Robert Wickens has injuries to lower extremities, arm, spine and lung contusion after vicious Pocono crash

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UPDATE 1 (10:51 p.m. ET): Robert Wickens suffered numerous injuries in Sunday’s crash on Lap 8 of the ABC Supply 500 IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway.

Here’s the most recent statement from IndyCar on Wickens’ condition:

“ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania (Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018) — Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens is being treated for injuries to his lower extremities, right arm and spine following an incident in the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. He also sustained a pulmonary contusion. He will undergo an MRI and probable surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest. Further updates on his condition will be provided when available.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

IndyCar rookie Robert Wickens has unspecified “orthopedic injuries” after being involved in a wicked crash on Lap 8 of Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.

IndyCar’s Communications Department announced an update on Wickens’ condition around 7:15 p.m. ET, saying the Canadian driver was still being medically evaluated, but there is no additional information.

Wickens was involved in a wreck with Ryan Hunter-Reay as the two exited Turn 2. After making contact with Hunter-Reay’s Honda, Wickens’ Honda climbed the catchfence and spun several times in mid-air before coming down on the racetrack.

It took rescue workers about 12 minutes to free Wickens from the mangled damage. He was taken by ambulance first to the infield care center, but only moments later, was taken to a waiting medivac helicopter that took him to the Lehigh Valley Cedar Crest Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, about 45 minutes away.

Hinchcliffe could be seen gingerly being helped out of his own race car and held both arms close to his body, indicating perhaps injuries to his wrists.

Hinchcliffe, who eventually went to the Allentown hospital to be with Wickens, his teammate and best friend, sent a message to NBCSN announcers that while his wrists appeared to be okay during an examination, his hands were cut by flying debris from the incident. Hinchcliffe is expected to be okay.

We’ll have more updates for you as they become available.

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Ben Hanley relieved to make Indy 500 debut

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Qualifying for the Indy 500 is never an easy task, especially for a new driver and team, and with 36 cars vying for 33 starting positions last weekend, 34-year-old rookie Ben Hanley knew there was a chance he and his DragonSpeed team would not make the show.

“I wouldn’t say we were very confident, but we wanted to [make the field],” Hanley told NBC Sports. “The biggest thing we were trying to achieve was to not be on track on Sunday in the shootout because it only takes one mistake or one little issue and that’s it, you’re not in the race.”

But Hanley would not have to worry about being bumped from the field. He qualified 27th after making three attempts on Day 1, which was enough to lock the No. 81 team into the show. Not too shabby for a driver and team making only their third NTT IndyCar Series start.

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“That last run everything just came together,” Hanley said. “We trimmed out a little bit more and found a good balance of trim and grip over four [qualifying] laps and it was enough to get us through.

“It was a huge relief to get through in P27. A massive achievement for everybody involved.”

Indeed it was a massive achievement, as DragonSpeed is one of the smallest teams in the garage, with no corporate sponsors and a tiny team of around 20 personnel. Many of those were picked up by the team just a week before qualifying, when members of the team’s regular crew were denied entry into the United States due to visa issues after leaving a sports car race in Italy.

“It was all down to the team organizing some people who were in and around Indianapolis who weren’t needed for the race weekend,” Hanley said. “Obviously, I don’t think many people are going to refuse the chance to work on a car that’s trying to qualify for the 500.”

Though the team made its first Indy 500 on Day 1 of qualifying, the DragonSpeed team did not spend Saturday night out late celebrating. Instead, Hanley said the extra time was spent preparing for the race.

“We went straight on to race prep then for the car, so Sunday was a good day for the guys to take time to prep the car into the race spec and get everything sorted out in a nice, organized manner.”

Following the Indy 500, DragonSpeed will run two other races this season at Road America and Mid-Ohio. The team is hopeful that a good run at Indy will result in an opportunity to run a bigger schedule next season and attract sponsors.

Hanley stated that though he’s happy to have made the Indy 500 starting grid for the first time in his career, the magnitude of his feat hasn’t hit him yet.

“It hasn’t really soaked in yet,” he said. “I think it will soak in on Sunday when we roll out to the grid.

“It was such a huge relief to not be involved in Bump Day. Even just watching [Bump Day] it was intense, especially with the weather. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to be involved in that.”

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