Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Josef Newgarden fans know their driver!

By Chanda Healton

Josef Newgarden has been the hottest young driver in Indycar since he won his first race at the 2015 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama! Just last year he looked like he had the Indy 500 in the bag only to be out fueled by Alexander Rossi. His fans, both young and old, love him, as he he young, good looking and fan friendly! But who is his #1 fan? It has become my mission to find each IndyCar driver's #1 fan, and it isn't an easy task choosing just one. In the heart of each and every Josef Newgarden fan lives a little kid yelling! "It's me! I'm your #1 fan!" So today we will talk with some fans and afterwards they will compete in a trivia challenge to determine who earns the title of #1! Both off out competitors today have met Newgarden multiple times at different races and one even gets hugs from him!  Let the games begin!

Up first is Christina Cordner:

Christina Cordner with Josef Newgarden
"I'm 30 I live in Carbondale, PennsylvaniaI attend Pocono every year and have since Indycar returned there in 2013. I have been a hardcore IndyCar fan since 2012, I watched a race here and there for a year or so before that, but really became a huge fan in 2012. Josef has been my favorite driver since the day of the Indy 500 in 2012. I have met Josef 4 times, every year at Pocono during the autograph session that they have pre-race. My first impression of Josef was how wonderful and nice he is. He's SUPER fan friendly. I said to him "Josef" when I was almost to him in line and he pointed to me, I told him he's my favorite driver, he said "I like you".Josef is an amazing guy. He always knows me when I comment on his twitter and despite his popularity, even remembers me each year when I meet him at the race The following year he was telling other people in line how nice I am or something to that effect and when the picture of us didn't come out, he let me back up in the line and take another one. I told him that day that he's a great driver just needs some luck, he told me I made his day. I congratulated him on twitter that night on his great finish and he responded once again saying that I made his day. In 2015 I asked if I could give him a hug and he said sure and came around the little table and hugged me.  2016 he gave my father and I each a pair of Justin Wilson socks, I gave him a hug as I had the year before. I told him 2 things, Congratulations on his Iowa win and that I'm surprised he didn't hear me all the way in Iowa (jokingly of course) because I was so loud when he won. He laughed. I also told him how glad I am that he's ok (in reference to his Texas wreck) and he told me thank you I appreciate it. but the highlight of the 2016 meeting, Josef went above and beyond for me as a fan, my camera wasn't working while I was meeting him and he said here I'll take a picture and tweet it to you and he took a picture of he and I with his cell phone and tweeted it to me later that day. Josef is awesome he has a great personality!"

What is a fan without memorabilia So I asked, do you have any tattoos or Special memorabilia from Newgarden?

Cordner said, " I don't have any tattoos but what I have that's unique (at least I would think it is) is that every year when I meet Josef, I have the picture of us printed as an 8x10 and have him sign it personalized to me the next year when I meet him again. I have the pictures from 2013, 14, and 15 signed and will get the one he took of us signed this august at Pocono.I also have both diecast that were made of his one is 1:18 scale and is the car he ran in last year's Indy 500 and the other is a 1:64 car I also have several signed hero cards, some of which I obtained in person and are personalized to me, 3 shirts (one of which I had made and he said he liked) and a hat that I wear often."

As Indycar grows in popularity, Cordner feels Newgarden's fan base will also grow within the sport.
"People should be a fan of Josef because he is not only a great driver (and I feel will have a ton of success with Penske), but he is also a super nice guy with a great, fun loving personality and is very fan friendly!"

Just like Cordner, Alaina Afflerbaugh also spends her race weekends cheering for Newgarden.
" I am 30 years Old. I live in Lompoc, CA by way of Vandenberg AFB. Originally from Southern CA. I was raised by a racing obsessed father, I am actually named after Alain Prost. So Dad has been taking us to races since the California Speedway opened and IndyCar was still Cart. Josef has been my driver since the first time I met him his rookie year with Sara Fisher in 2012 in Fontana. My brother and I were in the Garage area and he was standing there talking with Sara, and she has always been a favorite of my brother's and when we asked him for an autograph he was just SO unbelievably nice, it just left such an impression on me, I was a fan forever after that. I have met Josef at EVERY race I have been to since 2012. He has never been rude, he is ALWAYS gracious and smiling. one day on a qualifying day at the end, he was quickly walking back to his hotel (I'm assuming) and I
Alaina Afflerbaugh with Josef Newgarden
think he was trying to get through the small crowd of us walking to our cars, and I said "I want a high five" it wasn't even very loud, but he must have heard me because he turned right around and gave me one!! I still smile so big when I think about it. Last year I printed out pictures with all the drivers to get autographed and one of my favorites is of me, Josef and Lucca (Filippi) and I was worried
that Lucca wouldnt sign it since they were no longer teammates and Josef and I had a conversation about how the picture was awesome and that he thinks Lucca is a great guy and would still sign it.Even in Long Beach a few years back when Ryan Hunter Reay took him out in that disastrous race, he still came out and signed autographs and spent time with fans with that smile and class that he has"

Her message for new fans looking for a driver are "I think people should cheer for Josef because he is a great example of a role model for everyone. He is always so friendly, and funny, and cares about his fans (AND he loves animals), but he also works hard and has so much dedication for his team. He is the true form of positivity."

So there you have it, two fans who see themselves as Josef Newgarden's biggest fans! They both have a nessage for Newgardesn as well, just in case he reads this:

Christina Cordner says,"If I could tell Josef one thing it would be how proud I am to be a fan of his and thank him for being so nice. Also, good luck this year I'm sure he will do great."

Alaina Afflerbaugh says,"THANK YOU for ALWAYS bringing Joy at the track and for being the nicest and funniest guy. I hope that NEVER changes. You are truly a one of a kind guy with the biggest heart and that is why we love you!!!"

Now let's have a Trivia challenge to determine who is Newgarden's number 1 fan, shall we?
Correct answers are in green, wrong answers are red, all correct answers can be viewed at the bottom of the page!


Josef Newgarden trivia

1. What is Josef's full name and where was he born?
C: Josef Nicolai Newgarden, Hendersonville Tn December 22, 1990
A: Josef Nicolai Newgarden Hendersonville, Tennessee
2. How old was Josef when he started racing go carts?
C: 13, I've heard him say multiple times that he got started later than most
A: I believe he was.... 13?
3.  Josef won the Junior Yamaha championship and won the Junior TAG World Championship in the same year, What year was it?
C: umm earlish 2000s I would think 2008?
A:  Damn.... 200...6?
4. How many wins do Josef Newgarden have in his rookie season of Skip Barber Racing School?
C: 2? I'm pretty sure it's 2, I know he had 2 one year I think it was his rookie year (That was his second year!)
A: Oh! Three!
5.  What other sport has Josef Newgarden said he might have went pro in if it weren't for racing?
C: baseball
A::I believe it was baseball.... or basketball. I swear I heard him once say Baseball though.I'm gonna go with.... baseball Because it's my favorite.... and I'm probably wrong
6. What team did Josef Newgarden drive for in the GP3 series in 2010?
C:Carlisle
A: UGH.... I can't remember... Karan? Cralan. That's all I've got as far as guesses.
7. What team did Josef Newgarden drive for in Indy Lights?
C: Sam Schmidt
A:Well he drove for the Amazing Sam Schmidt Motor Sports of course!!! My Dad and brother would never let me forget THAT!!
8. True or false: during the 2011 season in Indy Lights, Josef Newgarden lapped the whole field to win New Hampshire
C: True
A: TRUE! when I met Josef for the first time my brother GUSHED about that. "You should have seen this guy!!!"

9. What year did Josef Newgarden have his worse finish at the Indy 500 and where did he finish? 
C: it was in 2014  Josef finished 30th 
A: Awww man. I know he finished 30th, I just suck at years... was it 2014?

10.Where did Josef Newgarden qualify and finish in the 2016 100th running of the Indy 500
C: qualified 2nd and finished 3rd
A: Shucks... I'm gonna mess this one up because I was hospitalized that weekend. OH! WAIT! He almost made the pole but Hinch got it! So he qualified 2nd? And finished..... my Dad was there and called me so it was good... Josef finished 3rd if I remember correctly

11. What is the name of Josef New Garden's cat?
C; Simba
A: Simba

Bonus question: name the driver who also. Lapped the field in Indy Lights in 2004.
C: I have absolutely no idea off the top of my head
A: Oh man... I have no idea. I know almost no one who also was an indy lights driver. Before Josef I didn't even know it was a thing lol

Final score 10 out of 11
Christina Cordor  9 out of 11 and 1 bonus point for pointing out that I had the year wrong on 9 and it was indeed 2014 not 2013!

IT IS A TIE!!! 

And since we didn't have a tie breaker (they both got the cat's name) I have decided in this case to share the title by crowning one East Coast and one West Coast! They also agreed to share the title! Congratulations to both ladies! Josef Newgarden is very lucky to have 2 fans so loyal!\


Join us next week as we hunt down Helio Castroneves fans! Don;t forget to like Fast Lane Race News on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or if you wish to be featured with your favorite driver toy can email Chanda Healton.

Answers
1. Josef Nicolai Newgarden. Hendersonville, TN
2. 13
3. 2006
4. 3
5. Baseball
6. Carlin
7. Sam Schmidt Motorsports
8. False he lapped the field at New Hampshire
9 2014 30th
10 started second finished 3rd
11 Simba
Bonus question: Thiago Medeiro

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