LOOK: IndyCar driver Takuma Sato accidentally hits crew member, who hops right back up at Texas Motor Speedway
Takuma Sato hurt his chances at a victory more than he hurt Chris Welch
IndyCar Series veteran Takuma Sato lost a clear-cut lead early in Saturday's DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, and it wasn't because of other drivers catching up to him on the track.
No, it was actually because he overshot his own pit stop, upended his front-tire changer and clipped one of his own crew members -- a truly incredible accomplishment for a professional race driver.
The craziest part of all? Sato apparently hurt his chances at a victory more than he did Chris Welch, the pit crew member he nearly pinned to a wall while crashing into his pit stop after 60 laps.
As the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported, Sato's car didn't come to a stop until it rolled all the way to Ryan Hunter-Reay's pits, from which it was pushed back, ultimately costing the Japanese driver three laps and a stop-and-go penalty. But Welch, who was swept right off his feet during Sato's abrupt arrival, left the whole incident rather unscathed.
He eventually received attention from the infield care center before being released later in the race. And before that, Welch stayed in the pits, aiding the crew as usual.
"I'm all good," he said afterward. "A few aches and pains. They did a bunch of X-rays. Nothing's broke. Scraped-up knee. Thanks to the IndyCar nurses and Texas infield care (who) took good care of me. I'm just more frustrated I'm not over the wall right now, you know. That's part of my job, and I enjoy doing it. But it happens. I'll be back out there next week."
When Sato came speeding toward him, Welch added, the only thing on his mind was doing his job.
"I got hit. I got knocked down. I got right back up," he said. "I got right back up, went right for the car to get it right back in the box ... That's the job. These guys put their lives on the line, and so do we. That's why we enjoy it."
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