IndyCar Series veteran Tony Kanaan has admitted that he was grateful to still be able to stand following his violent lap 98 exit from the 93rd Indianapolis 500.
The Brazilian had not long extended his record for leading laps in every Indy 500 he has run since 2002 when his Team 7-Eleven Dallara snapped out of line on the back-straight and slammed into the wall. From there, Kanaan was a passenger as the Andretti Green Racing machine careered down the remainder of the straight before making a second heavy, head-on 190mph contact with the turn three wall.
The car then skated around towards turn four with its right-hand side missing and flames appearing from the void but, although clearly dazed, Kanaan was able to extricate himself from the wreck with the safety crew in attendance. After a moment to gather himself as he sat on the side of the cockpit, the Brazilian was taken to the infield medical centre. He was later discharged after treatment for 'minor injuries', thought mainly to cover bruising, and was cleared to drive in Milwaukee this coming weekend.
The veteran admitted that he wasn't sure what had happened, but was adamant that something suddenly broke in the rear of the car, possibly a driveshaft. After the first impact, he noted that he prepared himself for a 'wild ride', bracing his head on the headrest and waiting for what was to come.
"Something broke in the middle of the straightaway and I hit head on going into turn three - I knew it was going to be a big one," Kanaan confirmed, "It's always sad to be out of a race, but I'm happy that I walked away.
"It was a nasty, nasty crash and I'm pretty much beat up, but I have to thank the Delphi Safety Crew and the IRL. That was a 180mph head-on hit and I'm still standing, still talking."
The Brazilian had arrived at the Brickyard heading the point standings, but leaves having dropped to fifth.