Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden braves his fear of heights atop the 1,250ft Empire State Building in New York during his victory tour as he admits to having a ‘death grip’ on the railing
- Newgarden is on his victory tour after winning Sunday’s Indianapolis 500
- As his victory tour continues, he was afraid of the heights above New York
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Josef Newgarden is on top of the world – literally and figuratively – after his first victory at the Indianapolis 500.
But that victory comes with a few downsides – like facing your fear of heights like Newgarden did when he was photographed atop the Empire State Building.
As part of an annual tradition for winners of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Nashville native was photographed with his victory crown as he stood 1,250 feet above midtown Manhattan.
He went to Tweet about the experience, saying, ‘I don’t like heights. As evidenced by my deadly grip on the railing.
In a traceNewgarden tweeted that he had an “incredible experience”, but added that it “tested my comfort level”.
Josef Newgarden said he had a ‘death grip on the railing’ at the top of the Empire State Building
Newgarden made the stop as part of his victory tour after winning the Indianapolis 500
Newgarden, seen here with his wife Ashley with lower Manhattan behind them
Newgarden, the two-time IndyCar Series champion, won the Indy 500 for the first time in his long and decorated career.
With one lap to go at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, Newgarden passed last year’s winner and former F1 driver Marcus Ericsson to take the win.
He earned the right to all the lore given to the victor, including the chance to kiss the bricks and get squirted with milk on his way to victory.
After a dozen years in the sport, he said the victory was one of the sweetest of his career.
“Every year gets harder when you run it 12 years in a row. It gets harder and harder to leave here with a broken heart,” Newgarden told The Associated Press.
“You know, anyone who doesn’t win the race, I believe, ends up heartbroken, or at least I’ve left every year just broken, and you have to rebuild very quickly and keep going.
“So, you know, I just took out of the equation that it had to happen. It’s because maybe if it doesn’t, it’s okay.
“My career would not be a failure. I don’t feel like that. And I don’t think anyone else should.
Newgarden (R) passed last year’s winner Marcus Ericsson (L) to take the checkered flag
He was able to take part in all the traditions of the race – including a milk bath and kissing the bricks
After reflecting on the victory, he argued that the IndyCar championship was a more difficult task
Even after finally defeating his last demon for his prolific racing career, he still believed winning the season title was more difficult.
“I’m still in the camp that the championship is more difficult,” admitted Newgarden afterwards. “But I don’t know how you compare the two. You’re looking at one versus a championship, and putting together a championship is, I think, very, very difficult.
“You really see the best rise to the top. You see the best team, the best pit stop performance. It constantly adds up over a year, and it’s very hard to do.
“It’s the hardest race in the world to win,” added Newgarden. ‘I’ll leave it at that. There is no doubt.’