The third day of practice for the Indianapolis 500 saw the first major accident of the week involving a former Indy 500 Rookie of the Year. And the accident was enough to cause some concern for one of the American drivers attempting this year's 500 Mile Race.
During a six-hour practice session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday, Santino Ferrucci spun exiting turn 2, backing his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda hard into the outside wall with the rear and left side of the car. It took several moments for Ferrucci to exit his vehicle, and he needed to be assisted to a waiting safety truck and appeared to be unable to put weight on his left leg.
After being checked at the infield care center, Ferrucci was transported to local Methodist Hospital for further evaluation. Speaking to NBC Sports' broadcast, Indianapolis Motor Speedway medical director Dr. Geoffrey Billows said Ferrucci suffered a "minor" leg injury and did not seem overtly concerned about his status for the rest of May.
"He just has a minor injury on his left leg," Dr. Billows told NBC Sports, per Nate Ryan. "We're just sending him downtown for some advanced imaging. He's able to bear weight. He's conscious and alert. No really significant injuries."
Though Dr. Billows stated that he "would think" that Ferrucci would be cleared to return for Friday practice, he conceded that Ferrucci's status would be contingent on the rest of his medical evaluation.
At the time of his accident, Ferrucci had posted the third-fastest time of the day, though he was part of a minor incident near the beginning of the session. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing appeared to be staging a photo of their three cars at low speed on the front straightaway, but their doing so caused damage to both Colton Herta and Scott McLaughlin after both took evasive action to avoid a much worse accident.
Ferrucci, a 22-year old from Woodbury, Connecticut, is attempting his third Indianapolis 500 after finishing seventh and winning Rookie of the Year honors in 2019 before finishing fourth in 2020. In addition to racing in IndyCar, Ferrucci has also been a Formula 1 development driver and drives part-time for Sam Hunt Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.