Great news: Robert Wickens improves, breathing without assistance and is speaking

IndyCar
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Schmidt Peterson Motorsports issued a statement early this evening on the medical condition of race car driver Robert Wickens.

And the news is very encouraging.

“For the first time following his Aug. 19 incident at Pocono Raceway, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens is breathing without medical assistance and speaking with his family,” the statement read.

Wickens was seriously injured in a Lap 7 crash of this past Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono. His car made contact with the car of Ryan Hunter-Reay, flew up into the Turn 2 catchfence, spun in mid-air several times before coming down on the racetrack and ending up against the inner retaining wall.

Wickens was airlifted by helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pa., where he has undergone at least two surgeries and remains hospitalized in stable condition.

Jay Frye, IndyCar President of Competition and Operations, told NBCSN:

“Obviously, our thoughts and prayers are with Robby and his family, that’s our No. 1 concern. We’re here for them, however we can help them through the entire process.

“In regards to the car, we’re very encouraged by the way the car held up, but not satisfied. We’re never going to be satisfied when one of our drivers is hurt. Safety is our No. 1 priority and as long as that happens, we’re going to keep getting after it.”

Wickens’ No. 6 car was withdrawn from tonight’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois.

Teammate James Hinchcliffe, who was also involved in the Wickens’ crash, is racing in tonight’s event and is wearing compression gloves to protect a fractured left ring finger and soreness in both hands.

“They’re a little sore and swollen, but they feel great in the race car,” Hinchcliffe told NBCSN. “They’ll be sore and swollen at the end of the race, but at the end of the day, not too bad.

“I think we’re going to be okay tonight.”

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