INDIANAPOLIS – The hits keep coming for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports as rookie Robert Wickens crashed during Monday’s practice session for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Wickens, driving the No. 6 Honda, crashed in turn three at 1:19 p.m. ET. He was scheduled to start 18th in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
Wickens hit the SAFER Barrier in turn three after his car got loose in turn two and made contact with the SAFER Barrier at the exit of the corner. The car then spun 90 degrees to the right of the backstretch and made contact with the wall. It continued to roll down the backstretch before it came to a stop in turn three.
The No. 6 Honda sustained damage to the right side and nose of the car. Wickens was checked and released from the IU Health Emergency Medical Center. He is cleared to drive.
His car, on the other hand, needs some major repair.
“I caught it, then just ran out of track and brushed the wall,” Wickens said. “It was suspension damage on both sides and I was just trying to slow down and get it under control, and the car just pretty violently went to the right and went head on into the wall halfway down the backstraight. It’s a bummer, obviously, no one wants it, especially this close to the race. Lesson learned I guess; it just happened out of nowhere.
“I am fine, I mean these cars are super safe. First crash in an Indy car, so I guess it had to happen eventually.”
It’s the second major blow to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the past three days. On Saturday, the team’s main driver, James Hinchcliffe, was bumped from the 33-car field and was sitting in the qualifying line when Bump Day qualifications came to an end.
As of Monday, Hinchcliffe is out of the race and is not actively pursuing another ride. Team owner Sam Schmidt admitted he is involved in discussions with other Honda teams, but so far none are interested in pulling their driver.