INDIANAPOLIS – Just nine days after suffering a broken collarbone and right hand in a crash at the Texas Motor Speedway, Josef Newgarden was hoping to be cleared by doctors on Tuesday to compete in this weekend’s Kohler Grand Prix at Road America. The Verizon IndyCar Series hasn’t made a decision yet on whether Newgarden was first cleared by doctors, and two, then cleared to compete this weekend, but Ed Carpenter Racing put the American on the official entry-list for the race this weekend.
The team issued a quick statement today that J.R. Hildebrand will be on standby this week if Newgarden isn’t cleared and will also be in Elkhart Lake this weekend just in case Newgarden can’t race either.
It’s one thing to be cleared and it’s another to be able to compete at a high enough level with all the g-forces that he’s going to be taking in the car this weekend.
Hildebrand is the relief driver if needed.
Newgarden, was involved in a scary accident with Conor Daly in the Firestone 600 at the Texas Motor Speedway on June 5, as his No. 21 Fuzzy’s Chevrolet was lifted airborne and nearly into the catch fencing on the front stretch. Luckily, he never got into the fencing, as he was luckily to climb out of his car two weeks ago.
Now, he’s trying to make a comeback as he hinted to Robin Miller of RACER that he’d like to race this weekend if he’s indeed cleared to return.
The Tennessee native is fourth in the standings as he’s still in the thick of things to win this year’s championship. Missing Sunday would likely eliminate him from title contention, as that’s the main reason why he wants to get back behind the wheel.
He’s a competitor and wired differently. Most people would question on if they want to race anymore, Newgarden not only is anxiously wanting to get back in the car, but he’s wanting to do so without missing any time.
A decision is expected to be announced later this week.