FORT WORTH – On Lap 42 of the Firestone 600, Josef Newgarden and Conor Daly were involved in a hard crash exiting Turn 4.
Daly’s car, which was running beneath Newgarden, snapped loose and drove straight into Newgarden, sending both cars into the wall. Newgarden then rolled over as Daly’s pushed it down the frontstretch and they collided with the wall again.
After Newgarden was helped from his car, the 25-year-old briefly stood with the support of safety crew members before slumping to the ground where he sat against his car. Newgarden was then placed on a stretcher and gave a thumbs up to the crowd as he was placed in an ambulance.
Newgarden was initially announced as being taken to Harris Methodist Hospital for further evaluation of his right hand and right shoulder. But Newgarden is being transported by air to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.
Daly took full responsibility for the accident.
“I was the rookie that made the mistake,” Daly told CNBC. “Lost grip. Felt like I floated through the corner. It was my mistake. I should have recognized it.”
Daly said he was staying low on the track because he knew Newgarden was nearing him.
“I knew Josef was coming. I put too much load on the right rear,” Daly said. “He’s a tough kid. I felt so bad to ruin someone else’s race. You never want to take out someone else. ”
The accident took place right after the conclusion of the first round of green flag pit stops.
During the lengthy caution that followed, track crews worked to repair the SAFETY barrier on the frontstretch where Newgarden and Daly impacted the wall.
It has since led to a red flag for moisture, with the rain increasing.
Newgarden’s teammate and team owner Ed Carpenter told CNBC, “To be honest it doesn’t matter whose car it is. I saw it was bright green. You don’t care about the car. Sounds like he’s doing OK. From what I can tell it could have been a lot worse.”
Track president Eddie Gossage also addressed the accident with CNBC once the race was red flagged for rain.
“Did the (SAFER Barrier) save his life? Maybe, maybe not,” Gossage said, later adding, “All I know is that it appears that Josef Newgarden is OK, don’t know the total details of any injuries, if at all, but worth every penny today.”
Gossage said the foam that is in place in the wall, which must be replaced every three years, “had to be a little softer than it does for the bigger stock cars.”