By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
LONG BEACH, California – JR Hildebrand suffered a broken bone in his left hand after a collision on the last lap of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which opens the possibility of missing the next round at Barber Motorsports Park in two weeks.
The 29-year-old Californian was attempting to get by Mikhail Aleshin before the two eventually wrecked.
After undergoing treatment from INDYCAR medical director Dr. Geoffrey Billows, it was determined that a re-evaluation is needed later this week in Indianapolis before being cleared to drive.
“At the end of the race, we all were bunched back up because of that last yellow,” said Hildebrand, driver of the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet. “I was on reds (alternate tires) and had a little bit for at least the handful of cars in front of us. On the last lap, I was making a move on Mikhail Aleshin and I could tell he was struggling.
“I was out of push-to-pass so I was trying to make a proper, full-out pass down he front straightaway. He had been starting to move over, not a major blocking maneuver but enough to assert his line. He hit the brake a lot earlier than I was expecting and I ended up running into the back of him. In doing so, it ripped the steering wheel from my hand and I ended up tweaking it.
“At the end of the day, to come home with an 11th place finish isn’t terrible. It is a bummer though as we were certainly on our way to finishing in the top 10 and now we are in a bit of a jam going forward.
“Hopefully I can get back to it here before the next race.”