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Photo credit:  INDYCAR

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Revving Through Music City, Literally

Extremely Talented Athlete Is Belle Meade's Pride Of National And Upcoming Big Machine Music City Grand Prix IndyCar Racing

An 18-time INDYCAR race winner who tied a career-best four wins in 2020 resides in Oak Hill/Belle Meade. This hometown, professional driver says he's more than thrilled to showcase Nashville for the first-ever Big Machine Music City Grand Prix Aug. 6-8.

Josef Newgarden says he can't wait until the streets of downtown Nashville burst into action with actual racing and festivities for three days as the INDYCAR and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES is hosted. He knows how supportive Nashvillians are of events. After all, he was born and raised in Hendersonville. This temporary street circuit takes racers by Nissan Stadium, and over the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge into downtown -- making it the first motorsports course of its kind in the world to cross a major body of water.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think we'd ever be racing in downtown Nashville. The response has been awesome, and quite honestly, it's going to be so cool -- people are really in for a treat," says Josef, a 30-year-old former recipient of INDYCAR’s Tony Renna Rising Star Award and brand ambassador for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix.

"I love introducing people to racing through these streetcar races, because they can feel the energy and truly see how drivers wield control over these vehicles that are pretty impressive in real life. It's the most visceral feeling," he adds.

Josef started racing go karts when he was 13 years old. A few years after that, motorsports caught his interest. 

He says he's preparing for the Nashville race by driving in a proprietary, North Carolina-based simulation unit created by Team Chevy engineers. "They're large rigs like a surround-sound movie theater and rollercoaster put together," he adds. 

He says he's also driven the course in his street car to begin getting a sense of where the infrastructure will go. 

Although INDY drivers have navigated other city courses, such as in Long Beach, St. Petersburg and Toronto, Josef says this will be the first with such proximity to a downtown area. 

When Josef's not behind the wheel of a race car, he enjoys rock climbing and outdoor activities. He's also an accomplished ping-pong player, and hosts an annual celebrity ping-pong tournament around the famed Indianapolis 500 in May. The tournament serves as a fundraiser for SeriousFun Children’s Network, which is a family of 30 camps and programs founded by the late Paul Newman to provide free recreational activities for seriously ill children and their families.

As a versatile athlete, Josef appeared on a 2016 episode of “American Ninja Warrior” with other NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers, and has participated in the NFL Combine and the Indiana Pacers Slam Dunk contest. It helps that he played baseball and basketball before turning to racing as a career.

"And I'm an avid gamer," admits Josef, who as a brand ambassador for Forza Motorsport has done voiceovers for multiple versions of the game, including Forza Motorsport 7. 

At the end of May, he garnered attention for his "Winners Drink Milk" 5-minute clip for a YouTube "Let There Be Milk : The Josef Newgarden Story" satire video. His milk-mania habit has him downing about a gallon, or at least 12 glasses a day! He and his wife, Ashley, teamed up with the Indiana Dairy Federation for this tongue-in-cheek video that highlights his intense drive for milk. As Indy 500 fans know, drinking milk is a time-honored tradition for the winner of the Indy 500. 

"I just enjoy milk at all times. It's the best beverage ever created," quips Josef.

“As a young kid, and a milk guy — there was just nothing there attached to the sport,” he begins in the video. “I started getting into racing, and then I saw the Indy 500. I saw that these guys — these guys got it, you know? It was all about the milk. It was all about how do you win the milk? And I’m like, ‘This is perfect. This is my life. I try to win the milk every day.'”

He finished twelfth in the 2021 Indy 500.

To monitor Josef's racing or pursue his official merchandise, go online to


Big Machine Music City Grand Prix is coupling Nashville’s safe and walkable downtown with learnings and insights from successes of other large events in Music City to host a three-day international festival of speed, sound, food and fun. This is a privately funded event.

  • August 6-8, 2021. 
  • NTT INDYCAR SERIES, the premier level of open-wheel racing in North America.
  • Course is a 2.17 mile, 11-turn circuit, and is the only race currently crossing a major body of water.
  • Top speeds are expected to reach up to 200 MPH coming over Korean Veteran’s Bridge.
  • Big Machine Music City Grand Prix is partnering with the Grand Ole Opry with a star-studded lineup, including country superstar Alan Jackson, Danielle Bradbery, Callista Clark, Riley Green and Justin Moore. 
  • Major concerts Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
  • Non-denominational worship service/concert Sunday morning.
  • High-quality cuisine; daily themes from some local restaurateurs.
  • Expected attendance 100,000-plus fans over the three days.
  • Event subject to Metro health/safety protocols, and NFL stadium safety standards including clear bag policy.
  • Three-day packages start at $119 per person for general admission; reserved grandstand packages available for $199 per seat.

For details and tickets regarding the upcoming Grand Prix, visit and follow #MusicCityGP. 

The NTT P1 Award winner for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix NTT INDYCAR Series race on Aug. 8 won’t just be the fastest around the 2.17-mile street circuit. The driver also will receive the Bryan Clauson Pole Trophy, which highlights the event’s partnership with Tennessee Donor Services to raise awareness for organ/tissue donations.

  • Country superstar Alan Jackson is scheduled to perform at Big Machine Music City Grand Prix.
  • Josef Newgarden drives the No. 2 car for Team Penske, using a Chevrolet engine. Photo credit:  INDYCAR
  • Photo credit:  INDYCAR
  • Photo credit:  INDYCAR
  • Photo credit:  INDYCAR
  • Photo credit:  INDYCAR
  • Photo credit:  DREAM Digital
  • Photo credit:  DREAM Digital
  • Photo credit:  DREAM Digital