INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Santino Ferrucci crashed during Thursday afternoon’s practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first major incident on the track leading up to the May 30 Indianapolis 500.
News 8’s Charlie Clifford and Olivia Ray said the 22-year-old on the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team was first evaluated at the track’s medical center. He was visibly unable to put weight on his left leg as he was helped from the wrecked No. 45 car, which received heavy damage to its left rear.
Dr. Geoffrey L. Billows, medical director at the speedway, said within an hour of the crash that Ferrucci was taken to a downtown hospital for imaging to his lower left leg, but he was walking and bearing weight. Billows said the injury was not significant, although a decision on whether Ferrucci can get on the track Friday would be made later.
The crash happened in Turn 2 after 4 p.m. Thursday.
Clifford tweeted about 9:45 p.m. Thursday that Ferrucci said, “It was your typical Turn 2 situation where the car gets a gust of wind and goes without warning. I’m back at the Speedway, all checked out from medical. I go through the final physical test tomorrow to see if I can (drive). I’m a little sore but happy to be here at IMS. The guys are working overly hard to make sure our Hy-Vee Honda is back on track and its going to be really quick.”
On Thursday, Ferrucci was the third-fastest during practice, topping out at 224.922 mph, after 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan (225.341 mph) and Conor Daly (225.245 mph).
Drivers penalized after photo shoot nearly causes crash during Indy 500 practice
INDIANAPOLIS (AP/WISH) — Three drivers with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will lose track time on Fast Friday after their Thursday photo op nearly caused a crash during Indianapolis 500 practice.
Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal and Santino Ferrucci will be penalized for 30 minutes on Friday due to “improper conduct,” News 8’s Olivia Ray learned from IndyCar. Rahal is News 8’s driver analyst for the Month of May.
Colton Herta and Scott McLaughlin nearly crashed Thursday trying to avoid the on-track stunt.
The track opened as scheduled for practice and defending race winner Sato slowed alongside Indy 500 teammates Rahal and Ferrucci for a three-wide photo opportunity on Indy’s frontstretch.
McLaughlin saw the three RLL cars had slowed to a crawl ahead of him and adjusted his speed accordingly as he drove through the fourth turn. But Herta was completely unaware and had to quickly dive inside of McLaughlin alongside the wall to avoid a full collision.
Both Herta and McLaughlin immediately returned to pit lane for repairs, with Herta estimating he’d miss at least an hour of practice.
“I’m doing 220 (mph) and coming through the corner and these idiots are doing 170, it’s just ridiculous,” Herta said.
McLaughlin spoke with Herta after.
“The Rahal cars were trying to get a nice little photo and I just checked up, and Colton came through and he caught me very quickly and it’s hard to check-up,” McLaughlin said. “I don’t really know what happened. It’s the first lap of the morning.”
RLL did not immediately respond to questions regarding the three cars staging for a photo on a hot track.