James Hinchcliffe's No.5

The Mayor of Hinchtown, James Hinchcliffe, drove his No.5 Arrows/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda hard head on into the Turn Three wall. He spun and his right rear and side slammed before bouncing the spinning flaming car onto the track, going two wheels up on his right side before landing back on all four wheels. It looked like something failed on the car as he drove straight off.

The crash came during the first hour of practice. Thirty-one drivers were in Pit Lane, and 25 had been on track.

Practice was originally put on hold while the SAFER wall being replaced.

Then, at 2:25pm ET the checkered flag was thrown on the INDYCAR pratice session, so “INDYCAR could continue to investigate the accident of No.5. It hoped that INDYCAR could practice later in the day.”

Indy Lights practice, originally scheduled for 4-7pm ET was moved up to 3:15-5:15pm ET.

The popular Canadian driver was awake and alert, put on a backboard and transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for evaluation. Later came word from INDYCAR: Dr Michael Olinger, INDYCAR medical director said “James Hinchcliffe sustained an injury to upper thigh and is currently in surgery at IU Health Methodist Hospital. Additional updates to his condition will be released when they are available.”

James Hinchcliffe

Hinch had been scheduled to fly to Toronto, with Josef Newgarden/No.21 Century 21 CFH Racing Chevrolet and Sage Karam/No.8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chevrolet as part of the Tuesday Tour for all 33 of the INDYCAR drivers. Kate Guerra, INDYCAR Manager, Advance Communications, was going along. The plan was for the boys to do a ‘car wash’, which is the term of making the rounds of the broadcast station. In this case, it’s INDYCAR Canadian TV partner, StarNet. They were slated to visit all the different StarNet TV shows. The schedule even called for them to go to “Make-Up.” If anyone could jolly up Karam, it would be those two – Hinch and Josef.

Hinchcliffe had been running ninth of twenty-five drivers, at a speed of 223.916 mph.

I had a brief conversation with Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay earlier in the morning, in a Media Center elevator ride. They were in very relaxed, joking mood, full of the quick quips.

More as we learn it.