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Accidents aplenty, but injuries are few at Indy.

Vitor Meira aside, injuries to those drivers involved in accidents during the Indianapolis 500 appear to have been slight, with pride and machinery suffering the most hurt.

No fewer than eight caution periods were needed to deal with wrecked cars and debris following brushes with the wall, but the majority of those affected were able to walk away with minor bumps and bruises.

Between Marco Andretti and Mario Moraes' lap one spat [see separate story here] and the Meira-Raphael Matos clash that left the older Brazilian in hospital [here], some seven drivers found the wall, including veteran Tony Kanaan, who admitted that he had been lucky to walk away from his double impact [here]. The rest, however, were more embarrassed than anything.

Ryan Hunter-Reay kept the ball rolling by bouncing his IZOD-backed Vision Racing entry from the outside wall at turn four all the way down the pit-lane after being forced to lift to avoid a slower car. Prior to that, the #21 had climbed from 32nd at the start to run 25th on lap 15.

"AJ Foyt IV was really loose and checked up in turn three and four," Hunter-Reay reported, "I followed him in there too closely, and that's my fault. I got a big aero wash and I was a passenger from there on. That put me in the grey and into the wall. It's a shame to have to have that happen trying to get around a car that's almost disabled, but I guess that's Indy."

Hunter-Reay was checked, cleared and released from the infield care centre and was classified back in 32nd place.

Graham Rahal was the next to bow out, the Newman/Haas/Lanigan driver all but replicating his exit from last year's Indianapolis race when he too washed up into the turn four wall. Like Hunter-Reay, he wasn't exactly complimentary about the slower traffic that he felt had contributed to his exit.

“We all caught traffic, basically," he reflected, "Milka [Duno] got in front of me, and she was absolutely clueless. She would go low like she was going to let everybody by, but then she'd go fast enough where you can't get by her. She would come out on track and run you real tight. I tried to go half a car width up in [turn] four and [the car] just went straight. Same thing I had last year, so I'm really upset and disappointed.”

NHLR team-mate Robert Doornbos went further but fared little better, finding the wall in his first 500 to cap an already expensive Month of May in which he crashed both his primary and back-up machines.

“I was so happy that we finally started racing today - I wanted to get going," the Dutchman commented, "I think we were on schedule because we made up eight places and were running in the top 15 a quarter through the race, but then Tomas [Scheckter] made an over-optimistic pass in turn one. He was very late and left me nowhere to go on the marbles. It felt like forever, forever as the wall was getting closer.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Graham Rahal crashes out of the 2009 Indianapolis 500   [pic credit: IRL/Garrett]
Ryan Hunter-Reay`s Vision Racing entry is returned to pit-lane after crashing out of the Indianapolis 500   [pic credit: IRL/Haines]
Graham Rahal celebrates victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway   (image credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens)
Justin Wilson tribute at Pocono   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Ed Jones - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Ryan Hunter-Reay - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: IndyCar media/Chris Jones]
Multi-car incident during the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg on March 13 2016 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The #12 Chevrolet of Will Power against the backstretch wall following contact during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay reviews telemetry data in his pit stand during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay apexes the Turn 9A chicane during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay sits in his Andretti Autosport Honda on pit lane prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal sits in his Honda machine on pit lane during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
The Chevrolet of Will Power sports a tribute sticker for Justin Wilson at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, Josef Newgarden, and Graham Rahal drive their machines across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe, Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Marco Andretti, and Graham Rahal at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti, Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Graham Rahal, and James Hinchcliffe bring their machines across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson speaks with Oriol Servia in pit lane (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)

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Don - Unregistered

May 26, 2009 6:43 AM

Both Meira and Matos are done for the season due to their injuries. Terry - Maybe you don't understand racing on ovals, especially at Indy. You can't have any carbon fiber pieces left on the track after an accident when 33 cars are running constantly at 200 to 230mph. Bad things happen.

Full_Throttle_MJ - Unregistered

May 26, 2009 1:34 PM

That race, which to be honest was fairly dull anyway, was ruined further by the ridiculous amount of time it took the officials and the stewards to remove the cars after every crash. Every time you would get one car spin or hit he wall they spent 7 or 8 laps under caution, and at a track the size of Indianpolis that is a long long time. How hard is it to get a crane and move one car?? it should take 5 mins tops not 15. It made the race so tedious to watch. Plus why does some official always straddle the nose of the car after a crash, and remove pieces of it before the driver gets out? Can the drivers not get out themselves?? Surely thats dangerous.



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