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James Hinchcliffe’s crash story retold to help others

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There are certain dates that IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe remembers, like his birthday, the birthdays and anniversaries of friends and the like.

But there’s one date he’ll both never forget and also one he wishes he could: May 18, 2015.

Hinchcliffe was involved in the most serious crash of his career that date. Had it not been for the extremely fast response of IndyCar’s Holmatro Safety Team, it also could have been the date that may have potentially been placed upon Hinchcliffe’s tombstone.

Now, in complete detail and with a number of illustrations, Hinchcliffe’s full story is told at TraumaPitCrew.org.

Hinchcliffe was practicing for the following week’s Indianapolis 500 when his car suffered mechanical failure heading into Turn 3 and he plowed head-on into the wall.

The crumpled car and driver bounced off and the car burst into flames that began to lick at Hinchcliffe’s mangled torso. He couldn’t get out of the wreckage and could feel himself starting to pass out, all the while as the flames got closer.

Fortunately, the spectacular Holmatro team – which is on-site at every IndyCar event, practice and qualifying session – responded in full force.

While several team members worked to extinguish the flames, others used the Jaws of Life to extract the critically injured Mayor of Hinchtown.

When Hinchcliffe hit the wall, he was doing about 200 mph. Upon impact, a suspension rod broke and nearly severed a major artery.

He faced several weeks of recovery and rehab and today, that wreck is a distant memory – except it’s also a memory that Hinchcliffe still can’t recall … and likely never will.

One of the biggest things you’ll likely take away from the description of Hinchcliffe’s crash is something that hit me like a ton of bricks when I first read it – and then had to re-read it several times just to make sure I got it right each time.

Typically, when astronauts blast off heading to the Space Shuttle, they endure about 3 Gs of gravitational pull.

50 Gs is considered fatal.

Hinchcliffe hit the wall at more than 2 ½ times that amount: 126 Gs.

And he survived to not only recover, but to tell his compelling story.

He’s also giving back by telling his story to raise funds to help those less fortunate and help in their own recoveries from devastating accidents.

Click here to read it.

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Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.