IndyCar: Hinchcliffe diagnosed with concussion after on-track incident; Viso to fill in if need be

3 Comments

A medical update has been issued re: Andretti Autosport’s James Hinchcliffe, after the Canadian stopped on track in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Lap 57 due to an off-course excursion. Hinchcliffe’s helmet got struck with loose bodywork from Justin Wilson’s car, which became dislodged and hit him on the backstraight on the run to Turn 7. He favored his head and was taken off on a stretcher, then transported via ground to Methodist Hospital.

Hinchcliffe was able to provide a quote in a statement released by the team:

“I want to thank all the fans for their messages of concern and support. I’m a little stiff and sore and I’d love to be back in the car tomorrow, but I suppose I should probably let the doctors make that decision. Such a bummer for the UFD car when things were really starting to come together.”

The official update from INDYCAR:

“Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe was discharged from IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after being evaluated and having a CT scan of his head and neck.

“INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Michael Olinger said Hinchcliffe was diagnosed with a concussion. The driver of the No. 27 United Fiber & Data car for Andretti Autosport will be re-evaluated by Olinger and INDYCAR medical consultants before being cleared to drive.”

Updates only came from alternative parties from the time of the incident through to the official update. Indianapolis Star reporter Curt Cavin and Associated Press reporter Jenna Fryer had several tweets, as did Hinchcliffe’s teammate Marco Andretti who was in communication as the team.

As a whole, not a great day for Andretti Autosport because here’s where it leaves them heading into the opening day of Indianapolis 500 practice on Sunday.

Hunter-Reay’s No. 28 crew will swap over to its oval setup as the car came home second today, but that’s after needing to repair the right rear yesterday.

Andretti’s No. 25, as he wrote above, featured a cracked tub. Also not ideal.

Then Hinchcliffe’s No. 27, Franck Montagny’s No. 26 and Carlos Munoz’s No. 34 cars all retired from contact.

Hinchcliffe’s No. 27 will need a new driver, and one of Andretti’s 2013 drivers, E.J. Viso, has been nominated as that stand-in driver if needed. The team will determine whether he’ll actually drive depending on the outcome of the re-evaluation.

As for Viso, he is in Indianapolis already and posted this picture to Twitter, already in fire suit.

The Montagny and Munoz cars bore the worst of it; Montagny was a one-off driver for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and schedule-pending, Kurt Busch was due to be in that car on Sunday.

Busch, meanwhile, like the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, is in a rain delay at Kansas, and not free to leave there until that race gets in the books.

Supercross reveals 2023 Daytona track designed by Ricky Carmichael for 16th time

0 Comments

For the 16th consecutive year, Ricky Carmichael has designed a signature course for the Daytona Supercross race, which will be March 4, 2023.

Eli Tomac took advantage of a last lap mistake by Cooper Webb last year to win a record setting sixth Daytona race – and with that win, he broke out of a tie Carmichael.

Construction on the course will begin two days after the completion of the 65th running of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 when haulers start to unload 7,200 tons of dirt onto the grassy infield in order to create a course 3,300 feet long.

“Ricky has designed yet another incredible course for this year’s Daytona Supercross,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher in a press release. “We’re thrilled to unveil it to the fans, and we can’t wait for them to come out to the track and see it in person.”

MORE: Designs for SuperMotocross finals at zMax Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway

Carmichael’s Daytona course will take center stage for Round 8 of the 17-race Supercross season and the 31-race SuperMotocross season.

The Supercross race coincides with Daytona’s Bike Week, which runs from March 3-12 and includes races from the American Flat Track series and the legendary Daytona 200 speedway race that is contested on the infield road course.

Last year’s course was reported to have 57 obstacles including the return of an over-under bridge. For 2023 the number of obstacles listed in 42, but that will not keep this from being one of the toughest tracks on which the Monster Energy Supercross series will race.

Many of the same elements from last year will be present including sharp turns, vaulted jumps, sand sections and a finish line that aligns with the oval tracks’ start/finish line.

“This year’s Daytona Supercross design is one of the best,” Carmichael said. “It races great for the riders – it’s safe yet challenging and it’s very similar to last year with the split lanes. Daytona is the toughest, gnarliest race on the Supercross circuit, but it’s the most special to win.

“This track is going to produce great racing and I think the riders are going to put on a fantastic display for all our fans.”

While Tomac has dominated this race during his career, Daytona has also been the site of some other dramatic victories. In 2021 Aaron Plessinger scored his first career Supercross podium in 35 starts with a win there and reversed a three-year streak of bad luck on the track.

The Daytona Supercross race is the first of two the series will contest on speedway infield courses. A little more than one month later, Atlanta Motor Speedway will enter their third season as a supercross venue. These two courses will serve as an early test for the SuperMotocross three-race finale that begins September 9, 2023 at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina. The three playoff races will each be held on courses that contain elements of Supercross and Motocross, much like Daytona and Atlanta.