Josef Newgarden will be hospitalized overnight for observation, Team Penske says

Josef Newgarden hospitalized
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Verizon
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DES MOINES, Iowa — Josef Newgarden will be hospitalized overnight for observation, but Team Penske indicated there was no significant head injury from the two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion’s fall after Sunday’s race at Iowa Speedway.

Newgarden was transported via helicopter to Mercy One Des Moines Medical Center after a fall in the motorhome lot. Newgarden had crashed out of the race while leading but had been checked and released from in the Iowa Speedway infield care center.

The No. 2 Dallara-Chevrolet driver will be evaluated Thursday by IndyCar medical staff, which will determine his status for Saturday’s race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. IndyCar will be on track Friday.

MONDAY UPDATE: Josef Newgarden released from hospital; Santino Ferrucci on standby for Indy

Here’s the statement late Sunday night from Team Penske:

“Josef Newgarden was involved in an incident late in Sunday’s race at Iowa Speedway, after which he was evaluated and released from the infield care center.

“Following the conclusion of the race, Newgarden lost consciousness and fell, sustaining a cut on the back of his head. Due to the 45-minute drive to MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center and the traffic outside the racetrack, the medical helicopter was determined to be the best mode of transportation. After being evaluated, all scans were negative.

“Newgarden will be held overnight for observation. Following IndyCar protocol, Newgarden will be evaluated by the IndyCar medical staff on Thursday.”

Because of the severity of the crash impact, Dr. Geoffrey Billows, the outgoing IndyCar medical director, said Newgarden was due to be evaluated Thursday regardless of his loss of consciousness after the race.

Newgarden was trying to sweep the doubleheader weekend at Iowa and would have been leading the IndyCar points standings with a second consecutive victory. Pato O’Ward won Sunday’s race as Marcus Ericsson remained the series points leader with five races remaining.

Outside the care center after the crash, Newgarden told NBC Sports’ Dave Burns that the impact “was definitely a bit of a shot.” His car lost traction in Turn 4 after an apparent suspension failure, according to Team Chevy officials.

Newgarden told other reporters in further interviews that the hit “definitely rocked me. I got a little bit shaken from it, but I’m OK.”

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.