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Doctors say Hinchcliffe is improving from serious crash but ruled out of racing for ‘forseeable future’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 19, 2015) — IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe has been ruled out of competition for the foreseeable future.

Reports are circulating that Ryan Briscoe will replace Hinchcliffe at this year’s race. However, a spokeswoman for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports said there’s no official word on Briscoe.

“There has been no confirmation of anyone yet,” said Monicah Hilton of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. She said the team was still in discussions.

Hinchcliffe was transported to IU Methodist Hospital in critical condition with serious injuries to his pelvic area and upper left thigh following Monday’s wreck at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

His doctors say he is continuing to improve as he remains in stable condition following surgery.

Hinchcliffe released this statement on Tuesday:

“Words can’t describe how thankful I am to the Holmatro Safety Team. Those guys, in addition to the doctors and staff at the hospital, are my heroes. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate the outpouring of support from INDYCAR fans, my family and fellow drivers. We are all one big family and it feels like that today.”

RACER.com is reporting upon impact with the safety wall, one of the suspension wishbones of the car pierced through Hinchcliffe’s right leg and into his left leg, pinning the Schmidt-Peterson driver until safety crews arrived. The report claims Hinchcliffe suffered “massive blood loss”, and that he was “touch-and-go” during parts of his surgery.

The article read in part:

“…according to one of Hinchcliffe’s associates who asked not to be identified when speaking withRACER, it was a life-threatening situation that was handled to perfection by IndyCar’s HOLMATRO Safety Team, and by doctors inside the ambulance that rushed him to IU Health Methodist Hospital before surgeons completed the save.”

The crash brought out the yellow flag for practice. According to IndyCar officials, Hinchcliffe was awake when he was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital.

“Obviously we’re relieved that James is awake and out of surgery,” said Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team owner Sam Schmidt. “That’s the most important thing on our minds right now and we will do absolutely everything required to ensure a complete recovery.”

The accident is the latest from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Last week, Helio Castroneves’car went airborne, as did Josef Newgarden’s. Ed Carpenter’s car went airborne during Sunday’s practice session.

Monday’s crash is believed to be the result of a mechanical failure, whereas the three prior crashes occurred after the drivers’ cars spun out of control.

“This is a sport that is very risky,” said Castroneves. “It’s a dangerous sport and we are traveling at very fast speeds.”

Townsend Bell races in the Indy 500 and works as an IndyCar analyst the rest of the year. He admits the string of crashes in the past week leave him apprehensive, but he says that IMS was founded on the premise of high risks and high rewards.

“This is a learning process and that’s kind of endemic to IMS,” he said. “This place was built as a test track to find out how fast you can go and that hasn’t changed today. We’re still doing the same thing and trying to experiment and see how fast we can go. Can we win the race? That’s why we’re all still standing here.”