INDYCAR releases statement on Dario Franchitti’s injuries

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INDYCAR medical director Dr. Michael Olinger has confirmed that Dario Franchitti has been admitted to the Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center here in Houston for multiple injuries including a concussion, a spinal fracture that will not require surgery, and a fractured right ankle. He will be kept overnight for observation.

Franchitti was involved in a multi-car crash on the final lap of today’s Race 2 of the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston, in which he was sent airborne and into the catch fence after contact with Takuma Sato.

The incident also collected E.J. Viso, but Sato and Viso were able to come away unscathed. Franchitti’s car owner, Chip Ganassi, told NBCSN shortly after the crash that his driver was awake and alert.

Franchitti’s impact against the catch fence sprayed debris not only across the track but toward the nearby Turn 5 grandstands. After an initial report from local TV station KTRK-TV said that 13 spectators were injured, with two of them being sent to a local hospital for further treatment, a joint statement from race organizer Mi-Jack Promotions, Reliant Park and INDYCAR confirmed two fans were indeed taken to hospitals and 11 fans were treated on-site.

“Officials are investigating the incident and currently do not have further information at this time. Fan and driver safety are always a primary concern and we will provide further details as they are available,” the statement said additionally.

UPDATED: INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama under red-flag race stoppage due to rain

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UPDATE: The INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is under a red-flag race stoppage after 19 laps due to rain and puddling on the racing surface at Barber Motorsports Park.

Cleaners and dryers are on the track to try and get some of the water off the racing surface. The low spots on the track, as well as the front stretch, have been particularly troublesome and led to several spinouts and at least two wrecks (Charlie Kimball and outside front pole sitter Will Power).

Power’s day is done after suffering irreparable damage to the left side of his car after hydroplaning on the front straight and running into the inside retaining wall.

ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS:

Although rain has been falling for nearly an hour and the Barber Motorsports Park 2.3-mile permanent road course is drenched, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is underway on NBCSN.

The start of the race was moved up from 3:38 p.m. ET to take the green flag at 3:08 p.m. ET.

Josef Newgarden is the defending winner of this race and also will start from the pole for today’s race.

While the race is scheduled for 90 laps, there’s a possibility that if the weather worsens or if lightning appears, it could potentially be shortened to just two hours.

As can be expected, all cars are on rain tires to maximize grip.

Catch the race live on NBCSN.