Mayor Ballard back to work after Grand Prix injury

Ballard hit by debris during start of race

INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard returned to work and spoke publicly for the first time since he was injured by flying debris at the start of Saturday's inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

Ballard returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday. He said he never saw what hit him, but he knew immediately that he had been hit hard and had been hurt.

The heavy metal that struck the mayor at the start of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis almost knocked him over.

The shower of debris that injured him and at least two other spectators happened after the car of pole-sitter Sebastian Saavedra failed to start the race.

It wasn't until Ballard went to the track hospital that he and medical personnel realized he had been injured more extensively than he first thought.

"I have cuts here. I'm not going to do the LBJ thing. I didn't know it was there," Ballard said.

Ballard spent more than an hour at the track hospital -- longer than any driver involved in a crash during the race.

He underwent X-rays so that medical staff could be assured that he was struck by metal and not carbon fibers off of the race cars.

Ballard said he missed the entire race, including the finish, but he remains the number one fan of the Speedway.

"I didn't know that the pole car didn't move. But I'll be back," Ballard said.

Ballard said doctors put him on pain medication, but as of Sunday night, he no longer felt the need to take it.

Follow Jack Rinehart on Twitter: @jackrinehart6

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