“To win this race is indescribable,” said Newgarden. “I think being at this event is indescribable. Someone has to come and see it and be a part of it to understand what it is really all about.
“I’ve always wanted the honor to win this race because I wanted to go in the crowd if it was ever possible because I know what the energy is like here in Indianapolis. So to me, it was an unbelievable finish to be able to be here with the team and do that.
“The only thing I really had in my head that I wanted to do was go in the crowd. That was the only thing I felt adamant about. If I was lucky enough to win, I was doing that.
“I knew exactly where the gap was. I’d been over there many, many years. I’ve seen that photo hole spot, and really it’s just like an access point that you can crawl under. It looks like it’s closed but there’s a way to get through. I knew exactly where I was going at the end of this race.
“I planned to go higher in the stands, but it quickly got a little out of control, and I thought, ‘Maybe the best thing is for me to leave again.’ I hugged a couple people. I felt the energy, and I’m like, ‘I need to get out of here.’
“But it was really cool. You just can’t beat the Hoosier hospitality, the energy that people bring here. It is second to none when it comes to a sporting event.
“I’ve always known that, having the privilege of being here many, many years and seeing it, and I just wanted to be a part of it. It was always something that would be a dream come true to be able to do that.”
The unique celebration could spark a new tradition, similar to how Helio Castroneves climbing the catch fence, and earning the nickname Spiderman in the process, has been emulated by others after meaningful victories.
Even if the same celebration is not attempted next year, there will likely be one or two track security guards in position to make sure the crowd doesn’t get further out of hand.