FONTANA, Calif. - Rookie IndyCar driver Mikhail Aleshin was hospitalized in serious condition Friday night after a frightening crash in the final practice session for the series season finale.
Aleshin was taken away from the Fontana track in an ambulance and airlifted to nearby Loma Linda University Medical Center. The Russian driver has broken ribs and a broken right collarbone along with a concussion and chest injuries, an IndyCar spokesperson said.
At least three drivers played a role in the crash in Turn 4, which had a gaping hole in the catch fencing and a wheel wrapped in the fence after Aleshin's car violently flew up against it.
Aleshin, who drives for Sam Schmidt, spun when he went below the white line in the turn. He slid back up the track and collided with Charlie Kimball in a shower of sparks and smoke, sending Aleshin's car flying into the catch fence while spinning.
Kimball improbably escaped serious injury, walking away from his ravaged car. Debris was strewn all over the track as safety personnel gathered around the wreck of Aleshin, who was removed on a stretcher.
Aleshin is the first Russian driver in IndyCar history, joining a team with title contender Simon Pagenaud this year after a career in open-wheel racing in Europe. He is 15th in the overall points standings with seven top-10 finishes this season, including a career-best fifth-place finish at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis in May.
Indy 500 champ, rookie of year fined after race
Indy 500 rookie of the year Gabby Chaves has been fined $10,000 and put on probation for six races after hitting a crew member with his car…
IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe out of hospital
IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe was released from IU Health Methodist Hospital Tuesday after a serious injury in a crash on…
Montoya earns $2.4 million for Indy 500 win
Juan Pablo Montoya earned $2,449,055 for his Indianapolis 500 victory on Sunday.
VIDEO: Juan Pablo Montoya pit stop at Indy 500
Team Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya took home the Borg-Warner Trophy Sunday. This is what an Indy 500 champion's pit stop looks like.
SHIRTLESS AT THE 500: Were you spotted?
No shirt, no shoes... no problem.
PHOTOS: Multiple crashes slow the Indy 500
The crashes started in the first lap and continued throughout the Indy 500.