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Newgarden moves on from Ed Carpenter Racing

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FORT WORTH, TX - JUNE 10: Josef Newgarden, driver of the #21 Fuzzy's Vodka Chevrolet, prepares for Star-Telegram Qualifying for the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 10, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – When the 2017 IndyCar season begins, Josef Newgarden will have a new home, as the fourth-place finisher in 2016 has told Ed Carpenter Racing he will not be back with the team.

“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,” team owner Ed Carpenter said in a statement.

That speculation Carpenter is referencing is a Racer Magazine report that has Newgarden slated to sign with Team Penske.

“I wish Josef the best in his future endeavors, but also remain focused on ECR’s continued success,” continued Carpenter.

A five-year veteran of the IndyCar series, the 25-year-old Newgarden is coming off his best season, finishing fourth in the points standings with six top-five finishes, including one win at Iowa.

With Newgarden’s departure, ECR has an opening for a full-time driver, and that same Racer report indicates it could be a clean swap with Penkse, as Juan Pablo Montoya is a possibility to fill the void.

“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,” concluded Carpenter.