Injured IndyCar driver Robert Wickens to undergo spinal surgery tonight

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IndyCar officials announced late Monday afternoon that Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens will undergo spinal surgery later this evening.

Wickens remains hospitalized and will have surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest. Neither the type of surgery, nor the extent of injuries sustained to the spine as well as the rest of his body, were revealed by either IndyCar nor SPM team officials.

Wickens suffered injuries to his lower extremities, right arm and spine, according to a statement by IndyCar officials late Sunday night, several hours after Wickens was involved in a horrific crash at Pocono Raceway.

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Wickens was racing almost side-by-side with Ryan Hunter-Reay exiting Turn 2 on Lap 8 of the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway when their cars touched wheels.

While Hunter-Reay spun, Wickens’ car went airborne and into the catchfence before bouncing off and spinning several times in mid-air before coming to a rest along the inside retaining wall on the track.

Rescue personnel took more than 12 minutes to carefully extricate Wickens from the wreckage. He was placed on a backboard and flown by helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital.

IndyCar announced shortly after Wickens left the track that he was awake and alert when rescue personnel tended to him.

NBC Sports will continue to monitor news on Wickens and his condition and will update readers as more information becomes available.

Here is the full IndyCar statement that was issued late Monday afternoon:

“Medical update on Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens

“ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania (Monday, Aug. 20, 2018) – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens continues to be treated at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest following injuries sustained in the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 19.

“An MRI was instrumental in revealing the most appropriate surgical course and Wickens is undergoing surgery Monday evening for a spinal injury.

“Further updates will be provided when available.”