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Pato O’Ward OK after car nearly flips in heavy impact during practice

With his Dallara-Chevrolet nearly flipping over, Pato O’Ward became the third driver in two days to endure a hard crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Carlin Racing driver escaped injury Thursday afternoon after his car briefly went airborne after a hard impact with the SAFER barrier on the exit of Turn 2.

O’Ward’s car went nose first into the outside wall and then lifted off the pavement after its left rear spun into an impact.

The 2018 Indy Lights champion was cleared to race after a visit to the IMS care center.

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“I’m OK,” O’Ward told NBC Sports Gold after his release. “I went for a ride. There are two kinds of people at IMS -- the ones who are going to hit the wall and the ones who have already hit the wall.

“Oh, I hit hard. I felt it and maybe hit the side of the monocoque. My hands are a bit sore. The good thing is we are OK. It looks like I just lost it, I guess. There is not much more I can say about that. It looks like I’m OK. The team is going to get a car ready for the next sessions or for Friday. They are getting the spare car ready.”

The crash comes in the wake of heavy impacts during practice Wednesday for Fernando Alonso and Felix Rosenqvist.