IndyCar start James Hinchcliffe’s ability to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 is now in question after he sufferd a concussion during the running of the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday.
On lap 57 of 82 Hinchcliffe was hit with debris from an accident involving Simon Pagenaud and Justin Willson. The debris hit Hinchcliffe in the helmet and damaged his visor. He was helped with taking his helmet off and then taken on a stretcher to the infield car center.
Hinchcliffe was taken to IU Health Methodist in Indianapolis where a CT scan was run on his head and neck. He was then diagnosed with a concussion. While Hinchcliffe was allowed to leave on Saturday he was told to report back to the hospital on Sunday.
“I’m a little stiff and sore,” Hinchcliffe said in a team statement. “I’d love to be back in the car (for Sunday’s opening day of practice for the Indianapolis 500), but I suppose I should probably let the doctors make that decision.”
Hinchcliffe will need doctors approval before returning to racing. E.J. Viso, who raced for Andretti last season, has been placed on standby by the team. There is always the chance that Viso could practice and qualify the car but Hinchcliffe could return to it for the Indianapolis 500. Under that scenario he would be forced to start at the rear of the field as a replacement driver.
Pagenaud’s car was undamaged in the incident and he went on to win Saturday’s race.