FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — IndyCar driver Josef Newgarden survived a hard crash at Texas on Sunday after his car was slammed to its side and slid along the front stretch wall with the top of the cockpit exposed.
Newgarden was transported by helicopter to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas to be further evaluated for right shoulder and hand injuries, but those appeared to be the most significant issues.
“It sounds like he’s doing OK,” team owner and fellow IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter said. “For what I could tell, it could have been a whole lot worse. … We’ll go see him later tonight.”
Conor Daly’s car got loose coming out of Turn 4 at Texas on lap 42 of the Firestone 600 and snapped into the No. 21 car driven by Newgarden. After the initial contact, the cars started drifting down the track before pushing back up with Newgarden’s car on its side when hitting and sliding along the wall.
Both drivers were able to climb out of their cars. But after Newgarden got out and stood briefly by his car, he crumbled into a sitting position on the track while talking to safety officials and indicating issues on the right side of his body. After being put on a stretcher and before being loaded onto an ambulance, Newgarden waved and gave a thumbs-up to the crowd — with his left arm.
Daly was taken to the infield care center, where he was checked and cleared. He spoke there with Newgarden, his longtime friend.
“I apologized to him in there because it was my mistake, for sure,” Daly said. “He’s a tough kid; I grew up with him. I feel so bad.”
Daly, who had not yet pitted for new tires, said the rear end of his car lost all grip as it drifted from Turns 3 and 4.
“I lost it in front of Josef,” he said.
Both cars were heavily damaged, as was the SAFER barrier that absorbed the impact when Newgarden hit the wall.
“In a situation like that it doesn’t really matter whose car it is. Obviously I went by and saw it was bright green, and just asked if Josef was all right,” Carpenter said. “As a team owner, you don’t really care about the car.”
Workers were still doing repairs to the SAFER barrier when the race was red flagged after 71 laps because of more rain in the area.
The scheduled 248-lap race had been postponed late Saturday night after unsuccessful attempts to dry the track following afternoon rain then. The start Sunday was delayed about 40 minutes while officials continued to dry the track.
When the red flag was displayed, the race was 54 laps shy of being an official race.
Marty Armstrong, a tire changer for AJ Foyt Racing, received stitches on his lower back after an air hose got caught up on Jack Hawksworth’s car as the No. 41 pulled out of the pit stall.