IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe suffered life-threatening injuries during his crash at Indy 500 practice on Monday, fellow driver Ryan Hunter-Reay told SI Now on Tuesday.
"Things were looking touch-and-go at times," Hunter-Reay said. “Without knowing all the facts, I can’t say exactly what’s ahead for him. But certainly it's not going to be an easy recovery."
IndyCar provided an update on Hinchcliffe's status later Tuesday, saying that the driver is "improving and remains in stable condition" after undergoing surgery. He's been ruled out of Verizon IndyCar Series competition "for the foreseeable future."
Team owner Sam Schmidt told the Indianapolis Star that Hinchcliffe had a damaged artery in his leg.
"If this would have happened at most of the places we race at things might have been different,” Schmidt said. “If he would have had to go from the ambulance to the track medical center to a helicopter to 30 minutes (to the hospital), I hate to say that would have been a challenge."
Hinchcliffe underwent surgery to stop massive bleeding in his left leg, according to the Associated Press. A piece of the car’s suspension went through Hinchcliffe’s left thigh, Schmidt said. The AP reported that “the piece of equipment needed to be removed.”
Monday’s crash was the second in as many days at the track. On Sunday, qualifying for the Indy 500 was delayed after Ed Carpenter crashed during practice. There were two other accidents last week, one involving Helio Castroneves on Wednesday, and the other on Thursday when Josef Newgarden's car flipped after he lost control and hit a wall.
- Dan Gartland