In what could be a harbinger of things to come, newly crowned NTT IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden will take his Team Penske No. 2 entry for an exhibition lap on Friday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
The demonstration laps are a result of a cross-promotion between sponsor Shell, which activates with Penske in both IndyCar and NASCAR, but will also draw the attention of IndyCar officials who may be interested in pursuing a race at the 2.29-mile road course-oval hybrid.
The laps will be contested following NASCAR Cup Series qualifying on Friday with Cup driver Joey Logano and Penske president Tim Cindric in attendance.
“It’s been a very, very cool opportunity that Shell has provided us,” Newgarden said. “They really wanted to do something to showcase their involvement with Team Penske and everything that we’ve done together. We had a very, very successful Month of May together, as everyone knows. As a team, we won the Indianapolis 500, and Shell was a big part of that on my car specifically; we finished in the top five. And that fourth place, I think, at Indianapolis was a great springboard and a big helper to our championship run.
“I’ll get to do some quick laps, demoing in their car, which is going to be very, very cool, and it’s just going to be a good showcase for our partnership together with Joey Logano, and I’m quite excited for that. I have not been to that track, so to be able to go there and showcase our partnership is going to be very, very fun.”
The Indy Racing League contested a race at Charlotte from 1997-1999, the last of which was marred by the death of three spectators, who were killed when debris from a crash flew into the grandstands. In the years since, Charlotte Motor Speedway officials have not inquired about an IndyCar date.
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