Justin Wilson was transported by helicopter to a hospital Sunday after he appeared to have been struck by a piece of debris from Sage Karam’s car when it crashed in front of him during the final laps of the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.
Karam was leading when his No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet spun on its own in Turn 1 on Lap 179 of the 200 lap race. As parts from his car littered the track, one of the pieces appeared to strike Wilson, who was trailing.
Wilson’s car immediately veered into the left and into the inside wall on the exit of Turn 1. Safety workers immediately arrived and frantically worked to extricate Wilson from the No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda.
Wilson is currently in a coma and in critical condition while undergoing further evaluation at Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital in Allentown, Pa
The wall where Wilson hit was covered by a SAFER barrier.
Karam emerged from his car under his own power. He appeared to be shaken, but walked to an ambulance. He was later checked at the infield care center. IndyCar said he would be transported to Allentown as well, to evaluate a right foot injury.
IndyCar did not red flag the race for the incident, instead allowing a single file of cars to parade around the track as the safety crews worked.
Wilson, 36, is a native of Sheffield, England, who resides in Longmont, Colo. He has competed in American open-wheel racing since 2004, and competed in six races this season for Andretti Autosport, owned by former driver Michael Andretti.
“It’s a tough one right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with Justin right now,” team owner Michael Andretti said after watching another of his drivers, Ryan-Hunter Reay, win the race under caution.
Hunter-Reay was subdued in the winner’s circle as Pocono Raceway and its fans fell silent.
“I saw the trucks around him. … First thoughts with Justin, for sure. He’s my friend. I have no details right now, so it’s a bit hard not knowing anything,” Hunter-Reay said. “I thought Justin was OK the whole time. I thought he was in an ambulance and was going to get a check.”
Hunter-Reay was later told that Wilson was “unconscious and not responding” when he was airlifted to the hospital.
Wilson’s brother, Stefan Wilson, who spent four seasons (2009-12) driving in Indy Lights, the Verizon IndyCar feeder system, tweeted that he was trying to get himself and Justin’s wife, Julia, to the area, but that he had no update on his brother’s condition.