It was another wild 500-mile Verizon IndyCar Series race, but like earlier this summer at Auto Club Speedway in California, it was plagued by high attrition and multiple accidents. And to make matters worse, one driver could be seriously injured. Although 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay took the victory in Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania, the concern is not focused on him, but more on the situation involving his teammate Justin Wilson, who was airlifted to a local hospital following a serious crash that also involved Chip Ganassi Racing’s Sage Karam in turn one of the 2.5 mile triangular circuit.
Wilson’s car made heavy contact with the inside SAFER barrier, however what appears to be more concerning is the fact that a piece off of Karam’s car flew off and hit Wilson in the helmet prior to that impact. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened in recent IndyCar competition to an Andretti Autosport pilot. Last year in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis, former Andretti driver James Hinchcliffe was also struck in the helmet by flying debris, but thankfully only suffered a concussion and was cleared to drive later in the month of May in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. At time of press, IndyCar officials reported that Wilson had suffered a head injury, but provided no further details on the severity. Karam was also transferred to a local hospital to deal with a right foot injury.
As for the race itself, several drivers shuffled for the lead during the event, a situation similar to the event at Auto Club Speedway where multiple lead changes and aggressive maneuvers, led to several drivers being eliminated prior to the conclusion by accidents.
In terms of the championship, the driver most negatively affected on Sunday was Graham Rahal, who entered the ABC Supply 500 just nine points behind Juan Pablo Montoya in the race for the series title. Rahal, who started fifth on Sunday was eliminated in a lap 92 incident with Dale Coyne Racing’s Tristan Vautier. Rahal, who was credited with a 20th place finish, suffered no injuries in the shunt. The Ohio-native is not eliminated in the title race, due to the fact that double points will be awarded next week in the season finale at Sonoma Raceway, but the task will be tougher as he is now 34 points behind Montoya, with Scott Dixon third in points 47 behind.
Behind Hunter-Reay, CFH Racing’s Josef Newgarden finished second on Sunday, followed by Montoya in third, with Will Power and Carlos Munoz rounding out the top five.
Stay tuned on OnPitRoad.com for further updates on the condition of Justin Wilson.