By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter
Ed Carpenter Racing announced that driver Josef Newgarden will not return to the team for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Newgarden’s was contracted through September 28 and now is free to take other offers if they come available.
“While it’s disappointing that Josef will not be returning, it’s also not a total surprise after all of the speculation the past few weeks,” stated team owner Ed Carpenter. “I wish Josef the best in his future endeavors, but also remain focused on ECR’s continued success. We are positioned well moving into 2017 and I have total confidence that we will continue to deliver the high level of performance we expect as a team.”
Newgarden highlighted his 2016 season with a career-best fourth place finish in the standings and scored a dominating win at the Iowa Corn Indy 300, leading 282 laps – an Indy car race record. He has spent his entire IndyCar career with ECR, albeit with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing from 2012-2014 before SFHR and ECR merged in 2015.
Carpenter will continue to drive the oval races in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet while the road course driver and the driver of Newgarden’s vacated No. 21 car are yet to be determined.