Josef Newgarden found himself in victory lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time after an exhilarating final-lap win at the Indy 500 on Sunday.

Newgarden, a two-time IndyCar Series champion, had not won the race in his previous 11 tries. He was full of emotion following his triumph at the race IndyCar drivers dream of winning.

“I'm just so thankful to be here,” Newgarden said. “I started out as a fan in the crowd, and this place is amazing, regardless of where you're sitting. Everyone kept asking why I hadn't won this race, and they look at you like you're a failure if you haven't won it. I knew I was capable. I knew I could.”

Newgarden saved his best move for last, cutting past last year's Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson on the last lap and fending him off through the finish line. It was a long time coming, both in the years Newgarden has run the race and the multiple waits during the final stretch of the race.

Several wrecks caused three red flags during the last 16 laps. Newgarden benefited from the last one after a review during caution moved his position on the restart from fourth to second.

After three top-5 finishes and five top-10s, Newgarden was the first driver to pass the finish line at the 2023 Indy 500.

“It's just not an easy place to succeed at. I don't necessarily subscribe to the fact that if you don't win the 500, your career is a failure,” Newgarden said. “But I think a lot of people view this race and this championship with that lens. The 500 stands alone and if you are not able to capture one, the career really is a failure.”

If that's the case, then Josef Newgarden is not a failure. He is an Indy 500 winner forever.