IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden hospitalized after crash in Iowa

NEWTON, Iowa — Josef Newgarden collapsed in the RV lot after his crash late Sunday at the Iowa Speedway and was taken by helicopter to a Des Moines hospital for evaluation.

IndyCar Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Billows said Newgarden was transported by helicopter to Mercy One Des Moines Medical Center because the infield care center lacked the equipment to properly examine the Team Penske driver, who cut the back of his head in a collapse.

Billows said Newgarden was awake and alert, but the hospital was a 45-minute drive from the track and heavy traffic for the Blake Shelton concert after the race would have delayed the trip.

Newgarden dominated and led 148 of the 300 laps of the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 while attempting to sweep the weekend’s doubleheader. But something on his Team Penske car broke with 64 laps to go and the 31-year-old Tennessee driver spun hard against the outside wall – giving Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward an opportunity to win the race.

Newgarden, a two-time IndyCar champion, was visibly shaken after his mandatory check at the infield care center after the crash.

“It was definitely a bit of a shot. I want to cry, so sad for my team. I don’t know what happened,” Newgarden said. “Everything felt good to me. Completely unexpected and it surprised me. Team Penske is the best. I never have that stuff, so maybe we were due.

“We can’t afford that this year. But we will fight back. We have a great team here.”

Chevrolet’s first diagnosis was that the suspension on Newgarden’s car was breaking.

Billows said Newgarden completed all tests at the care center after the accident and medical staff spoke to him a second time before he returned to the RV site. IndyCar had also planned to re-evaluate him in Indianapolis on Thursday.

Under IndyCar regulations, a driver receives a secondary rating if a crash registers more than 80 G-forces. There was no immediate word from IndyCar or Team Penske about the force of Newgarden’s hit.

“Just thinking about my bus brother,” tweeted Penske teammate Scott McLaughlin.

It’s the second win of the season for O’Ward, who finished second on Saturday and remains firmly in the IndyCar title race with five races remaining. IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden hospitalized after crash in Iowa

Fry Electronics Team

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