It was a huge incident involving five drivers in the IndyCar race at Pocono last weekend with Robert Wickens at the receiving end after going airborne into the fence.

The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver was in a battle with Andretti Autosports’ Ryan Hunter-Reay on Lap 9 when his front right hit the left rear of Hunter-Reay, sending the latter into a spin while the former was airborne into the fence.

The resulting crash meant the other drivers behind had to take evasive action. Wickens’ teammate James Hinchcilffe stamped on his brakes seeing Zach Veach slowing down, but he was hit by Dale Coyne Racing’s Pietro Fittipladi who was unaware of the situation.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato was also involved in the melee. While Hunter-Reay and Sato were cleared fairly quickly by the medical center, Hinchcliffe and Fittipaldi had to wait slightly longer before getting the green signal.

Wickens, meanwhile, was airlifted to then Lehigh Valley Hospital where he is being treated now. SPM along with IndyCar though released a statement to reveal the extent of the injuries which relates to his spine, hand and legs.

Following the race which was won by Andretti Autosports’ Alexander Rossi, Hunter-Reay explained the incident from his point of view, adding that he was shocked to get hit from Wickens in the high-speed corner.

“It’s unfortunate for the start of the race,” said. Hunter-Reay. “I just hope Robert’s all right. I was lucky to get out of that one. He had a run out of Turn 1, came up along the side of me, but I was in the draft of [Will] Power in front of me, so I started pulling ahead.

“Once we got to Turn 2, he was at my left rear corner at best. I even gave room. I left a lane; left a half of a lane, if not more. I was pretty shocked I got hit in the back. That is neither here nor there right now. We’re just thinking about Robert.”

At the same time, Wickens’ teammate Hinchcliffe added: “Not the race day we were hoping for. I saw the accident happening in front of me. [Zach] Veach started sliding up, I tried to slow down and just kind of lost it in the fray.

“As I was going backwards, I think Pietro [Fittipaldi] had nowhere to go and came into me. Other than that, there was a bunch of stuff going on, I’m not sure exactly what happened. I took my hands off the wheel when I went backwards.

“I think some piece of debris came in as I was holding my hands in, kind of just smacked the top of them so I took of bit of beating, but nothing is broken, just some swelling and some cuts. We’ll rest it up and be fine.

“Obviously, I’m just hoping Robbie’s all right. Never good to see a car go up [into the fence] like that, but I know he is in good hands. Hopefully, we’ll see him back in the car soon.”

For Fittipaldi, it was a scary moment especially after returning from a horrific crash himself in the endurance race at Spa-Francorchamps in May. The Brazilian was thankful that he had no broken bones and that he can race again later this weekend.

UPDATE: Nearly 24 hous after the crash, SPM and IndyCar released another joint statement updating on Wickens and adding that the Canadian driver will undergo surgery for his spinal injury next week.

“Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens continues to be treated at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest following injuries sustained in the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 19.

“An MRI was instrumental in revealing the most appropriate surgical course and Wickens is undergoing surgery Monday evening for a spinal injury. Further updates will be provided when available.”

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