Josef Newgarden said he felt “a little awkward” celebrating among the sports car regulars that he joined in taking Porsche Penske Motorsport’s No.7 Porsche 963 to victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
This year’s race was only Newgarden’s second Rolex 24 – he raced LMP2 last year with Tower Motorsports – so he’s standing at a 50 percent win record. The more outstanding fact is that it comes just months after his 2023 Indianapolis 500 win, and he joins former IndyCar teammate Helio Castroneves on the very short list of drivers who have won both within a year.
“I’ve got to be honest, it’s a little awkward for me because I feel like I’m just hanging out with this really great group of people that ended up winning a race and I just happened to be there, in a lot of ways,” Newgarden smiled.
“This victory belongs to a great collection of people within motorsports, Porsche Penske Motorsports is a big body of people, both in the United States and in Germany. It’s an iconic brand with Porsche and an iconic team with Team Penske, a deep legacy between the two, and they’re very deserving of this victory.”
While the two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion now has another huge accomplishment on his resume, he was keen to deflect credit for the win back to the rest of the team.
“I feel honored to just have been here,” he said. “I didn’t wreck the car. Like, that’s how I feel. I’m so proud of these guys. It’s a very awkward feeling being a race car driver in this situation. I’m not used to it. I’ve driven open-wheel cars for the last 12 years, and you’re very singularly focused in a lot of ways in that sport, and over here I feel like I’ve got family that I’m just really proud of. I felt like that at the end of the race. I could cry thinking about it.”