FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — IndyCar driver Josef Newgarden broke his right collarbone in a scary crash at Texas on Sunday after his car was slammed to its side and slid along the frontstretch wall with the top of the cockpit exposed.
Newgarden also had a small fracture in his right hand from the accident. His car was crushed after Conor Daly’s car got loose and then snapped into him.
“I’m banged up a little bit, but I’m generally OK,” Newgarden said in a statement. “I am feeling a little pain but I hope to be ready to rock and go again soon.”
Newgarden was transported by helicopter from the track to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas after the accident. He was expected to be released Sunday evening.
The race never went green again after the accident on lap 42 of the Firestone 600. Workers were still doing repairs to the SAFER barrier when the race was red flagged after 71 laps as a thunderstorm moved into the area and over the track. With more rain possible Monday, the resumption of the race was scheduled for Aug. 27.
Daly’s car got loose coming out of Turn 4 snapped into the No. 21 car driven by Newgarden. After the initial contact, the cars started drifting down the track before pushing back up with Newgarden’s car on its side when hitting and sliding along the wall.
Both drivers were able to climb out of their cars. But after Newgarden got out and stood briefly by his car, he crumbled into a sitting position on the track while talking to safety officials and indicating issues on the right side of his body. After being put on a stretcher and before being loaded onto an ambulance, Newgarden waved and gave a thumbs-up to the crowd — with his left arm.
“I feel bad for both Conor and myself, but I’m glad Conor is OK as well,” said Newgarden, who thanked IndyCar and track safety crews for how they responded to the accident. “Luckily I am all right. Thank you again to everyone who helped me.”
Daly was taken to the infield care center, where he was checked and cleared. He spoke there with Newgarden, his longtime friend.
“I apologized to him in there because it was my mistake, for sure,” Daly said. “He’s a tough kid; I grew up with him. I feel so bad.”
Daly, who had not yet pitted for new tires, said the rear end of his car lost all grip as it drifted from Turns 3 and 4.
“I lost it in front of Josef,” he said.
Both cars were heavily damaged, as was the SAFER barrier that absorbed the impact when Newgarden hit the wall.
“In a situation like that it doesn’t really matter whose car it is. Obviously I went by and saw it was bright green, and just asked if Josef was all right,” said Ed Carpenter, his car owner and teammate. “As a team owner, you don’t really care about the car.”
The scheduled 248-lap race had been postponed late Saturday night after unsuccessful attempts to dry the track following afternoon rain then. The start Sunday was delayed about 40 minutes while officials continued to dry the track.
When the red flag was displayed, the race was 54 laps shy of being an official race.
Marty Armstrong, a tire changer for AJ Foyt Racing, received stitches on his lower back after an air hose got caught up on Jack Hawksworth’s car as the No. 41 pulled out of the pit stall.