Ferrucci put on standby for Newgarden for Indy

Santino Ferrucci

Santino Ferrucci is on standby to replace Josef Newgarden at this weekend’s Indianapolis road course race, Team Penske has announced.

Newgarden has now been released from hospital, on Monday morning local time, after losing consciousness and collapsing as he exited a team transporter following the latter race of the Iowa IndyCar double-header.

That fall created concern for the two-time champion’s welfare given he had crashed heavily while holding a seemingly comfortable lead in that race.

Fortunately, all scans came back negative, but Newgarden was kept in hospital overnight for observation.

He will now have to pass a medical test this Thursday in order to be cleared to compete at Indianapolis, per IndyCar protocol.

If he does not get the green light, Ferrucci will take the Tennessean’s place in the #2 Chevrolet.

“Team Penske has announced that Santino Ferrucci will be on standby for IndyCar Series championship contender Josef Newgarden heading into this weekend’s race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course,” read a Penske statement.

“Newgarden was released from MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center earlier this morning [Monday morning, local time] and returned to his home in Nashville.

“Per series protocols, Newgarden will be reevaluated by the IndyCar Medical Team on Thursday to determine his status for the Gallagher Grand Prix.

“Should Newgarden not be able to race, Ferrucci will take the wheel of the No. 2 PPG Chevrolet.”

Ferrucci has a total of 43 IndyCar starts, including three this year, two of which were as a replacement driver.

He finished ninth at short notice at Texas as a fill-in for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing when Jack Harvey did not pass medical after a big practice incident.

The American then claimed 10th in a planned outing for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the Indianapolis 500, in which Callum Ilott crashed out and injured a hand.

Ferrucci was thus called into action again a week later at Detroit, where he got home 21st in the Juncos Hollinger Racing entry.

The 24-year-oold has two top 10 finishes on the Indianapolis road course, where practice for this weekend’s event begins on Friday night at 23:30 AEST.

That session, as well as Sunday morning’s (AEST) race, will be live and ad-free on Stan Sport.

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