Home, speed, home: Newgarden prepares to tame the streets of Nashville | Sports News


Much like a ping-pong ball, Newgarden has bounced from location to location this month, rushing to promote IndyCar’s inaugural street race in Nashville. Newgarden grew up about 25 miles north of Nashville in Hendersonville and now lives with his wife closer to town. The championships raised his profile in the region and while he wasn’t as famous as, say, country stars Miranda Lambert or Dierks Bentley (who have their names plastered on bars downtown), Newgarden has lost. the anonymity he had before winning 19 races and was hired by Roger Penske.

“Before, I wasn’t stopped outside of a race track or on a race weekend,” he said. “Now I see people in restaurants greeting me or stopping me. I’ve seen people wearing Team Penske shirts in a grocery store, and they’re like, ‘Hey, oh my God, I didn’t know you lived here.’ “

It was hard to miss it this week.

But when NBC needed a star driver to promote the race’s broadcast, they turned to racing legend Mario Andretti for a chat with singer Sheryl Crow, not the likeable, photogenic city champion. native. For a series that needs all the help it can get in the ratings race, it could have turned the page of the past and spotlighted Newgarden or a handful of other IndyCar stars.

“Yes, next year I would love to be in this commercial to support my city,” Newgarden said.

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