(WINDSOR, ON) – Oakville’s James Hinchcliffe, 28, is out of the running for the 99th Indianapolis 500 after crashing in Turn 3, during practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, on Monday. Hinchcliffe was transferred by ambulance to IU Health Methodist Hospital where he underwent surgery to remove part of the car from his upper left thigh. Following the operation, he was moved to ICU and listed in stable condition.
“Obviously we’re relieved that James is awake and out of surgery,” said Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team owner Sam Schmidt, in a statement. “That’s the most important thing on our minds right now and we will do absolutely everything required to ensure a complete recovery.”
Hinchcliffe was about 50 minutes into the practice session when a pushrod failed in the front right suspension, causing his car to make contact with the barrier, at 229 mph. The No. 5 Honda burst apart upon contact as flames erupted, and the car careened down the track, almost overturning at one point. He was awake and alert when responders reached his vehicle.
American Connor Daly is the odds on favourite to replace Hinchcliffe in the No. 5 car for at least the next five races. Hinchcliffe will be out for the Dual in Detroit, the Houston Firestone 600, and the Toronto Indy, in addition to the Indianapolis 500 this Sunday.
IndyCar has ordered teams to use the higher down-force aero kits on the cars and called for a lower turbo boost, after three cars flipped during practice Sunday morning. Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, and Ed Carpenter all wrecked as their cars became airborne.
Scott Dixon won the pole position for the 500 with an average speed of 226.760 mph over four laps. Hinchcliffe qualified in 24th position at 223.519 mph.