Josef Newgarden and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) settled into a progressive march through the pack of the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday, but their work was cut short when an incident with Dragon Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais knocked Newgarden out of the race.
On lap 65, Bourdais went off course in front of Newgarden. Bourdais then quickly veered back onto the track in front of Newgarden. The two cars collided sending Newgarden nose-first into the Turn-8 tire wall.
Newgarden was assisted from the car by the IndyCar Holmatro Safety Team and taken to the track’s medical center. The rookie driver injured his left index finger and will be evaluated further when he returns home to Indianapolis.
“We had a decent run and were trying to salvage what we could from this weekend in Sonoma,” Newgarden said. “We got an unlucky break with Bourdais when he got in trouble in front of me.
“Unfortunately, Bourdais came right across the track and I had nowhere to go,” Newgarden added. “I kept my hands on the wheel because it happened so fast and that’s when my finger got hurt. It’s the hardest hit I’ve ever had.”
The No. 67 SFHR Angie’s List Dallara/Honda/Firestone car sustained significant damage in the incident.
“Pretty much every body panel, the tub and the engine will need to be repaired,” Mike O’Gara, team manager for SFHR, said. “The first six inches of the tub are basically crushed. Every piece of suspension was damaged, so the car is pretty much a write-off at the moment.”
Newgarden and SFHR were scored in the 23rd position after the incident.
Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske won the GoPro Indy Grand Prix in Sonoma, which was his first win of the 2012 season. Will Power, who led for 57 laps, finished in second.
Dario Franchitti, Rubens Barrichello and Graham Rahal completed the top-five. The race was slowed by two caution periods for a total of 11 laps.
The IZOD IndyCar Series returns to action next weekend for the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT on Sunday, September 2.