Newgarden cleared to practice at Indy after Iowa collapse

FILE - Josef Newgarden, third from left, climbs out of his car after hitting a wall during the IndyCar Series auto 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 race in this weekend's shared event with NASCAR at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Newgarden collapsed and hit his head at Iowa Speedway following a hard crash. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

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FILE - Josef Newgarden, third from left, climbs out of his car after hitting a wall during the IndyCar Series auto 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 race in this weekend's shared event with NASCAR at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Newgarden collapsed and hit his head at Iowa Speedway following a hard crash. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Two-time IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden was cleared Thursday to practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway following his collapse after crashing at Iowa

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two-time IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden was cleared Thursday to practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway following his collapse after crashing at Iowa.

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

Newgarden was leading and headed to a sweep of the Iowa doubleheader Sunday when the suspension on his Team Penske car broke and he smashed hard into the wall. The driver from Nashville was evaluated in the Iowa medical center and cleared, but was required to undergo a second check Thursday by IndyCar officials at the speedway.

But not long after leaving the care center, Newgarden lost consciousness and collapsed in the motorhome lot. He hit his head on the pavement, opening a wound, and was airlifted to a Des Moines hospital and held overnight.

Team Penske stated all tests on Newgarden had been negative and he was held overnight as a precaution. The 31-year-old returned to Nashville on Monday and visited a specialist this week ahead of traveling to Indianapolis.

Team Penske had Santino Ferrucci on standby in case IndyCar said Newgarden can not race Saturday on the road course.

He arrived late afternoon at the speedway for another round of tests and was cleared Thursday evening to race.

Newgarden, who won Saturday’s race, dominated and led 148 of the 300 laps while trying to sweep the doubleheader weekend. He was shown as the points leader ahead of the hard collision — IndyCar confirmed his hit into the wall registered more than 80 G's of force — and he was visibly rattled by the crash that he said “definitely rocked me. I got a little bit shaken from it, but I’m OK."

The crash dropped Newgarden to a tie with Scott Dixon for third in the standings with five races remaining.

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Josef Newgarden waves after winning the IndyCar Series auto race Saturday, July 23, 2022, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

Josef Newgarden waves after winning the IndyCar Series auto race Saturday, July 23, 2022, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

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Josef Newgarden waves after winning the IndyCar Series auto race Saturday, July 23, 2022, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

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Josef Newgarden holds the trophy after winning the IndyCar Series auto race Saturday, July 23, 2022, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

Josef Newgarden holds the trophy after winning the IndyCar Series auto race Saturday, July 23, 2022, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

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Josef Newgarden holds the trophy after winning the IndyCar Series auto race Saturday, July 23, 2022, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

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Josef Newgarden drives during an IndyCar Series auto race, Sunday, July 24, 2022, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

Josef Newgarden drives during an IndyCar Series auto race, Sunday, July 24, 2022, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

Combined ShapeCaption
Josef Newgarden drives during an IndyCar Series auto race, Sunday, July 24, 2022, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

Credit: Charlie Neibergall