Newgarden credits engineer Mason with qualifying turnaround

Twelve months ago, Josef Newgarden went into the season opener at St. Petersburg with a new engineer in Australia’s Luke Mason, and by the time the season was over, the Tennessean and the Aussie had four wins to their credit, including the Indianapolis 500.

But the one item that was missing was a pole position, which the duo promptly rectified in their first opportunity in 2024.

“He’s great. I’ve been fortunate in my career; I’ve got to work with just tremendous talent every single year I really had no weak points,” Newgarden told RACER after putting his name on his 17th IndyCar pole at St. Petersburg. “And Luke, he’s been an addition to that.”


A race engineer is more than someone who fiddles with the suspension and wing settings on a race car. In most team structures, they are the head coach of the entry, the director of the pit crew, and can be a therapist, motivational speaker, and a friend to the driver. In Mason, Newgarden has found a race engineer who checks many of those boxes.

“He’s another person that to me is an absolute rockstar race engineer,” the two-time IndyCar champion added. “And anybody that knows what a race engineer really is, would understand the significance of that. You can be a technically savvy individual, you can be a good engineer, but a race engineer requires something just a little different. And I think Luke excels at it.

“He’s in a great spot. He’s certainly bringing a great dynamic to our team and in lot a lot more ways than just one. I want the best for him. I want to see him win a bunch of races and I want to do that together.”

Story originally appeared on Racer