FORT WORTH, TX - JUNE 10: Josef Newgarden, driver of the #21 Fuzzy's Vodka Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 10, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

A driver's first championship scores him an invite to a prestigious race


Josef Newgarden recently captured his first career championship in the IndyCar Series, and the 26-year-old has earned an invite to an exclusive race before the next season begins.

Newgarden will compete in the Race of Champions in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia alongside several former champions and drivers from IndyCar, Formula 1, and other racing series.

The event is set for Feb. 2-3 in Saudi Arabia, and it will include IndyCar drivers Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Montoya was the Champion of Champions last year, and Sebastian Vettel won the previous year. The race is designed to pit some of the best drivers in the world from different series against each other in the same machinery. The location of the race changes each year, and it was in Miami in 2017.


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Montoya is ready to defend his title, and he said he wishes he had competed in the event prior to his first appearance last year.

"When I came to the Race Of Champions for the first time this year, I immediately regretted never having done it before," Montoya said via "It was an amazing experience and (ROC President) Fredrik Johnsson and his team put together an amazing event. It's all about fun but when you go to the grid it's unbelievable how focused you are.

"I still don't know what gave me the edge in Miami. It must have been beginner's luck."


Newgarden will look for some of that same beginner's luck in Saudi Arabia. He won four races en route to his first IndyCar championship. He won the title in his sixth season in the series.