At 25 years old, Verizon IndyCar Series driver Josef Newgarden has a long career ahead of himself to win a lot more races, including several Indianapolis 500s, as well as championships.
But given that Newgarden is a Tennessee native, which is obviously deep in the heart of NASCAR country, it’s not surprising that he harbors some aspirations to try racing in the stock car world at some point, as well.
Newgarden was at this weekend’s Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series races at Watkins Glen International as a fan. But in an interview with NASCAR.com, Newgarden admitted he’d like to give stock car racing a try at some point.
Most appealing to Newgarden is racing on a short track – like the .875-mile Iowa Speedway, where he’s raced five times with one win and three podium finishes in an Indy car – or possibly a road course like Watkins Glen or Sonoma (where the IndyCar season concludes in September).
“I have a huge interest (in driving a NASCAR car),” Newgarden told NASCAR.com.
But Newgarden would also welcome the opportunity to run side-by-side with some of his NASCAR counterparts in an open-wheeler.
“I’d love to see guys cross over more,” he told NASCAR.com. “I know a lot of (stock car) guys who want to run the Indy 500.”
Newgarden told NASCAR.com that he knows of several NASCAR drivers that are considering doing the “Double” – racing on the same day in the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600.
“There’s probably five or six that want to, and two or three that could pull it off and probably will pull it off,” Newgarden said. “I think there’s a lot of interest for guys to check it off their bucket list and not just run it, but win it.”
Five drivers have attempted the Double: John Andretti (1994), Robby Gordon (1997, 2000, 2002, 2004), Tony Stewart (1999 and 2001) and, most recently, Kurt Busch in 2014. Davy Jones also attempted the feat in 1995, but failed to qualify for the Coca-Cola 600 after racing in the Indianapolis 500.