Josef Newgarden was taken to hospital for evaluation after collapsing; Pato O’Ward Wins Iowa Doubleheader’s Second Race

NEWTON, Iowa – Josef Newgarden collapsed on the lot after Sunday’s late crash at the Iowa Speedway and was airlifted to Des Moines Hospital for an evaluation.

IndyCar Chief Medical Officer Dr Geoffrey Billows said Newgarden was airlifted to MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center because the on-site care center lacked the equipment to accurately assess Team Penske drivers. , who cut off the back of his head when he collapsed.

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 post-race concert may have delayed the journey.

Newgarden dominated and led 148 out of 300 laps while trying to sweep at the weekend. But something on his Team Penske car broke down with 64 laps left and the 31-year-old Tennessee driver crashed straight into the outer wall – creating an opportunity for Pato O’Ward of the Arrow McLaren SP to win the race.

Newgarden, a two-time IndyCar champion, was left baffled after a mandatory check-up at the yard care center following the crash.

“Definitely a shot,” Newgarden said. “I wanted to cry, so sad for my team. I don’t know what happened. Everything was fine with me. It was completely unexpected and it took me by surprise. Penske team was the best team. I never was. now have these, so maybe we’re due.

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

Chevrolet’s initial diagnosis was a broken suspension on the Newgarden. There was no immediate word on the force with which Newgarden hit the outer wall.

Billows said Newgarden completed all tests in the care center after the crash, but IndyCar planned to reassess him Thursday in Indianapolis before he collapsed on his return to the lot. .

O’Ward came through to win the pit lane with a quick stop by his team Arrow McLaren SP and hold off teammate Penske Spirit and Scott McLaughlin win the championship. It was the Mexican driver’s second win of the season, who finished second on Saturday and remains firmly in the race for the IndyCar title with five races remaining.

O’Ward is fifth in the rankings, 36 points behind the leader Marcus Ericsson. His victory halted Team Penske’s dominance on the 0.894-mile oval, where Roger PenskeTheir drivers have won six of the last seven races before Sunday.

Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing in fourth and teammate next Jimmie Johnson, who raced very hard against Ericsson, the Indianapolis 500 winner for the best over two IndyCar racing seasons. Ericsson was also a Ganassi racer and the Newgarden crash helped the Swedes retain their lead in the IndyCar standings – making Johnson’s fierce race tense for Camp Ganassi.

“I race with my teammates with as much respect as I can; every race I’ve been in, I’ve given way,” Johnson said. “It was really my first time fighting for the position and it felt like I was supposed to. go up there. [Dixon]. I had it in me today and I ran clean, hard, and had a great day. ”

Ericsson says Johnson’s experience of the oval is different. The seven-time NASCAR champion made 686 starts in an available car and won 83 races.

“Yeah, you know, he’s got a few more oval races than me,” said Ericsson. “I think that’s what I was thinking when he was fighting me. I was trying to get him to walk in my dirty air all the time. Every time I looked in the mirror, he was in, out. , inside and out. Oh my God. Please step behind me.”

It was a comeback on the podium for Chevrolet, who did so on Saturday with Newgarden, O’Ward and Power.

Newgarden was believed to be the leader in points at the time of his crash and fell to tie with Dixon in third place on the leaderboard after his collision. There are five drivers 36 points apart in the standings, and Ericcson leads Power by eight points.

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