Five drivers, including IndyCar championship contender Alexander Rossi, were collected in multi-car crash in the first lap of the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway Sunday afternoon.
The crash began shortly after the green flag waved and the field safely made its way through Turn 1 of the 2.5-mile, 3-Turn superspeedway. As the field approached Turn 2, Takuma Sato, Alexander Rossi, and Ryan Hunter-Reay were racing three-wide when Sato cut across the track, making contact with both Rossi and Hunter-Reay.
The impact sent all three off-course as Sato and Hunter-Reay hit the inside wall before rolling back onto the racing surface in Turn 2.
Sato’s car then made contact with the No. 10 Honda of Felix Rosenqvist, sending Rosenqvist’s car airborne into the Turn 2 wall. James Hinchliffe also made contact with the outside wall when he attempted to avoid hitting the damaged cars of Sato, Rossi and Hunter-Reay.
All drivers walked away from the accident safely, though Felix Rosenqvist was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries before being released later in the afternoon.
The race would then be halted by a red flag as crews repaired the outside catchfence. Green-flag racing would resume just over 45 minutes later.
For Rossi, the crash could not have come at a worse time. Rossi entered this weekend firmly-placed within the championship fight, only 16 points behind series points leader Josef Newgarden.
Rossi’s Andretti Autosport crew began making repairs to the No. 27 Honda while under the red flag in attempt to bring their championship contender back into the race at a later point. However, INDYCAR rules state that teams may not work on their cars while under red, and thus the team was assessed a 10-lap penalty as result.
Rossi, Hunter-Reay and Hinchcliffe all resumed the race following repairs later on, though all three were several laps down and out of contention for the win.