A back-left wheel was flung away from the track of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. No one was seriously hurt by the flying debris.

The final laps of the race proved to be dangerous after driver Felix Rosenqvist struck a wall and began to spin out of control over the entire track. Matters grew worse, on turn two, as Kyle Kirkwood was unable to avoid the vehicle and caught just enough to tear off the entire wheel. Thankfully, despite smacking the wall and flipping Andretti Autosport‘s Honda on its top, Kirkwood has since been cleared and released.

The wheel was “sailing” when it cleared the catch fence before slamming into a white Chevrolet Cruze owned by a fan Robin Matthews. Understandably, she said that the 107th Indianapolis 500 will not be one she will ever forget.

“It’s very concerning,” said IndyCar owner Roger Penske.


A week of sports news in your in-box.
We find the sports news you need to know, so you don't have to.

Penske went on to say that IndyCar would investigate the matter to determine the cause of the unfortunate incident. He also mentioned that they had not, “seen a wheel come off in a long time.”

IndyCar has released a statement on the matter that the wheel tether, which prevents wheel-to-car separation, did not fail during the crash.

“This is an isolated incident and the series is reviewing to make sure it does not happen again,” added IndyCar.

There have been at least two reported fatal incidents of wheel remnants harming fans. The most recent was in 1987. Tony Bettenhausen‘s wheel hit Lyle Kurtenbach who died of head injuries after it was sent into the air. This led to the catch fence being raised from 15 feet to 19 feet, eight inches.

It may need to be raised once again, for the safety of those who love their Indy 500 series and their families.

Read more about:

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Listen to the uInterview Podcast!
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!