest and most distinct racing circuits in North America. Members have access to three racetracks, kart track, autocross, skid pad, tuning shop, garage, detail shop, club house and spa. One of the defining attributes of The Thermal Club are the luxury villa-homes that overlook the facility as well as a motorsports village and gourmet restaurants. The Club was named “Facility of the Year” at the 2017 Professional Motorsports World Expo.

The $1 MILLION CHALLENGE will provide a unique opportunity for a limited number of race and car enthusiasts to receive a “close-up” view of one of the most professional and competitive open-wheel series in the world with the special VIP Weekend Package.

The VIP RACE PACKAGES will feature three days of on-track open-wheel action and “behind-the-scenes, close-up” views of the racing teams in an experience not given to the average racing enthusiast. This package will include a premium view of the track, paddock and team area viewing, dedicated parking, top-line food trucks as well as other food options and beer and wine. The cost is $2,000 per person for this unique opportunity and VIP credentials are now available on Ticketmaster. The Ticketmaster link is

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