Mikhail Aleshin and Graham Rahal’s hopes of bouncing back from qualifying disappointment were ended early in Sunday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen presented by Hitachi after two hefty crashes.
Aleshin suffered a tire blow-out on lap 15 as he approached the end of his first stint, losing the left-rear Firestone through the esses, one of the fastest points of the Watkins Glen circuit.
A full course caution was called in response to the incident, but thankfully Aleshin was able to walk away from the incident unscathed.
“Fortunately I’m fine,” Aleshin told NBCSN’s Robin Miller.
“But that was definitely not a nice feeling when you go into the turn and see the damage, and the tire just explodes. I had no chance to catch the car. We were coming to pits.”
The race returned to green on lap 19 before going back under yellow one lap later following a sizeable crash for Rahal at Turn 1.
Going side-by-side with Charlie Kimball, Rahal was clipped and sent into the wall on the inside of the corner, suffering a front-on impact that caused both wheels to break away, only kept in place by their tethers.
Rahal quickly climbed out of his car unscathed, while race officials investigated the incident with Kimball before deciding to take no further action.
“Kimball decided to not give me any room on the exit. Probably the hardest hit I’ve taken in my life,” Rahal told NBCSN’s Katie Hargitt.
“But I have to take blame too. I shouldn’t have put myself in that position. I should know better than to race him like that. I don’t know if this car is repairable.”