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via Getty

via Getty

Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner, Josef Newgarden, was involved in one of the most gruesome crashes of his NTT IndyCar career during Saturday’s Fast Six qualifying rounds at Road America. The crash occurred during the final lap, which would determine the starting position for the XPEL Grand Prix of Road America.

In a desperate attempt to grab a pole for himself, Newgarden’s No.2 Chevrolet lost the grip off the racetrack in turn 2 and flew off course, ramming hard into the safer barrier. Fortunately, despite the hard hit the driver climbed out of the damaged race car, unscathed. Even NASCAR driver, Brad Keselowski was baffled to see Newgarden come out clean, without any injuries from the accident.

Speaking after being relieved from the care center, the Penske driver admitted that it was his fault that cost his team the pole win. “I feel like an idiot, I got a little bit wide, and you can’t do that in this position. This is IndyCar, it gets tight, and I pushed it a little too far there. I apologize to my guys; I don’t know if the lap was good enough, but that was a rocketship car.”

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Sharing his insights on the incident, Brad Keselowski took to his X account and wrote, “The sound of this hit… whoa. Impressive that he walked away ok.” Despite the hard impact, the RFK Racing driver highlighted the crucial role the safer barriers played in minimizing the damage to the race car driver. This was the hardest hit Newgarden had experienced since his 2016 crash in Texas, where he broke his wrist and had serious damage to his shoulder.

Not only Keselowski but even NASCAR fans were left stunned to see the brutal crash of Newgarden. Although NASCAR itself has its fair share of gut-wrenching wrecks, this was indeed one of the most brutal accidents fans had witnessed in a while.

NASCAR fans react to Josef Newgraden’s crash at Road America

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Earlier in the day, Road America had witnessed massive rainfall. While the track was dry enough for racing, there was a fine line drivers had to tread to keep from crashing, Unfortunately, Newgarden pushed his luck a bit too far and paid the prize. Perhaps this is one of the reasons, NASCAR avoids racing in the rain or even in damp. “That’s one of the hardest hits I’ve seen in a while… For anyone who wonders why NASCAR doesn’t push the limits in the rain on ovals, here is Exhibit A.”

The Motorsports world has lost some gems of racer car drivers due to the unavailability of proper safety measures. Dale Earnhardt from NASCAR and Ayrton Senna are the notable names who lost their lives because the onus back then wasn’t put on drivers’ safety. Heaping praise for the safer barriers fans added, “Pre safer barriers that woulda put him on the shelf for a while at best.”

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“That one’s gonna hurt in the morning damn. Safer barriers ftw.”

While there are a few frightening crashes in today’s era of racing, this particular one came as a surprise for many. For the most part, thanks to the sophisticated safety mechanisms around which the race cars are built and also the use of safer barriers have helped mitigate such freak accidents. “Man! That’s one you don’t see often in modern road course racing. Most of those opportunities have been taken away.”

Another user also wished the best for the NASCAR drivers who themselves will be competing this weekend on the road course race track at Sonoma Raceway. “I guess he slung the impact to the passenger side. That was HARD. Good luck Brad.👍🏻”

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Meanwhile, some others were just taken aback just by watching the video clip of the horrifying crash. “Wow! that hurts to watch.” Another one echoed the same thought, saying, “It hurts just listening to it.”

In general motor racing is a risky sport, but fortunately, there has been progress in the advancement of safety technology that has allowed for a safer racing experience compared to past events.