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“Hinchcliffe undergoes surgery after crash”


By Dave Lewandowski
Published: May 18, 2015
Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe underwent surgery for an injury to his upper left thigh at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda he was driving made hard right-side contact with the Turn 3 SAFER Barrier and slid on its left side all the way into Turn 4 about 50 minutes into practice on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

He was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit and remains in stable condition. Updates on his condition will be provided when available. Hinchcliffe, who was awake when the Holmatro Safety Team arrived on the scene, was transported by ground to the nearby hospital.

“Obviously we’re relieved that James is awake and out of surgery,” Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team co-owner Sam Schmidt said. “That’s the most important thing on our minds right now and we will do absolutely everything required to ensure a complete recovery.”

A Honda spokesman said the right-front suspension failed as Hinchcliffe’s car was entering the turn.

He had just turned a lap of 223.916 mph and was completing his 23rd lap in the practice session scheduled from 12:30-4 p.m. (ET). After more than an hour of track repairs and investigation into the cause of the incident, INDYCAR called the session checkered. Cars returned for a 4:15-6 p.m. practice. On May 17, he qualified on the outside of Row 8 with a four-lap average speed of 223.519 mph.

“It is tough and never easy to see a friend of yours hurt, but this is the sport we chose. Accident happen. We hate them, but it’s part of our job,” said Tony Kanaan, who will make his 300th Indy car start in the May 24 Indianapolis 500. ”

Hinchcliffe, 28, of Toronto, is in his first season with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. He won the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on April 12 and has one other top-10 finish (seventh in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on April 26) in five races. In 73 starts covering five Verizon IndyCar Series seasons, Hinchcliffe has four victories and 19 top-five finishes.
In four Indianapolis 500 starts, he has a best finish of sixth in 2012. He qualified second in 2014 while with Andretti Autosport.

The incident is the fifth this month in preparation for the 99th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Last week in practice, Helio Castroneves, Pippa Mann and Josef Newgarden were involved in crashes. On May 17, Ed Carpenter’s car made contact with the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier. The incident, along with the others, prompted INDYCAR to reduce the engine boost level and require entries to run their race aerodynamic configuration in qualifications.

The drivers in those incidents were uninjured.

Scott Dixon earned the Verizon P1 Award for the pole position with a four-lap average speed of 226.760 mph in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.