Sam Schmidt, in an interview with the Indianapolis Star‘s Curt Cavin, provided details on the Monday morning accident at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that injured driver James Hinchcliffe and sent him to the hospital.
Schmidt said Hinchcliffe, who hit the Turn 3 wall at IMS at around 125 G’s, experienced damage to a leg artery after a piece of the right-front suspension entered his upper left thigh. No bones were harmed, but there was soft tissue damage
The team owner said the part, which was reinforced for this season and would have folded previously, went through Hinchcliffe “like a knife.” Doctors at Methodist Hospital had “a big one to plug” during the operation, which involved stopping blood loss.
“If this would have happened at most of the places we race at things might have been different,” Schmidt told the Star. “If he would have had to go from the ambulance to the track medical center to a helicopter to 30 minutes (to the hospital), I hate to say that would have been a challenge.
“The situation here is that he went straight to (Methodist) and it’s close. And we’ve got great people here.”
Hinchcliffe, 28, is in stable condition and will not race in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. Schmidt said his team, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, will be allowed to keep their 24th starting position for the race and that he has a list of five drivers in consideration to replace Hinchcliffe in the No. 5 Honda.