‘I really just went into fight mode’ - Newgarden

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‘I really just went into fight mode’ - Newgarden


‘I really just went into fight mode’ - Newgarden


Josef Newgarden’s response to the adversity he encountered last Sunday with a crash that exceeded 80g and led to a collapse later in the day was to fight. Vying for his third NTT IndyCar Series championship, the Tennessean wasn’t willing to dial back and accept that he might need to skip this weekend’s race on the Indianapolis road course.

“I really just went into fight mode in that, I don’t know what I have; I don’t know how severe a concussion I do have. I don’t even know if I have one. So I just went in and rested for 48 hours as intensively as I could. Nothing really bugged me. I just did things because I heard they were the right things to do,” he said after qualifying the No. 2 Team Penske Chevy in fifth place.

“By the time Tuesday came around, I felt pretty solid. I didn’t feel anything out of the norm after Iowa.”

Newgarden had driver friends — including James Hinchcliffe, who’d been through similar ordeals — reach out to offer advice on how to cope with the possible effects of a concussion.

“My lovely and amazing wife did most of the communication for me, but she was communicating with anybody that had any sort of advice, whether it was good or bad; we’ll filter it out,” he said. “Hinch was one of them. People like Hinch have been through incidents like this. You know, they’re not all like for like; his is not necessarily related to what I was going through, but any information on what people do in these type of moments is helpful. So there was a lot of people that reached out and then we definitely made use of it.”

The outpouring of love and support was a constant immediately after Iowa. Newgarden says he took the opportunity to stay off of social media but plans to look back at the messages that were sent.

“I stayed off; I didn’t really get back on my phone until yesterday,” he said. “Which was kind of nice. You know, I definitely I missed a lot of appointments. I missed a lot of commitments that I had lined up on my calendar. And I had a great excuse. I’m like, ‘You know what, this can all wait. This can all wait.’ I’ll catch up next week when I can.”

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