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Published on May 27, 2024
Hendersonville's Josef Newgarden Takes Historic Back-to-Back Wins at the Indianapolis 500Source: Nick Jacuby Photography, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Josef Newgarden, the racing phenom from Hendersonville, swept the checkered flag at the Indianapolis 500 for the second consecutive year, becoming the first to achieve this feat in over two decades. Amid a tumultuous season for Team Penske, smeared by a suspension stain, Newgarden expertly steered clear of the controversy to grab victory from Pato O’Ward in a daring last-lap hustle. "I love this crowd. I’ve got to always go in the crowd if we win here, I am always doing that," Newgarden said while mingling with his fans, as reported by WSMV4.

However, not even a near-four-hour delay due to treacherous weather conditions could deter Newgarden's drive to rewrite the history books at the speedway. In what was described by WKRN as a "chaotic and messy race" marked by frequent cautions and multiple crashes, the Chevy driver's poise was on full display as he seized control in the final moments. Despite early leads by teammates Will Power and Scott McLaughlin, it was Newgarden who stood firmly, to ultimately climb to the top step on the podium in a dominant Team Penske performance.

Reflecting an exclusive club of back-to-back Indy 500 victors, Newgarden's accolade places him alongside legends, a status only five men before him have held. According to an interview by NewsChannel 5, the Hendersonville native savored the win, leading for 26 of the 200 laps and marking his 30th career IndyCar victory.

Despite the celebratory scene at the Brickyard, this season hasn't been without its hurdles for Newgarden and Team Penske. Four top shop geniuses were handed a suspension, sidelining them from the Indy 500 action amidst controversy over rules violations at the Firestone Grand Prix. As WKRN reported, the incident circled accusations of push-to-pass system tampering, resulting in disqualifications and fines. Yet, the team showcased resilience, fielding the strongest qualifying cars and pulling through conspicuously under the weight of heightened scrutiny to bag the win.

Next up, Newgarden and the NTT IndyCar Series cast their sights on the Grand Prix of Detroit, scheduled for June 2, where the racing spotlight will continue to follow the champ. But for now, Newgarden can bask in the glory of a hard-fought victory and the sweet repeat at racing's crown jewel, the Indianapolis 500.