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IndyCar: Robert Wickens transferred to Indy hospital, will have additional surgery

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Verizon IndyCar Series driver Robert Wickens, seriously injured in a crash during a race at Pocono Raceway nearly two weeks ago, has been transferred to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for further treatment of his injuries, according to a statement released this morning by his team, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Also, according to the statement, Wickens — who was transferred to IUHMH on Thursday — is scheduled to have additional surgery on his lower extremities “soon,” according to the team statement.

Wickens had been hospitalized at Lehigh Valley Hospital — Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pennsylvania, since suffering injuries to his spinal cord and column, lower extremities and right arm in a violent crash during the ABC Supply 500. His car made contact with the car of Ryan Hunter-Reay, sending Wickens airborne and into a catch fence, spun several times in mid-air and came to rest along the inside retaining wall on the Lap 8 incident.

He underwent surgery on the spinal column about 30 hours after the crash to treat a thoracic fracture of the spinal column.

Three days later, Wickens underwent additional surgery on his arm and lower extremities.

Last weekend, the team issued another statement that Wickens was breathing on his own without assistance and is able to talk.

MORE: IndyCar Pocono race resumes after Robert Wickes goes to hospital

MORE: IndyCar rallies together in wake of Robert Wickens accident

MORE: Robert Wickens has orthopedic injuries after vicious crash at Pocono

MORE: IndyCar Pocono race resumes after Robert Wickens goes to hospital

Here is the update statement on Wickens’ condition, tweeted out by the team this morning:

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INDYCAR: Patricio O’Ward turns heads in Carlin debut

Chris Jones / IndyCar
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While the top story coming out of Sunday’s IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas is undoubtedly 18-year-old Colton Herta’s victory in only his third IndyCar start, another teenager made quite some noise during the first IndyCar race at the facility.

19-year-old Patricio O’Ward made an impressive start to his 2019 IndyCar campaign by starting and finishing in eighth position. It was the first of his 13 races this season for Carlin Racing.

“I think it was a pretty good race for us. We ended exactly where we started and didn’t go backwards, so I’d say that was a successful day” O’Ward said. “I know the No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet had a top-five finish in it today and even though we couldn’t make it happen, it’s nice to know that we have the pace and can be fighting up front with the veteran drivers.”

O’Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights champ, made his series debut for Harding Steinbrenner Racing at last year’s season finale at Sonoma Raceway, where he made it to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying and finished ninth. O’Ward was scheduled to race for the team full-time in 2019, but left in early February to pursue other options due to a lack of sponsorship.

Pato found a new home with Carlin, and despite missing preseason testing, he proved to be competitive from the get go and pressured some of IndyCar’s more tenured drivers, including Graham Rahal.

In what was undoubtedly the most daring move of the race, O’Ward ended a great battle with Rahal by hitting a superb outside pass on Lap 15.

O’Ward may have likely earned a better result on Sunday, if he didn’t have to save fuel in order to make the finish.

But with only two IndyCar starts to his credit, he is already racing like a seasoned veteran. Sunday’s IndyCar Classic may be the first of many successful outings for him this year.

After the race, he tweeted to his team: “Well done gentlemen … This is only the beginning.”

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter