IndyCar: Possible Josef Newgarden replacement revealed

Santino Ferrucci is on standby for Team Penske in the event that Josef Newgarden cannot compete in Saturday’s IndyCar race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden appeared to be well on his way to sweeping the Iowa Speedway IndyCar doubleheader and securing his fifth win at the track on Sunday afternoon after dominating Saturday’s race and much of Sunday’s.

But something on his car failed and sent him hard into the turn four wall on lap 236 of the 300-lap Hy-Vee Salute to Famers 300 around the four-turn, 0.894-mile (1.439-kilometer) Newton, Iowa oval.

The driver of the #2 Chevrolet was checked and released from the infield care center, but he fell shortly thereafter and was taken to MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center after sustaining a cut on the back of his head.

Team Penske released the following two statements detailing the situation.

As stated, Newgarden is to be evaluated again by the IndyCar medical staff on Thursday, when it will likely be determined if he can compete in Saturday afternoon’s race the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

But in the event that he is not cleared to compete in this 85-lap race around the 13-turn, 2.439-mile (3.925-kilometer) Speedway, Indiana road course, a track where he won in October 2020, Team Penske have confirmed that they have Santino Ferrucci on standby.

Ferrucci, a former full-time IndyCar driver for Dale Coyne Racing, has competed in three races this year, and he has recorded two top 10 finishes, a ninth place finish at Texas Motor Speedway and a 10th place finish in the Indy 500.

Two of his three starts this year have come in relief of another driver. He replaced Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Jack Harvey at Texas Motor Speedway, and he replaced Juncos Hollinger Racing rookie Callum Ilott at Belle Isle.

In four career starts at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Ferrucci has two top 10 finishes as well, and those also happen to be finishes of ninth and 10th place. In 29 career road/street course starts, he has nine top 10 finishes and a best finish of sixth at Belle Isle.

Newgarden hasn’t missed a start since the September 2012 race on the streets of Baltimore in his rookie season.

Through 12 of 17 races on this year’s schedule, the 31-year-old Hendersonville, Tennessee native sits in third place in the championship standings with a series-high four wins.

Saturday’s race, the Gallagher Grand Prix, is set to be broadcast live on NBC from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET, so if you haven’t had the chance to start a free trial of FuboTV, be sure to do so now!