ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — When Josef Newgarden won the Indy 500 Sunday a Stateline native also won big. Former Belvidere resident Kyle LaPier is part of Newgarden’s pit crew for Penske Racing. He is the inside rear tire changer.

LaPier is a graduate of Belvidere North High School. Many race fans who attend the Rockford Speedway might remember him when he was a successful driver at the Rockford Speedway. In 2010 he was the American Short Tracker Division season champion.

Eight years ago LaPier moved to North Carolina to pursue his dream of being part of racing at its highest levels. He attended the NASCAR Technical Institute. He joined Penske Racing on the NASCAR side and then in 2018 he moved to Indy Car with Penske.

Newgarden started back in the 17th position in the Indy 500 Sunday and worked his up to the front for the victory. Smooth, fast pit stops were a big part of that thanks to LaPier and the rest of the team.