Photo: Chris Owens/INDYCAR

Josef Newgarden Hits Wall During Indianapolis 500 Practice

By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana- Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden was third fastest in practice for the 101st Indianapolis 500 and had just been called into the pits when his car got loose and became the week’s first victim of heavy wall contact, hitting between Turn 1 and Turn 2 during practice.

His No. 2 hum by Verizon Chevrolet hit the wall a second time in Turn 2 before coming to a stop. The Tennessee native was checked and released from the medical center and cleared to drive.

“I banged my left foot a little bit so it’s going to be bruised, which I’ll get through that,” The 2011 Indy Lights champion said.

“The car did its job like it always has, we’ve got a great safety crew here in INDYCAR and a great racing tub with Dallara and all the safety equipment that we do just makes the cars very reliable. I’m fine, tough break for us on the 2 car with Team Penske, it’s not obviously something you want to do especially on a day like today [with a] pretty nice day out [and] no big issues.

“So disappointed that we ran into a problem, we were coming in so I haven’t even had a chance to look at what happened, you know it seemed to just get away from me when I was trying to get in and keep it out of the way from the guys behind me and tat’s really all I know.”

“I just got called into the pits, so I was coming in, I didn’t want to check up too much for the guys behind me and cause a problem but it just seemed to get away from me, so until I get to look at everything I’m not 100% sure what caused it,” Newgarden added.

To that point Newgarden was the fastest Penske car.

“We were having a really good day, I think we had a good run going up until that so again I’m not sure what went on. It was probably my mistake but until I get to look at everything it’s hard to tell so I feel bad for our guys that we’ve got extra work here when we really don’t want to be having extra work so that’s what’s tough.”

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, DeHarde primarily focuses on the Verizon IndyCar Series, but has also covered NASCAR, the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Tudor United Sports Car Championship. A contributor to motorsport.com, Christopher DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.