INDIANAPOLIS – Sage Karam and Ryan Briscoe crashed on the first lap of the 99th Indianapolis 500, which got off to a choppy start after an inauspicious month marked by wrecks.
The incident began when Takuma Sato attempted to complete an optimistic pass off the first turn on the outside of Karam. Briscoe got collected in the wreck.
“I knew going into Turn 1 he had a run, but I didn’t think he was dumb enough to go on the outside,” Karam said of Sato, to ABC’s Jon Beekhuis. “You can two-wide, race each other clean. Sato is a veteran he should be better than that. Three-wide, he ruined a lot of guys races. He needs to clean up his act.”
Meanwhile, Karam’s dad Jody Karam chimed in on Sato, on Twitter:
Sage did not too long afterwards, himself.
The crash made for a rough start to the 2015 Indianapolis Motor Speedway experience for Briscoe, who was substituting for injured James Hinchcliffe. Briscoe had made his first laps at the track Thursday after Hinchcliffe sustained critical injuries when he was speared by a suspension part in a Monday wreck.
Hinchcliffe’s wreck was the last of four significant wrecks in which cars got airborne to varying degrees during the 10 days leading up to the race, prompting series officials to make rules changes to temper speeds.
Prior to that two drivers had issues. Alex Tagliani’s car failed to start off the grid but was engaged via a push start, and Conor Daly’s race ended even before it began. The young American’s Honda suffered an apparent exhaust failure – it got too hot, per ABC – and he ground to a halt in Turn 3 before the race even started.
Adding to the glitch-filled start even before the green flag, there were a few botched handoffs during the prerace ceremonies (including the failure of a transmission from the International Space Station introducing the national anthem).
Under the yellow flag, the restart was waved off after apparent contact between Simona de Silvestro and Juan Pablo Montoya, which left Montoya’s car with a broken and flapping rear wheel guard.
None of the drivers in the first-lap crash Sunday appeared injured. Karam was seen and release from the track’s medical center.