FEBRUARY 2, 2016


THE MODERATOR: Welcome to the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Media Day. We are getting set for our second press conference. We’re joined by Josef Newgarden
These are the people, the drivers that the series and the fans have kind of gravitated towards as being the ones that they like to see most successful and continue on the legacy of the IndyCar Series.

THE MODERATOR: Josef, the fans have gravitated your way, not only social media, but your race victories last year. Do you ever find yourself putting too much out there on social media? I can’t believe I did that. Or go back to a tweet you put out two years ago, Gosh, I’ve grown so much since that tweet. What is it like to be in demand as far as the race fans go expecting comedy from you all the time?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: That’s a great question. First off, hey, everyone, thanks for being here today, everyone that made it out.

Yes, yes, yes, I think yes. You look back four years on your timeline when you put things out. Like anything in life, when you look back on it, Why was I doing that? You just change so much.

There’s a couple. These guys mentioned one photo in particular that I’m not going to speak about. There is something that was posted that probably shouldn’t have been posted.

On a beach with waves crashing. The funny video way made of Sage (Karem), him not wearing shirts. I have a picture of that on Instagram. I’m a total hypocrite is basically what I’m saying and admitting it today.

But, yeah, there’s moments like that. We have fun with it. You want to put out things that show who you are as a person. That’s what social media is about, not just racing, respecting your craft, but they want to know you as a person, too.

For me that’s kind of tough because I think I’m actually a very private person. It’s always a balancing act for me. I want to put something out there, but at the same time I don’t.

I love that people get that access, but at the same time for me it’s always kind of a difficult challenge because I don’t want to put out too much.

THE MODERATOR: A successful season for you, two wins last year. Something I know you’ve commented, you knew you always had it in you, but to get that win at Barber, following it up at Toronto, has it changed you as a driver and how you approach a race weekend?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: The cool thing for me I’ve gotten so much more relaxed each year I’ve done IndyCar. First and foremost, it sounds cheesy, but I feel lucky to be here, happy to be part of this mix. We’re four of these guys trying to build the series back up. I think we have an amazing product. I don’t want to try to shove that down people’s throat. If they watch IndyCar races, they’re going to see it for themselves.

Just being part of it is a cool deal. I feel so much more relaxed. Last year helped that a lot. I feel confident and comfortable with what I’m doing during the weekend, being able to work with my guys. That goes a long way.

I always had confidence in my abilities, being able to work well with a group, but when you get something on the table that solidifies it, you feel better about it. Not just trying to put out the confidence, but for me personally, I feel really comfortable. I’m so excited going into this next year, I can’t wait to get going.

I feel really good about where we’re at. If we can keep continuing what we did last year, that’s where we’re at right now, that’s what we’re trying to do.

THE MODERATOR: We’ll open the floor to questions.

Q. Obviously everybody wants to win the Indy 500. What would it mean to win the 100th Indianapolis 500?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I think we all feel the same way about it. You want to win it regardless of the year. It doesn’t matter. There’s going to be a certain magnitude of it with it being the 100th running. How many sporting events have gone that many years? There’s not many you’re going to be able to count. It’s a very special deal to be part of.
If you win it, there might be some more magnitude to it. But either way, you win the Indianapolis 500, we all feel similar about it.

Q. You are all up here at young guns. It’s been a while since a driver under 30 has won a championship or a 500. Do you think that would help the series?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: You know, yes, yes, I think so. I think these guys alongside me, you don’t want to say this, but I think it’s a shining light for the future. It’s not just us, there are other guys behind us. Conor Daly got a ride this year. Another American that is talented that got a ride. Spencer Pigot, hopefully he’s going to run more than he got scheduled for.

You don’t want to say that’s going to be the big difference. It’s going to be many things. You can’t just put it on one thing. But certainly having the next crop of drivers, I think that’s interesting in sports. You look at any other sporting league, you’re always interested in the new talent, the next guy coming up to challenge the guys that have the experience, that have been there as a steady person in the series.