Newgarden makes USGP cameo, visits an oil rig with Shell

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Newly crowned Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden has continued his whirlwind month of travel following his IndyCar title clinched at Sonoma, by paying a visit to Austin this week for the United States Grand Prix atย Circuit of The Americas, and sandwiching a trip to the Auger Shell oil rig in-between.

Earlier in the week, Newgarden joined his Team Penske NASCAR teammate Joey Logano and Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel for a Shell event on Wednesday ahead of the Grand Prix. That came after spending Tuesday in Detroit at General Motors’ proving grounds.

Shell supports both Ferrari and Team Penske, and with Helio Castroneves off to the Acura Team Penske IMSA sports car program next year, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Newgarden activated and utilized by Shell Pennzoil a bit more next season. Shell and Team Penske announced a long-term extension earlier this year.

WEDNESDAY PREP

#RIGTOROAD WITH SHELL

After the three Shell-supported drivers enjoyed a day of media work and practiced golf at Top Golf (Vettel’s swing, above), Newgarden headed to New Orleans for Shell’s #RigToRoad program and a Twitter takeover on Team Penske’s handle. He got to train before actually going onto the Auger Shell oil rig.

BACK TO AUSTIN

Once Newgarden completed his journey to Shell’s rig outside New Orleans, he was back to Austin for the United States Grand Prix.

Newgarden caught up with this year’s famous Indianapolis 500 one-off driver, Fernando Alonso, pre-race, while Alonso’s fellow two-time World Champion Mika Hakkinen provided an excellent photobomb in the background at the McLaren hospitality headquarters.

Newgarden then joined NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton for an impromptu reunion on the pre-race grid walk. Things were going swimmingly, and then Buxton and Newgarden bumped into Haas F1 Team owner Gene Haas. You can see the Twitter exchange, below.