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Marcus Ericsson OK after slamming Turn 4 walls, attenuator during Indy 500 practice wreck

INDIANAPOLIS — Marcus Ericsson was able to walk away after a hard crash in Turn 4 during Indy 500 practice Thursday afternoon.

The Andretti Global driver lost control of his No. 28 Dallara-Honda, which hit the outside and inside walls before spinning into the attenuator that marks the start of the pit lane. was informed the team would have to prepare the backup car for “Fast Friday” and qualification weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 2022 Indy 500 winner said he brushed the curb on the apron, “and that was enough to send it, and then I was just a passenger.”

“We were in a bit of a pack of cars, did the slightest touch on the marking there on the inside of the corner and that was enough to send the car around,” Ericsson said after he was released from the IU Health Infield Hospital at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “The car snapped on me in the middle of the corner and when that happens, you are a passenger at this place.

“It’s very unfortunate.

“All of the progress we have made in the short amount of time we have been on track this week has been lost.”

Rain has plagued the three days of practice at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, which led to a sense of urgency when Thursday’s practice began at 10 a.m. ET.

Ericsson’s crash was at 3:39 p.m., which halted the session for the yellow flag. About 30 minutes later, light rain began to fall.

“I’m feeling OK,” Ericsson told NBC Sports’ Georgia Henneberry on Peacock after exiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield hospital. “Obviously, it was quite a decent hit, but the safety of these cars is very impressive. So feeling OK.”

Ericsson was ranked 18th fastest after making 79 laps.

“I think we were in good shape,” he said. “It’s going to knock us back quite a bit.”

Andretti Global communications director Ryann Weatherford confirmed to that most of the damage was on the left of the car. The right rear did not incur significant damage, but the nose of the car had damage.

Once the crash structure — the floor of the car — was removed, the team determined it was beyond repair in a timely manner and chose the backup car and the extra tub the team brought to Gasoline Alley from the Andretti Global shop on Zionsville Road in Northwest Indianapolis.

“We had three decent hits, and that is going to set us back quite a bit,” Ericsson said. “We made some good progress today, and that made it even more disappointing. The guys are going to have some work to build a new car.

“That’s tough.”

Ericsson was pleased with the progress of his simulated qualification laps and was preparing for race running in traffic at the time of his crash.

“That’s where we were before the incident,” the popular driver said. “Pinching the apex of the turn like that disrupts the car, and sometimes it flips it around.

“Small margins at this place. We know that.

“I was a bit too close to those margins today.”

But Ericsson is a true racer and can’t wait to get back at it again to test those margins even more.

It also illustrates how a big-name driver could be in jeopardy of missing the 33-car starting lineup if they pick a bad day to have a bad day during qualifications.

“That’s how it works around here,” Ericsson said. “Small margins. This place is all about speed. You want to get as close as possible to those limits.

“That’s the beauty of it.”


Marcus Ericsson after he was released from the IU Health Infield Hospital at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Marcus Ericsson after he was released from IU Health Infield Hospital at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — Bruce Martin Photo

Ericsson became the second Swedish driver to crash Thursday. More than three hours earlier, rookie Linus Lundqvist hit the Turn 2 wall in The American Legion Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing. He also was uninjured.

At the time the session was halted for rain, Pato O’Ward of Arrow McLaren was the fastest driver of the session at 228.861 miles per hour in the No. 5 Chevrolet.

Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin was second at 227.316 mph in the No. 3 Pennzoil Chevrolet and two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou was third at 226.915 mph in the No. 10 DHL Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500