By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
INDIANAPOLIS – James Hinchcliffe was dealt a major blow and wrecked during today’s qualifying for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
The 32-year-old Canadian was on the second lap of his four-lap run when the back end of the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda snapped around and hit the SAFER Barrier. The left side of the car was severely damaged on impact and skated on its left sidepod before landing upright and coming to a stop midway down the backstretch.
“The car was on the edge, for sure,” said Hinchcliffe. “We were a little loose in (Turns) 3 and 4, but 1 and 2 was solid. I was planning to dial in some understeer in on the North side of the track on that lap. Something just caught me in 2, I don’t know if it was a gust of wind or what. We had been pretty aggressive on the setup and with a gusty day that what happens.
“Pretty much our nightmare.”
It was a year ago when Hinchcliffe suffered heartbreak when a vibration in the final moments last year kept him from making the field of 33.
Team co-owner Sam Schmidt acknowledged a backup car already being prepared and expressed hope they could return before everything finishes at 5:50 p.m. ET.
— NTT IndyCar Series (@IndyCar) May 18, 2019