Tuesday, Feb. 21 marked 100 days until the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear and its return to the Streets of downtown Detroit, and two of brightest stars of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES visited the Motor City and witnessed the excitement building.
Two-time series champion and 2019 Detroit Grand Prix race winner Josef Newgarden and his “Bus Bros” Team Penske teammate Scott McLaughlin were in Detroit for a full day of activities to commemorate the countdown to race weekend. In honor of Fat Tuesday, Newgarden and McLaughlin experienced a Polish delicacy – Paczkis. The decadent donut is a favorite in Detroit, and the drivers not only sampled Paczkis for the first time, they also got a chance to make a few of the popular pastries, decorated with the new Detroit GP logo.
“I never even heard of Paczki before, but it was cool learning about the history and sampling a few flavors, as well,” said McLaughlin, winner of three races in the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet in 2022. “They were tasty, but I may have had one bite too many. I still need to fit into the car with St. Pete coming up in just a few days!”
McLaughlin and Newgarden delivered Detroit Grand Prix Paczkis to event partners, media and to some residents in the city, but that was only the start of their activities in Detroit. The Team Penske racers also visited with the firefighters and first responders at Engine No. 9 - the closest fire Station to the new 1.7-mile street circuit in Detroit. Both drivers met with employees and executives at Lear Corporation, the presenting sponsor of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, and they toured the Detroit-based factory that makes Shinola watches and leather goods.
“Scott and I had a great time today, and it was so cool to see the excitement building with everyone in the city around the return of the Detroit GP to Downtown Detroit,” said Newgarden, driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet. “We loved racing on Belle Isle, and I’m definitely going to miss it, but this event in the heart of downtown is going to bring so much energy. The track will have its own unique identity and challenges, and the way this event is already connecting with the communities and neighborhoods in Detroit is cool to see.”
The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear returns to the Streets of Detroit June 2-4. It will mark the first race hosted on the city streets since 1991. Tickets are on sale now at DetroitGP.com.
“It seemed like everywhere we went today, people were just really excited to have the race back downtown,” McLaughlin said. “This event means a lot to the city, and we can’t wait to be back here in 100 days and put on a great show for the fans.”
Newgarden and McLaughlin will start the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season Sunday, March 5 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding (noon ET, NBC, Peacock and INDYCAR Radio Network).