In radio interview, Carpenter says he’s “hopeful” CFH can retain Newgarden

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One of the stars of the Verizon IndyCar Series season this year has been Josef Newgarden, in his fourth year overall and fourth with the CFH Racing team – albeit first under the merged CFHR banner rather than the separate Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (where Newgarden was for his first three years) and Ed Carpenter Racing banners as existed previously.

Newgarden is a free agent at year’s end, currently on a one-year deal with an option for a second.

CFH team co-owner and Newgarden’s teammate, Ed Carpenter, is hopeful the smaller team that has persistently been a thorn in the Penske and Ganassi teams’ sides can retain his services.

“I don’t know. I’m hopeful,” Carpenter said Monday on Query & Schultz, on WNDE Radio in Indianapolis. “But with those things you can do, you never know what you can do. Make an offer that works for the team, and Josef will have to decide what he wants to do.

“I hope he recognizes what the team has done for him. He always has. We’ll see how it shakes out. Hopefully he’ll be with the team for a long time.”

Carpenter praised Newgarden’s ability level in their first year together as teammates. The American currently sits eighth in points with two wins and 296 laps led, which leads all drivers.

“Josef is a crazy talent. He’s racing at a high level right now,” Carpenter said. “He could have easily won that race [at Iowa]. He was one of the dominant cars.

“When we started CFH Racing, it was priority number one to get him signed, and why we continue to want him on the team, he’s a championship driver. Not many guys are of that caliber.

“He’s fun to work with. Great guy. Great talent.”