The state of Tennessee proclaimed July 31, 2023, as “Josef Newgarden Day” around the Volunteer State in recognition of the Team Penske driver becoming the first Tennessean to win the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
The proclamation was read from the Bridge Building on the banks of the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville, just off the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix circuit, by Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Stuart C. McWhorter and Mark Ezell, Tennessee Tourist Development commissioner. Newgarden is a Nashville-area native and lives in the Music City.
Newgarden’s honor served as the unofficial start to race week festivities in downtown Nashville that will culminate with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES taking to the streets of Nashville on Sunday, Aug. 6.
“As we welcome people from across the globe to Nashville for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES race, it’s fitting that we honor Tennessee native and the first-ever Indy 500 champion from the Volunteer State, Josef Newgarden,” said Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee. “There’s no better stage for racing than Music City, and this week, we’re excited to show fans all that Tennessee has to offer.”
Newgarden took the checkered flag in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on May 28 for his first Indianapolis 500 win and the 19th in the history of Team Penske. Newgarden has collected four wins this season and is second in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings entering his home event.
“It is one of the highest honors of my career, being recognized by my home state for winning the Indianapolis 500,” Newgarden said. “I’m a proud Tennessean and had to move away for a time to chase my motorsports dreams, but I always knew I would return. Racing has gone from nearly extinct in Nashville to now being one of our bedrock forms of entertainment. I will continue to do my part to ensure racing remains part of our growing sports scene.”
Track activity for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix starts Friday, Aug. 4 with practice for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and INDY NXT by Firestone. Practice and qualifying are set for Saturday. The INDY NXT by Firestone race starts at 10:10 a.m. ET Sunday (live, Peacock, INDYCAR Radio Network), with live coverage of the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES starting at noon ET Sunday on NBC, Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.