Fresh ink: Josef Newgarden receives Ryan Blaney tattoo following title triumph for No. 12

IndyCar's Josef Newgarden poses for a photo during the 107th Indianapolis 500 champion's portraits while standing next to his car and winner's trophy.
James Gilbert
Getty Images

A friendly wager can go beyond households or office cubicles. In the case of Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden and Ryan Blaney, the stakes can even transcend racing series.

Such was the case for the 32-year-old NTT IndyCar Series star in Newgarden, who received a temporary tattoo of Blaney and the Bill France Cup following the No. 12’s 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship win at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 5.

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The 2023 Indianapolis 500 winner showcased the newfound ink on his right thigh by posting a photo on X (formerly Twitter) while posing next to the very person — and newly crowned champion — the tattoo was based on.

On Nov. 6, Newgarden posted a screenshot on X of a text thread with Blaney, saying, “If you win this championship, I’m getting your face tattooed on my thigh.” A hearty reply from Blaney soon after, and it was time to get down to business.

Further discourse between the two drivers continued on social media, with Blaney discussing how much real estate the portrait would take up if he were to win the title. And so, the friendly banter continued between the two Penske pilots.

Blaney concluded the 2023 Cup Series season with three victories in conjunction with his title. Newgarden completed his 2023 IndyCar campaign with four race wins — including the Indy 500 — and a fifth-place finish in the driver standings.