Published: Wed, August 22, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

IndyCar driver Wickens has rods, screws placed into spine

IndyCar driver Wickens has rods, screws placed into spine

Injured Verizon IndyCar Series driver Robert Wickens had an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) procedure on Monday and has a spinal injury, according to a statement released by IndyCar and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

IndyCar officials announced on Monday that Wickens would undergo surgery for his spinal injury.

Wickens was airlifted from the Pocono race track following the crash in the opening laps of Sunday's race. The IndyCar rookie will need further surgeries to fix fractures in this lower extremities and right forearm. Wickens tried to go underneath Hunter-Reay's Honda, but as the turn closed up, the two cars made contact and that sent Wickens' Honda airborne.

Wickens collected Hunter-Reay's Dallara, was launched into the catch-fencing before spinning endlessly in the air, with all four corners of the auto torn off. The fencing was shredded and Wickens' vehicle reduced to just the tub, which came to a rest on the track along an interior wall. Hinchcliffe appeared to suffer a wrist injury as a result of the mishap but was cleared and released from the medical centre. "At least he is alive", said French driver Sebastien Bourdais. The impact of the wreck tore out about 80 feet of fence, damaged a few posts and stopped the race. But he got back in the auto. Graham Rahal got into the back of Spencer Pigot before the race even got to green.

"We'll enjoy this one, but dark cloud (today)", Rossi said.

"I know he is in good hands". Bourdais raised concerns about the quality of the repairs and condition of the fence before he got back in the auto.

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"It may not be the prettiest job but it's going to be safe", May said.

He was 33. Franchitti, 45, a four-time IndyCar champion and three-time victor of the Indianapolis 500, retired from racing after being involved in a serious crash at the Grand Prix of Houston in October 2013.

Bourdais said the repairs were "pretty lousy".

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, the team Wickens drives for, issued the following statement Tuesday morning.

The 49-year-old Tracy, affectionately dubbed The Thrill From West Hill, was the 2003 Champ Car (now IndyCar) champion whose aggressive driving style and unwillingness to pull punches off the track helped foster a bad-boy reputation.

A year earlier, Hinchcliffe suffered a concussion when he was hit in the helmet by a piece of debris on the road course at Indianapolis.

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