Josef Newgarden taken to hospital; Pato O’Ward wins at Iowa

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — Josef Newgarden collapsed in the motorhome lot following his late crash Sunday at Iowa Speedway and was taken to a Des Moines hospital by helicopter for evaluation. Team Penske said he’d be held overnight.

“Following the conclusion of the race Newgarden lost consciousness and fell, sustaining a cut on the back of his head,” Team Penske said in a statement. “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.”

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 evaluate the American.

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


Newgarden dominated and led 148 of the 300 laps while trying to sweep the doubleheader weekend. But something on his Team Penske car broke with 64 laps remaining and the 31-year-old from Tennessee spun hard into the outside wall — creating an opening for Pato O’Ward of Arrow McLaren SP to win the race.

Newgarden, a two-time IndyCar champion, was visibly rattled after his mandatory check in the infield care center after the crash. He said the crash into the wall “definitely rocked me. I got a little bit of a shake from it but I’m OK.

“Definitely was a bit of a shot. I want to cry, so sad for my team. I don’t know what happened,” Newgarden said. “Everything felt fine to me. Totally unexpected and it caught me by my surprise. Team Penske is the best. I never have this stuff, so maybe we were due.”

Chevrolet’s initial diagnosis was that the suspension broke on Newgarden’s car. There was no immediate word on the force in which Newgarden hit the outside wall.

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