Roger Penske's drivers had just finished 1-2-3 in the IndyCar standings, and shaking up his lineup didn't seem to be a priority.
But with Josef Newgarden available in free agency, The Captain made a cutthroat move and bounced Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya out of his ride to sign the up-and-coming American.
Almost a year to the day later, the shrewd move resulted in a 15th IndyCar championship for Team Penske.
Newgarden closed out the best year of his career — his first with Penske — as the top driver in IndyCar. His nearly flawless performance Sunday at Sonoma Raceway made Newgarden only the second American in 11 years to win the IndyCar title, joining...