Photo: IndyCar

Newgarden sustains first heavy accident of Indy practice

Leave a comment

INDIANAPOLIS – Josef Newgarden has suffered his first setback as a member of the Team Penske squad, as the first driver to sustain a significant accident this month.

While running in traffic, notably around Ryan Hunter-Reay, the driver of the No. 2 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet lost control and crashed out exiting Turn 1, continuing with further contact into Turn 2.

Newgarden’s chassis has sustained right side and some heavy left front damage, and may cost him the rest of the day’s running.

A replay of the incident is below:

Newgarden was able to climb from his car without assistance from the Holmatro Safety Team, per INDYCAR. He was checked and released from the infield medical center and has been cleared to drive.

“I banged my foot a little bit, so it’s going to be bruised for the next couple of weeks, but I’ll get through that,” he said.

“I’m totally fine, the car did it’s job like it always has. We have a great safety crew here in INDYCAR, and we’ve got a great racing tub with Dallara.

“I’m fine, it’s a tough break for us on the No. 2 with Team Penske. It’s obviously not something you want to do, especially on a day like today, a pretty nice day with no issues.

“I haven’t had a chance to look at, it just seemed to get away from me when I was trying to get in and keep out of the way of the guys behind me.

“I just got called into the pits, and I didn’t want to check up for they guys behind me, and cause a problem, but it just seemed to get away from me, but until I get a chance to look at it, I’m not 100% sure what caused it.” 

Although rookie Jack Harvey sustained a slight incident in Turn 2 on Monday, this was the first major accident in practice for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

Newgarden was fourth on the day with a best speed of 225.455 mph, set in a tow. He did not record a no-tow speed today.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.