INDIANAPOLIS – An incredible week for Team Penske and Josef Newgarden culminated Thursday night in Indianapolis as the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series champions were honored at the annual season-ending “Victory Lap Ceremony.”
The event was held at Union 50 in the popular “Mass Avenue” district of Indianapolis. NBC Sports Kevin Lee served as the master of ceremonies.
The team was honored by INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles. Newgarden and his team were officially award the championship check, worth in excess of $1 million in total prizes. Also, he received a replica of the Astor Cup. The permanent Astor Cup is on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
It was Newgarden’s second-career NTT IndyCar Series champion. He also won the title in 2017 in his first season with Team Penske.
“I didn’t feel like I got to do this right in 2017, so I want to make sure I get this one right,” Newgarden said in his victory speech. “It’s been an amazing year with a lot of pressure, and I felt the pressure more this season. I don’t know why, but certainly coming to the end I had not had such good runs and I felt like it was ours’ to lose at the end when we got to the finale.
“But our team shined, like they always do.”
Newgarden credited his team and his competitors including second place in the championship finisher Simon Pagenaud, one of his two teammates, and racing rival Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport, who finished third in the championship after finishing second in 2108.
He also singled-out race engineer Gavin Ward and crew chief Travis Law.
Newgarden tied his career high with four race wins in 2019. He won two street races (St. Petersburg and Detroit 1) and two ovals (Texas Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway). He also won a pair of poles (Detroit 2 and WorldWide Technology Raceway at Gateway).
For team owner Roger Penske, it was his record-extending 16th career IndyCar “National Championship.”
“The difference is they are different drivers and to see the emotion of the different drivers and the team itself is the most rewarding to me,” Penske told NBC Sports.com before the ceremony began.
Chip Ganassi Racing driver Felix Rosenqvist, who finished sixth in the standings, was named Rookie of the Year and received a $50,000 bonus.
Honda was the Manufacturer Champion for the second year in a row.
The list of awards included the following:
Mini Astor Cup (Championship Driver): Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
Mini Astor Cup (Championship Owner): Roger Penske
Championship Team Manager: Kyle Moyer, Team Penske
Championship Chief Mechanic, Travis Law, Team Penske
Rookie of the Year: Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing
Second Place in Championship: Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske
Third Place in Championship: Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport
NTT P1 Season Award: Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske
Manufacturer Champion Award: Honda
TAG Heuer “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” Award ($25,000): Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
Indy Family Foundation Award: Seeds of Hope (Father Glenn O’Connor, INDYCAR Ministry)