BY JIM MILLER WEEKLY INDYCAR WRITER
After already being delayed one day due to wet track conditions, the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway was halted after 71 laps on Sunday because of more heavy rain. With the forecast not looking any better IndyCar and TMS officials decided to reschedule the completion of the race to August 27 under the lights.
The race was scheduled for 248 laps. Per INDYCAR rules, a race must complete at least half its scheduled lap distance to be considered official.
James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) was leading when the race was red flagged. The cars will restart the race in August in the same order they held at the completion of Lap 71.
The day had a terrifying moment on Lap 42 when Conor Daly (Dale Coyne Racing) spun exiting Turn 4 collecting Josef Newgarden (Ed Carpenter Racing) shoving his car into the SAFER wall cockpit first before flipping over and sliding upside down several hundred feet down the track.
Newgarden climbed out of what was left of his car but collapsed as safety team members reached him with a stretcher. He gave a thumbs-up the crowd as they loaded him into the ambulance.
Daly was cleared at the track’s medical center while Newgarden was airlifted to Parklin Memorial Hospital in Dallas where he was treated for a broken right clavicle and a fracture to his right wrist. He was released from the hospital Sunday evening.
The race continued under yellow as the SAFER barrier was repaired. Officials stated there was no doubt the impact-absorbing SAFER barrier saved Newgarden’s life.
Jay Frye, IndyCar President of Competition and Operations, commented that it was “unlikely” that the wrecked Newgarden and Daly will be allowed to make up the 29 laps they failed to complete following their accident before the race was called.
As Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais, Mikhail Aleshin and Townsend Bell flew out Sunday afternoon from Dallas to France to participate in this coming weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the other drivers have a week off before the much anticipated return to Road America for the Kohler Grand Prix on June 26th.