Fort Worth, Texas – Josef Newgarden, Verizon IndyCar Series driver, was airlifted on Sunday to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas after he was involved in a car crash during the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The driver survived the crash along with his longtime friend Conor Daly while exiting Turn 4 at the track. Daly lost control of his car on lap 43 and hooked toward the outside wall where Newgarden’s car was, as reported by USA Today.
After that, both cars headed to the wall where the secondary hit took place with Newgarden’s cockpit exposed to the wall. Newgarden was able to get out off the car by himself while comforting his shoulder and wrist and slumping down on the asphalt.
The Verizon pilot was then loaded into an ambulance and taken to the track’s infield care centers due to the complexity of his wounds. Later he was airlifted to the hospital for further tests and treatment. Although he was carried off on a stretchers, he managed to give a thumbs up to the crowd while exiting the track. Daly was able to walk away without any visible wound, as reported by Fox Sports.
The race was slowed down and then red-flagged due to the rain on lap 71. On Saturday the same race had been postpone for weather reasons as well. The rain stopped around, about an hour and half after the scheduled start time. It is the first IndyCar race to be postponed since 2014, and with 248 laps scheduled the race is not official until lap 145.
Daly talked with his friend and colleague Newgarden in the care center, where he apologized for his mistake and showed his concern over Newgarden’s health. Both cars were heavily damaged and the track’s energy-absorbing barrier was cut due to the impact.
“I apologized to him in there because it was my mistake, for sure,” Daly said. “He is a tough kid, I grew up with him. I feel so bad. To ruin someone’s race is never good.”
While describing the incident, Daly commented that It felt like the right rear just went and lost all grip and basically drifted from Turns 3 to 4. He assured he could not get out of the throttle quick enough. “It is my fault. I lost it in front of Josef,” Daly added.
According to Ed Carpenter, Newgarden’s teammate and car owner, the incident could have been a whole lot worse. Marty Armstrong, AJ Foyt Racing tire changer got stitches on his lower back in the infield center, he was later released without further incident, IndyCar announced.
The grid remains the same as the Colombian Carlos Muñoz won his first career pole spot by averaging 217.137 mph for two laps over the 1.455-mile track. Defending race winner Scott Dixon was second in a Chevrolet at 216.901 mph, as reported by Cleveland.
Source: USA Today