Zach Veach became the second driver to hit the wall during Fast Friday practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, when the young American hit the wall on the exit of turn one before a secondary impact at turn two.
The AJ Foyt Racing driver, making his Indianapolis 500 debut in a third entry for the team alongside regulars Carlos Muñoz and Conor Daly, was just beginning a late qualifying simulation when the back end of his car started to come around on him, and he attempted to correct the slide only to run out of track and hit the SAFER barrier with the right hand side of his Chevrolet-powered Dallara.
The American was able to extract himself from his car and was taken to the medical centre for his mandatory check over, where he was then released and cleared to resume driving, although with the extensive damage to his car, it is likely to be sometime on Saturday that Veach returns to the 2.5-mile oval.
“Overall, I’m extremely disappointed that we had the accident so close to qualifying,” said Veach. “We’d been making such progress all day for this to happen, I feel badly for the entire crew and A.J., of course.
“Still trying to figure out what happened. At this point I’m thinking maybe it was a gust of wind. The entry to the middle of the corner felt perfectly fine like the runs before and then extremely late in the corner, the car just turned really suddenly.
“So we need to have a good look at everything to see exactly what was the cause, but with where it happened and particularly how things were feeling then, it caught me out by surprise. I had no idea this was going to be the outcome when I turned into that corner because things felt quite well by that point.
“I hate it for these guys because they’re going to have a long night and everyone’s been working so hard, and we were finally getting ahead of everything so for this to happen, I’m just extremely disappointed.”
Video courtesy of IndyCar