Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden was air-lifted to a hospital in downtown Des Moines after the 31-year-old driver accidentally fell in the bus lot at Iowa Speedway and suffered a head injury.
Newgarden was flown for medical attention as responders anticipated heavy traffic, de-escalating concerns that the helicopter ride was out of critical timing. He suffered a head abrasion and collapsed near his hauler, but the responders stated that the driver was highly stable.
The two-time IndyCar champion was released from the hospital’s care center and sounded well on the mend according to a response from IndyCar.
“This is the thing that makes it confusing,” said IndyCar medical director Dr. Geoffrey Billows in his update on Newgarden.
“He crashed, and he was evaluated here after the crash. He was fine, we went and talked to him afterwards.”
The accident followed a dismal collision by Newgarden in the final 100 laps at Iowa Speedway with a healthy lead. Newgarden enjoyed a dominant performance on Saturday and appeared set to run it again on Sunday until the unfortunate accident.
“Definitely was a bit of a shot. I want to cry, so sad for my team,” Newgarden said after the race. “I don’t know what happened. 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.”
Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward took the victory on Sunday.
Stay tuned with OutKick as the story develops.