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.
VIDEO: Tony Kanaan says racing a 'selfish sport'
RTV6 Sports Director Dave Furst caught up with IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan in Sonoma, California, this week.
VIDEO: Mario Andretti on death of Justin Wilson
RTV6 Sports Director Dave Furst caught up with IndyCar legend Mario Andretti in Sonoma, California, this week.
VIDEO: Oriol Servia on driving Wilson's car
RTV6 Sports Director Dave Furst caught up with IndyCar driver Oriol Servia in Sonoma, California, this week.
David Letterman struggling with love of racing
This kind of list makes David Letterman sick to his stomach and question his love of auto racing.
How to contribute to Justin Wilson fund
In the season's last IndyCar race this weekend, the drivers will begin it by honoring driver Justin Wilson.
Wilson went extra mile for people with dyslexia
By now we know the extraordinary driving abilities of Justin Wilson, but you might not know he was dyslexic and devoted a tremendous amount…