Newgarden cleared to train at Indy after Iowa collapse

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FILE – Josef Newgarden, third from left, gets out of his car after hitting a wall during the IndyCar Series car race, Sunday, July 24, 2022, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Newgarden was scheduled to be evaluated Thursday, July 28, 2022 to determine if he can compete in this weekend’s shared event with NASCAR at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Newgarden collapsed and hit his head at Iowa Speedway following a violent accident. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

INDIANAPOLIS –Two-time IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden was cleared for practice Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after collapsing after crashing in Iowa.

Newgarden will be re-evaluated Friday after practice to determine if he can compete Saturday at the Indianapolis road course.

Newgarden was leading and headed for a double sweep of Iowa on Sunday when the suspension on his Team Penske car broke and he slammed into the wall hard. The Nashville driver was assessed at the Iowa Medical Center and cleared, but had to undergo a second check Thursday by IndyCar officials at the speedway.

But shortly after leaving the care center, Newgarden lost consciousness and collapsed in the motorhome. He hit his head on the sidewalk, opening a wound, and was airlifted to Des Moines hospital and held overnight.

The Penske team said all tests on Newgarden were negative and he was held overnight as a precaution. The 31-year-old returned to Nashville on Monday and visited a specialist this week before heading to Indianapolis.

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Team Penske had Santino Ferrucci on standby in case IndyCar says Newgarden can’t race on the road course on Saturday.

He arrived at the circuit late afternoon for another round of testing and was cleared to race on Thursday evening.

Newgarden, who won Saturday’s race, dominated and led 148 of the 300 laps while trying to sweep the weekend double. He was shown as the points leader before the brutal collision – IndyCar confirmed that his kick into the wall recorded more than 80G of force – and he was visibly shaken by the crash which he said “me definitely shook. I was a little shaken up by it, but I’m fine.”

The crash left Newgarden tied with Scott Dixon for third place in the standings with five races remaining.

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