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McLaughlin on Newgarden: “We just want him to be OK”

Team Penske-Chevrolet IndyCar star Scott McLaughlin says he’s not been in direct contact with teammate Josef Newgarden since the latter’s fainting incident at Iowa, and is instead giving him time to recover.

Chevrolet display, Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet, Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet, Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Chevrolet display, Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet, Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet, Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Newgarden suffered a shunt while leading the second race at Iowa Speedway last Sunday, which Team Penske president Tim Cindric confirmed with Motorsport.com was due to a suspected broken right-rear shock absorber.

While appearing lucid on emerging from the infield medical center, Newgarden later lost consciousness and fell in the motorhome parking lot. He was then taken to a hospital in Des Moines, IA, where he stayed overnight for observation.

The two-time champion will need to get clearance from IndyCar Medical on Thursday before he will be allowed to practice for this weekend’s Gallagher Grand Prix on the Indianapolis road course. Santino Ferrucci is on standby to sub for him in Penske’s #2 PPG car.

But McLaughlin, who has been shooting video podcasts “Bus Bros” with Newgarden since May said that he was allowing his friend and the Newgarden family space to recover.

“He's obviously a very close friend of mine – we obviously do the Bus Bros and stuff together, and we’re teammates, whatever. Ultimately when I found out what happened, it was a bit of a shock to the system, not just for me but everyone. Main thing is just want him to be OK…

“I haven't spoken to him personally. I've let him go to it. I've texted Ashley [Newgarden’s wife] and his father Joey. It sounds like he's just typical Josef, just fighting, doing his thing. I hope he just gets better soon. I'm sure we'll see him on Thursday and it will be great to catch up…

“It was actually my wife that told me something happened with Josef. But I didn't see Josef: I just took Joey, his dad, to the medical center. He didn't know where it was. I was actually there Saturday night, so I knew exactly where it was, for an IV drip…

“I don't want to get involved. He's in the best care possible and I just wanted to give them the space they needed as a family. It wasn't my way. Yeah, just wanted to help where I could.”

McLaughlin, who has scored his first two IndyCar victories this year, said he had no qualms over working with Ferrucci, should Newgarden not be cleared.

“I've just been focused on my job,” said the series sophomore. “Obviously we know Santino is on standby. I don't know Santino that well. Just raced with him and stuff like that.

“I guess for all of us at Penske, we really hope Josef's going to be okay. He's right in the thick of the championship. We hope he gets cleared to race. That's the ultimate for all of us at Penske.

“But the team has had to go out and have a Plan B – that's just part of it. We all understand that. I just really hope Josef's back. If it does happen that Santino subs for him, we'll work with him just like any other teammate.”

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