IndyCar: Aleshin OK after Montoya’s car on top of him at Turn 8 in Toronto (VIDEO)

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TORONTO – A serious-looking accident has occurred at the Verizon IndyCar Series’ second race of the Honda Indy Toronto weekend (LIVE on NBCSN/NBC Sports Live Extra) just past the 12-lap mark, and put the 65-lap race under its second full course caution of the race.

But the incident involving Mikhail Aleshin and Juan Pablo Montoya primarily, plus hometown hero James Hinchcliffe and two other cars, fortunately has seen Aleshin emerge unscathed. See the NBCSN clip above, and a separate YouTube clip here.

Steady rain began to fall just after the race started and intensified at the 90-degree right-handed Turn 8. The Turn 8 patch was slick and triggered a series of offs.

Montoya nosed into the tire barriers, Hinchcliffe lost control of his car and collected Montoya’s right rear wheel guard with his left side. Race one winner Sebastien Bourdais and Charlie Kimball ran into the runoff area to avoid the incident.

But Aleshin locked up and went straight into Montoya’s car, and his No. 7 SMP Racing Honda was wedged directly underneath Montoya’s No. 2 Hawk Performance Chevrolet.

It was a wreck reminiscent of one in a CART race in 1998 at Road America, when Alex Barron ran on top of Bryan Herta’s stopped car. Barron’s car needed to be craned away and lifted off Herta’s.

This was the situation here; Montoya’s car was lifted off Aleshin’s while the INDYCAR Holmatro Safety Team tended to Aleshin. Aleshin, the Russian rookie, walked out under his own power, and returned to the pit lane.

“I realized that only when I started to brake. I smacked the other car. I ended up under the car,” Aleshin told NBCSN’s Marty Snider. “It was not such a great feeling at all. I’m sorry for the spectators and everyone who supports me. The most important thing is everything is fine.

“As you can see, there are some marks here in the helmet,” he added. “I was sitting under the car, it was getting so much closer. I could not breathe at all. I was just sitting under the car. Impossible to breathe, and not nice feeling at all.”

Aleshin tweeted his helmet pic after the incident.

Josef Newgarden led the race at the Lap 19 restart, on a wet/dry track.

Valtteri Bottas fastest in Friday F1 practices for Russian Grand Prix

F1 Sochi Valtteri Bottas
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SOCHI, Russia — Valtteri Bottas paced both F1 practices Friday for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday as Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was slowed by damaged tires in the first session.

Bottas turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 33.519 seconds in the second session that bettered Hamilton’s 1:33.786.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was more than a second behind Bottas in third at 1:34.577, followed by the McLaren Racing duo of Carlos Sainz Jr. (1:34.723) and Lando Norris (1:34.847).

In the first F1 session at Sochi, Valtteri Bottas set the pace with a time of 1 minute, 34.923 seconds, beating Ricciardo by half a second. Max Verstappen was third quickest in his Red Bull, a further 0.147 back.

Hamilton could only manage 19th fastest after locking up his tires and leaving them with a flat spot. Ferrari again struggled to find pace with Sebastian Vettel ninth and Charles Leclerc 11th.

HISTORY IN SIGHTLewis Hamilton aims to tie Michael Schumacher’s record

The first session was briefly red-flagged when Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams. Carlos Sainz Jr. spun his McLaren backward into a barrier and broke off his rear wing.

Verstappen spun during the second session but avoided damage to his car.