Five months ago, Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud won the Indianapolis 500, which was the biggest race of his career. To celebrate, he recently tied the knot with his girlfriend of seven years, Hailey McDermott. However, the Indy 500 star was not the only member of the racing team that was married. Josef Newgarden wed Ashley Welch on Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee.
Interestingly enough, both Newgarden and Pagenaud proposed to their future wives within a similar period of time. The Nashville-born Newgarden popped the question to Welch in early October during a trip to Japan, while Pagenaud followed suit in January 2019, proposing to McDermott during a trip to Paris.
This weekend of weddings for the two Team Penske drivers kicked off what should be a memorable offseason. The 2019 campaign ended in Laguna Seca last month, and now the two drivers can focus on properly starting their respective marriages.
“I dreamt about winning Indy. I didn’t know when it was going to happen or if it was going to happen — I certainly never imagined it would happen the same year I was getting married,” Pagenaud told PEOPLE prior to his wedding at the Auberge du Soleil resort. “I’ve accomplished all my dreams."
While both racers could have opted for massive ceremonies that drew considerable attention, they actually went the quieter route. Pagenaud and McDermott were joined by roughly five-dozen friends and family in Napa. During the planning process – which took less than one year – the couple agreed that they wanted the ceremony to be romantic, small, and include lots of wine.
“We just really wanted it to be about us and our love and joining our families together and just celebrating with the people who are nearest and dearest to our heart,” McDermott said.
Per PEOPLE, the ceremony was in half English and half French to accommodate Pagenaud's heritage.
Newgarden and Welch, on the other hand, held a small ceremony in his hometown of Nashville. According to the IndyStar, they were joined by some family and some close friends from the racing community.
Pagenaud just finished his fifth season as a member of Team Penske, and he did so by winning the Indianapolis 500. This was a historic victory considering that he is the first Frenchman to capture the title in 99 years.
Newgarden just finished his third season with Team Penske and has quickly made a name for himself in the IndyCar Series. Entering 2019, he had more wins (seven) than any driver in IndyCar over two years, and he produced back-to-back top-five finishes in the championship standings. Newgarden finished the 2019 season with four first-place finishes.
Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty