Newgarden donates $250,000 to Nashville dog rescue

Josef Newgarden's victory on Sunday meant so much more to one local organization.
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 11:04 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Hendersonville native Josef Newgarden is a two-time IndyCar champion. He just won his third race of the season. Sunday’s victory in Wisconsin meant so much more to one local organization.

“I was standing on my couch screaming when he crossed that finish line. The whole team was really excited,” Kathryn Hurley said.

Hurley is the director of Wags and Walks Nashville, a dog rescue organization.

The group is based in Los Angeles, but Hurley started a new chapter here when she moved to town a few years ago.

“We met Josef and Ashley very early on when it was just me out of my garage,” Hurley said. “They adopted a dog (Axel) early on and were supporters from day one.”

“Obviously, with our adoption of Axel, we’ve stayed relatively close to their group and what they’re doing, and we try and raise funds for them every year,” Newgarden said. “This is like a whole other level.”

It’s $250,000 to be exact.

When Newgarden won at Road America, he completed the PeopleReady Force for Good Challenge.

It’s a new award in the sport that goes to a driver who can win on all three types of tracks on the circuit in the same season.

Newgarden had already won on an oval course in Texas as well as a street course in St. Petersburg, Florida.

All he needed was a road course victory and the payoff would be $1 million.

The win Sunday completed the run, and Newgarden earmarked one quarter of it to Wags and Walks Nashville.

“That amount of money is something we’ve never been gifted,” Hurley said. “Every penny we work really hard for.”

Until now, the group had been completely foster-based. Newgarden’s contribution will go towards a new facility that will open in Nashville this fall.

“Last year we rescued almost 900 dogs,” Hurley said. “Being able to have the adoption center will allow us to impact a lot more dogs efficiently.”

“It’s very special to us,” Newgarden said. “She’s thrilled. The whole group is over the moon. They’re going to be able to do a lot with that money.”

Newgarden also donated another $250,000 of his winnings to the SeriousFun Children’s Network.

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