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IndyCar officials clear Newgarden to qualify for race


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Josef Newgarden has been cleared to qualify for Saturday’s IndyCar race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after being re-evaluated by doctors following Friday morning’s practice session.

The two-time series champ collapsed in his motorhome, striking the back of his head after crashing during last weekend’s race at Iowa and was airlifted to a hospital. Newgarden was leading the race and in position to sweep the two Iowa races when his suspension apparently broke, sending him spinning hard into the wall.

He was initially cleared at the infield care center.

Series officials gave Newgarden the OK to practice Thursday — with the stipulation he would be rechecked between practice and qualifying.

The popular 31-year-old driver from Tennessee posted the second-fastest lap in practice, completing Indianapolis’ road course in 1 minute, 10.1121 seconds. He had Team Penske’s quickest car.

Only Alexander Rossi, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner, was faster at 1:10.0919.

Qualifying is scheduled for later Friday.

Newgarden has won a series-best four races this season and is tied for third with Scott Dixon in the standings, 34 points behind Marcus Ericsson of Sweden. Ericsson won this year’s Indy 500.


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