IndyCar's Robert Wickens hospitalized with orthopedic injuries after Pocono Raceway crash

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IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was rushed to a hospital. That caused Hunter-Reay's auto to careen into the wall and Wickens' vehicle was pulled along for the ride. Wickens' vehicle launched over the top of Hunter-Reay and into the catch fencing, spinning around and destroying the fencing.

Wickens was lifelined out of the track.

Medical staff were alongside Wickens nearly immediately, stabilising the driver before transporting him via helicopter to hospital.

The race was red flagged and drivers were allowed out of their cars.

It was the latest chilling moment at Pocono: Justin Wilson died from a head injury in 2015 when a piece of debris from a crashed vehicle bounced off the track and hit his helmet.

The fence incurred major damage that will take a lengthy period of time - IndyCar officials said it will take at least an hour in duration - and rain is approaching the area, as well.

May said: "It may not be the prettiest job but it's going to be safe". IndyCar driver Justin Wilson was killed at Pocono in 2015 when he was struck in the head by debris from a vehicle that crashed ahead of him.

James Hinchcliffe, Takuma Sato and Pietro Fittipaldi were also involved in the wreck.

Hinchcliffe exited his auto under his own power but was seen holding his wrists and walking gingerly to a safety vehicle. He was cleared and released from the medical centre. He declined to comment to reporters out of respect for Wickens.

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"If you want to be above some of these guys, you've got to go outside your comfort zone and change things", Veach said of making on-board changes during his qualifying run.

He was taken by helicopter to the hospital and IndyCar said the Canadian was awake and alert when he left the track.

Fittipaldi later tweeted, "Thanks to everyone for the messages. Praying for you @robertwickens, I hope you're ok".

Wickens was tended to by IndyCar safety personnel after the crash.

After the race went green again, the drivers did not complete a full lap before Wickens' crash. Graham Rahal and Spencer Pigot tangled as the field was coming to the green flag start of the race. "None of us ever want to see something like that happen. The start can be debated for years, but doesn't matter right now, focus on the well being of our friends and competitors".

Hinchcliffe is a team teammate of Wickens on the all-Canadian Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team.

Wickens, of Guelph, Ontario, was rushed to hospital by air ambulance on Sunday after he collided with Ryan Hunter-Reay's IndyCar at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

IndyCar drivers can steel their will to put any kind of bad news behind them once they get behind the wheel and hit 220 miles per hour in an open cockpit.

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