IndyCar star in ICU after fiery crash at Indy 500 practice

James Hinchcliffe, of Canada, hits the wall in the third turn during practice for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Monday, May 18, 2015. (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Jimmy Dawson)

Hinchcliffe’s car hit the wall and caught fire for a short period of time. At least one of his wheels came off and he flipped. The crash happened around 1:20 p.m.

Medics quickly responded after Hinchcliffe didn’t get out of the car. Hinchcliffe was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital. IMS officials said via Twitter that Hinchcliffe injured his upper thigh and underwent surgery. After surgery, Hinchcliffe was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit.

“Obviously we’re relieved that James is awake and out of surgery,” said Sam Schmidt, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team owner. “That’s the most important thing on our minds right now and we will do absolutely everything required to ensure a complete recovery.”

Monday afternoon’s crash continues a trend of crashes at IMS this May. Helio Castroneves and Pippa Mann crashed the same day. Ed Carpenter’s crash this weekend prompted changes to Indianapolis 500 qualifying.

Monday’s practice was initially called off after Hinchcliffe’s crash, but did resume later in the afternoon following practice for the Indy Lights series drivers.

Quickly after the crash, Hinchcliffe’s name was trending on Twitter in Indianapolis. Other big names in IndyCar were tweeting about the crash and wishing him well.

There was no practice scheduled at the track Tuesday.

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