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Penske issues update on Newgarden’s condition after Iowa IndyCar crash

Josef Newgarden has been kept in hospital overnight by helicopter for further evaluation after fainting following a circuit medical check for his massive Iowa IndyCar shunt.

 Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet,  crash

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet, crash

Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

The Team Penske ace, who dominated Race 1 at Iowa on Saturday, appeared set to do the same in Race 2, after wresting the lead away from polesitting team-mate Will Power before one-third distance and leading 148 laps.

However, on the 235th of 300 laps, the #2 Penske appeared to ‘sit down’ on its rear right, looping the car into a spin that led to a heavy rear-end impact with the outside wall at Turn 4.

After initially being checked and released, Newgarden was readmitted to IndyCar Medical after fainting, and was taken to hospital in Des Moines for further checks.

Newgarden alighted from his car after the crash, walked to the medical vehicle, and was checked and cleared at the infield medical centre.

He later emerged and spoke coherently to NBC about his deep disappointment for himself and the #2 Penske team.

On Sunday evening, just before 11pm local time, Team Penske issued a statement as follows: “Josef Newgarden was involved in an incident late in Sunday’s race at Iowa Speedway, after which he was evaluated and released from the infield care centre.

“Following the conclusion of the race, Newgarden lost consciousness and fell, sustaining a cut on the back of his head.

 Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet,  crash

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet, crash

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

“Due to the 45-minute drive to MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center and the traffic outside the racetrack, the medical helicopter was determined to be the best mode of transportation.

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“After being evaluated, all scans were negative. Newgarden will be held overnight for observation.

“Following IndyCar protocol, Newgarden will be evaluated by the IndyCar medical staff on Thursday.”

That evaluation by IndyCar Medical was due to happen anyway, since according to Geoffrey Billows, the series’ medical director, the accelerometer in Newgarden’s ear had revealed that the initial impact against the wall had breached the threshold at which a second check becomes compulsory according to IndyCar protocol.

Trackside Online informs us that this threshold is 80g.

Despite the DNF, Newgarden lies third in the championship, just 34 points behind championship leader Marcus Ericsson with five races to go, the next one being next weekend in IndyCar’s second trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course this year.

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