Photo Credit: sports.usatoday.com
After having a washout yesterday, the Verizon IndyCar Series returned to Texas Motor Speedway to attempt to run the 2016 Firestone 600 today. After getting a portion of the race underway, 71 laps out of a scheduled 248 to be exact, around the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval in Fort Worth, Texas, the race was red-flagged due to a downpour and thunderstorm.
The race went under caution on lap 42 when the No. 18 car of Dale Coyne Racing’s Conor Daly (right) got loose out of turn 4 and spun into the No. 21 car of Ed Carpenter Racing’s Josef Newgarden. Newgarden’s car was flipped onto its side before being smashed into the SAFER barrier by Daly’s out-of-control machine, cockpit-first.
Daly walked away from the wreck unharmed. Newgarden got out of his car with some help from the Holmatro Safety Crew before crumbling to the ground in an evident state of shock. He has since been transported to a local hospital for examinations on his right shoulder and right wrist. It was later revealed that he had fractured both his right clavicle and a bone in his right wrist. He is expected to be released from the hospital tonight.
“Thank you to Dallara, IndyCar, the Holmatro Safety Team, and everyone we work with at Texas Motor Speedway,” Newgarden said. “The car held up great and the response from the safety team was amazing. I’m banged up a little bit but I’m generally OK. That’s all thanks to IndyCar and all the work everyone within the series does. I am feeling a little pain, but I hope to be ready to rock and go again soon. We had a great car today, it just did not go how we had planned. I feel bad for both Conor and myself, but I’m glad Conor is OK as well. I’ll be back out there fighting as soon as I can. Luckily I am all right, thank you again to everyone who helped me.”
Right up there in championship contention in 4th place, Newgarden may be forced to miss some time, which will probably ruin his chances at the championship this season with just 8 races to go. However, his progress at each and every race track since starting in the series back in 2012 goes to show that he could be the “next big thing” in IndyCar, so he should be one of the front-runners for many years to come in the sport.
On August 27th, the race will resume where it left off, with all cars in their respective positions. Since some cars were on different pit strategies than others, we will have to wait and see from IndyCar what they will do about the tires and fuel loads for each of the drivers. The next race in the series will be on Sunday, June 26th, at the 14-turn 4.048-mile Road America natural terrain road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The race will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network at 12:30 PM ET.