Josef Newgarden Shows Interest in Driving NASCAR Cup Car

Josef Newgarden, Indianapolis 500 Day After Photo Shoot, Photo by Chris Jones

NASCAR and IndyCar have had a lot of cross-over, especially after Kyle Larson attempted to run the Indy 500-Coke 600 double. Now IndyCar champion and defending Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden has started to showcase his affinity for NASCAR.

Newgarden who has won the last two Indy 500’s in a row, is in the thick of seeking his third IndyCar Championship for Team Penske. The series was off this week, so the Nashville Native had time to take in the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway.

Josef Newgarden Shows Interest in Driving NASCAR Cup Car

Newgarden has added to an outstanding racing legacy with some of his recent accomplishments in motorsport. Two Indianapolis 500 wins and the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona have him eyeing more opportunities outside of the IndyCar.

That includes hopes of getting behind the wheel of a stock car it appears. IndyCar will finish its season at Nashville Superspeedway, where NASCAR was this past weekend. Newgarden has been wanting to make it out to the NASCAR event at his hometown track, and things finally worked out.

Newgarden took time during the race weekend to speak with the media at Nashville.’s Jim Utter didn’t hold back in asking Josef about his want and possible desire to get behind the wheel of a NASCAR.

Newgarden was clear in his response, that it is something he wants to do.

“Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I’d love to drive a Cup car at some point. You know, I used to go to Bristol races as well when I was a kid. Bristol’s always been, like, very high on my list,” Newgarden said. “This track and Bristol were probably the two that I went to the most see Cup races.”

IndyCar Takes Precident Especially For Team Penske Drivers

It is something that has crossed Newgarden’s mind. He drives for Roger Penske, so it might not be possible. Many other IndyCar drivers have wanted to do something similar, but couldn’t because of their open-wheel duties.

A good example is fellow Indy racer and former teammate Helio Castroneves. He has long desired getting a chance to race the Daytona 500, but could never get to do it because of the higher-ups at Penske.

The Indy-NASCAR double has been done by NASCAR drivers, but could Newgarden try to be the first IndyCar driver to pull the double in reverse?

That was one of the other follow-up questions for Josef after he started discussing his thoughts of racing a Cup car.

“To do the ‘Double’ would be a great opportunity. I don’t know if that will ever take shape. It’s really tough nowadays to get that all lined up,” Newgarden explained that maybe if he wins a few more Indy 500’s then maybe it could happen. “I’m kind of like strategizing that if we win enough Indy 500s, then maybe they’ll just have to say ‘yes.’ Like I think that’s the strategy,” Newgarden said. “We got two now, like how many do you need for an automatic ‘yes’ on that?”

Fellow Team Penske driver on the NASCAR side and defending Cup Champion Ryan Blaney, has also made it known that he would like to run the Indy 500 someday. It is great to hear all of these drivers wanting to do stuff like the ‘double’, but remember they drive for Roger Penske.

Nothing In the Immediate Future, But Can Always Hope

While nothing seems on the horizon right away for Josef Newgarden getting behind the wheel of a Cup car, at least he has made it clear that he deserves a shot, especially with how good of an oval racer he is despite the lack of ovals on the IndyCar schedule.

Newgarden has proven to be one of the most versatile drivers IndyCar has to offer, so who’s to say he can’t get behind the wheel of a NASCAR Cup car and not succeed? He is IndyCar’s Kyle Larson honestly.


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