Instagram account of Josef Newgarden

Josef Newgarden pops the question to longtime girlfriend Ashley Welch

Leave a comment

2017 IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden is used to answering questions, particularly from reporters and fans.

But Saturday, Newgarden was the one asking a question – the biggest of his life.

Shortly after Newgarden and longtime girlfriend Ashley Welch arrived in Japan for an off-season vacation, the couple began sightseeing.

View this post on Instagram

🇯🇵 w / @smashleywelch ❤️

A post shared by Josef Newgarden (@josefnewgarden) on

Amid the backdrop of the ancient gardens in Kyoto, Japan, Newgarden bent down on one knee and asked Welch to marry him.

Without hesitation, Welch happily said “yes.”

“I’ll soon be the Newest Garden of all,” Welch said in a play on words in a post on her Instagram account. She even created a hashtag: #TheNewestGarden.

A number of Newgarden’s fellow racers congratulated the couple on Instagram, including Graham Rahal, Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Conor Daly.

It’s unknown whether the couple has set a wedding date yet. But we wish them all the best as they soon embark upon their new life together.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified


FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter