Robert Wickens will remain in an Allentown, PA. hospital overnight following a wild crash on Lap 6 of the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway Sunday afternoon.
Wickens was racing underneath Ryan Hunter-Reay in the tunnel turn at Pocono when the two made contact and both went spinning. Wickens’ car hit the wall and then climbed it, which sent him barreling into the catchfence. Teammate James Hinchcliffe, Pietro Fittipaldi and Takuma Sato were also involved in the accident, but all, except Wickens, were checked and released from the infield care centre.
Wickens was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest where initial reports said he suffered orthopedic injuries.
“Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens is being treated for injuries to his lower extremities, right arm and spine following an incident in the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway,” the team and series released in a joint statement. “He also sustained a pulmonary contusion. He will undergo an MRI and probable surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest. Further updates on his condition will be provided when available.”
Brazilian driver Fittipaldi, who was injured in a severe sports car crash while qualifying for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in May, walked away from this accident uninjured.
“I’m feeling great, thank God,” said Fittipaldi. “Obviously feeling a little sore from the impact but I’m 100 per cent. No broken bones so I’m fine.
“I just saw a little smoke ahead and saw I was going to hit Hinch head on, so I slammed the brakes and tried to get low, and when I did that I lost the rear of the car and hit him sideways.”
Hinchcliffe, who was hit in the hand by a piece of debris in the accident, didn’t immediately comment, choosing instead to visit Wickens in hospital, but released a statement via INDYCAR later in the evening.
“Yeah – not the race day we were hoping for,” he said. “You know, I saw the accident happening in front of me. (Zach) Veach started sliding up, I tried to slow down and just kind of lost it in the fray. As I was going backward, I think Pietro (Fittipaldi) had nowhere to go and came into me. Other than that, there was a bunch of stuff going on, I’m not sure exactly what happened.
“I took my hands off the wheel when I went backward, and I think some piece of debris came in as I was holding them (my hands) in, kind of just smacked the top of them so I took a bit of a beating, but nothing is broken, just some swelling and some cuts. We’ll rest it up and be fine. Obviously, I’m just hoping Robbie’s (Robert Wickens) alright. Never good to see a car go up (into the fence) like that, but I know he is in good hands. Hopefully, we’ll see him back in the car soon.”
The series will continue to update Wickens’ condition as more information is made available.