Penske and Ganassi-linked IndyCar driver Newgarden leaves ECR

Ed Carpenter Racing has announced that Josef Newgarden will leave its IndyCar squad, amid rumours of a move to Penske or Ganassi

Penske and Ganassi-linked IndyCar driver Newgarden leaves ECR

The 25-year-old American was the best non-Penske driver in this year's standings, winning at Iowa just under a month after being injured in a horrific Texas crash, and taking fourth in the championship.

Newgarden has been primarily linked to Penske as a potential replacement for ex-Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya after his disappointing third season with the team.

ECR team owner Ed Carpenter said Newgarden had told the team on Thursday that he would not be back in 2017.

"While it's disappointing that Josef will not be returning, it's also not a total surprise after all of the speculation of the past few weeks," said Carpenter.

"I wish Josef the best in his future endeavours, 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 moved into IndyCar as reigning Indy Lights champion in 2012, joining Sarah Fisher's team and staying on board when it merged with Carpenter's operation for the '15 season.

He took his first victories that year and followed it up with a career-best championship result this season.

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