Michael Andretti faces backlash in wake of horrific IndyCar crash at Pocono

Spencer Pigot

Pigot will start 16th for Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway

Driver Robert Wickens was taken to a local hospital by helicopter and racing was stopped after a violent crash on the ninth lap in the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.

Wickens touched with Ryan Hunter-Reay from the inside of Turn 2, pitching the American's #28 Andretti Autosport DHL auto around and Wickens was lifted onto the SAFER barrier which led to him sliding into the catch fencing, destroying his #6 SPM machine.

The driver from Guelph, Ont., was attempting to pass Ryan Hunter-Reay when the two cars slightly touched. The contact caused Hunter-Reay to go into the wall, while Wickens' auto went airborne and slammed into the wall before spinning out on the track. IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert when he was taken to the infield care center and was airlifted to a hospital in nearby Allentown, Pennsylvania, for evaluation. Takuma Sato, Pietro Fittipaldi, and James Hinchcliffe also took heavy damage to their cars in the chain reaction.

"I was lucky to get out of that one", said Hunter-Reay. "Hopefully, we'll see him back in the auto soon", Hinchcliffe said.

The IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway remains on hold following a crash that sent driver Robert Wickens to the hospital. Track President Ben May said: "It may not be the prettiest job but it's going to be safe". Graham Rahal and Spencer Pigot tangled as the field was coming to the green flag start of the race.

Robert Wickens was hospitalised after this.

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Medical staff were alongside Wickens nearly immediately, stabilising the driver before transporting him via helicopter to hospital. Pigot spun and hit the wall. "We'll continue to think of him and pray for him, his family, his fiancee; all that they have to deal with".

UPDATE 2 (2:53 p.m. ET): IndyCar officials say the repairs to the catchfence will take at least another 30 minutes.

IndyCar drivers can steel their will to put any kind of bad news behind them once they get behind the wheel and hit 220 miles per hour in an open cockpit.

Australian driver Will Power said he was relieved to know Wickens, who drives for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, was alert.

Hinchcliffe survived his own life-threatening injury when a broken part from his vehicle pierced an artery during a 2015 crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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. Team owner Dale Coyne said Fittipaldi had a sore ankle and did not believe it was broken again. Wickens has four consecutive top-five finishes, including second at Mid-Ohio and third at Toronto.

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