‘Sinker’ doesn’t spoil day at the park for IndyCar’s Newgarden

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Josef Newgarden throws out the first pitch Tuesday at Comerica Park.

Detroit – IndyCar driver Josef Newgarden was living a dream, standing on the mound at Comerica Park Tuesday afternoon, throwing out the first pitch before the Tigers played the Pirates.

"Tell them it was a sinker," said Newgarden of his toss, which one-hopped to the catcher. "It was a lot of fun."

It had to be fun for the 25-year-old Newgarden, who played third base and catcher in Little League and high school while growing up in Tennessee.

Now, Newgarden is one of the top American drivers in the IndyCar series while driving for Ed Carpenter Racing. He won two races and finished seventh in points last season.

Newgarden will race in Long Beach this weekend and then it will be on to Alabama April 24, where Newgarden earned his first career win last year, then to Indianapolis in May for the 100th running of the Indy 500.

"It's a big deal, a really big deal," said Newgarden of the Indy 500. "There's a lot of pressure. Everyone wants to do well. You want to win the championship in IndyCar, but more than anything you want to win the Indy 500.

The Detroit Chevrolet Grand Prix will be June 3-5 on Belle Isle with IndyCar races run on consecutive days June 4-5.

"What's great about Detroit is that it’s right after Indy and people are normally psyched after the Indy 500, and it's such a unique event since we have two races in one weekend," Newgarden said.

Newgarden, competing in a Chevrolet, is coming off a sixth-place finish in the series' last race at Phoenix April 2.