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Josef Newgarden will be hospitalized overnight for observation, Team Penske says

Josef Newgarden hospitalized

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MAY 11: Josef Newgarden attends Team Penske INDYCAR Drivers And Riley Children’s Foundation Celebrate National Nurses Week And Unveiling Of New Verizon Ultra Car on May 11, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Verizon )

Getty Images for Verizon

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Josef Newgarden will be hospitalized overnight for observation, but Team Penske indicated there was no significant head injury from the two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion’s fall after Sunday’s race at Iowa Speedway.

Newgarden was transported via helicopter to Mercy One Des Moines Medical Center after a fall in the motorhome lot. Newgarden had crashed out of the race while leading but had been checked and released from in the Iowa Speedway infield care center.

The No. 2 Dallara-Chevrolet driver will be evaluated Thursday by IndyCar medical staff, which will determine his status for Saturday’s race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. IndyCar will be on track Friday.

MONDAY UPDATE: Josef Newgarden released from hospital; Santino Ferrucci on standby for Indy

Here’s the statement late Sunday night from Team Penske:

“Josef Newgarden was involved in an incident late in Sunday’s race at Iowa Speedway, after which he was evaluated and released from the infield care center.

“Following the conclusion of the race, Newgarden lost consciousness and fell, sustaining a cut on the back of his head. Due to the 45-minute drive to MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center and the traffic outside the racetrack, the medical helicopter was determined to be the best mode of transportation. 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.”

Because of the severity of the crash impact, Dr. Geoffrey Billows, the outgoing IndyCar medical director, said Newgarden was due to be evaluated Thursday regardless of his loss of consciousness after the race.

Newgarden was trying to sweep the doubleheader weekend at Iowa and would have been leading the IndyCar points standings with a second consecutive victory. Pato O’Ward won Sunday’s race as Marcus Ericsson remained the series points leader with five races remaining.

Outside the care center after the crash, Newgarden told NBC Sports’ Dave Burns that the impact “was definitely a bit of a shot.” His car lost traction in Turn 4 after an apparent suspension failure, according to Team Chevy officials.

Newgarden told other reporters in further interviews that the hit “definitely rocked me. I got a little bit shaken from it, but I’m OK.”