Aleshin conscious following heavy accident in MAVTV 500 final practice (UPDATED, VIDEO)

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FONTANA, Calif. – A three-car accident has ended the final half hour practice session for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway, with Mikhail Aleshin, Marco Andretti and Charlie Kimball involved in an accident through Turns 3 and 4.

INDYCAR has confirmed Aleshin is conscious and being airlifted to nearby Loma Linda University Medical Center. Aleshin is reported to be complaining of injuries to his right shoulder, and right foot.

A further medical update at 12:13 a.m. PT (3:13 a.m. ET) from INDYCAR said this:

Medical update from Dr. Terry Trammell, INDYCAR Medical Consultant:

Verizon IndyCar Series driver Mikhail Aleshin was evaluated at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, Calif., on Aug. 29 and diagnosed with fractured ribs, a broken right clavicle, a concussion and chest injuries. He was admitted to the hospital and listed in serious but stable condition.

As for the accident itself, a wheel tether and wheel itself went through the catch fencing on the outside of Turn 4, with the fence itself sheared away.

Upon a replay, Aleshin went low through Turns 3 and 4, below the white line, then spun up the road and on top of Kimball.

Once he hit and climbed Kimball’s car, that sent him somersaulting along the catch fencing, peeling it away. Andretti spun up in the accident.

Both Kimball and Andretti were out of their cars after the accident, with safety crews tending to Aleshin. Kimball was checked and released from the infield care center and Andretti didn’t require a trip to medical.

MotorSportsTalk will have further updates following this accident.

MRTI: Keith Donegan earns Mazda Shootout Scholarship

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”

The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.

“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”

Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.

Follow @KyleMLavigne