Less than 45 minutes into the opening IndyCar practice session, Texas Motor Speedway saw its first wreck.
Ryan Hunter-Reay slammed hard into the outside wall of Turn 2, and then spun into the inside wall causing heavy rear damage to his car. He’ll almost certainly need a backup car for Saturday’s Firestone 600.
Hunter-Reay, driving the No. 28 Honda, suffered no injuries, and was cleared medically shortly after the accident. Before the accident, Hunter-Reay had a top practice speed of 214.170 mph.
“It was a big surprise ... not sure what happened,” Hunter-Reay said.
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Hunter-Reay is best known for winning the IndyCar series championship in 2012 and the Indianapolis 500 in 2014.
IndyCar made plenty of headlines before this year’s Indy 500 for the number of wrecks leading into the prestigious race. There were four significant wrecks, including three drivers getting airborne and another wreck that left driver James Hinchcliffe hospitalized.
IndyCar made a couple alterations to its superspeedway aero kits coming into Texas. They developed a closure panel for the front and back of the rear wheel guards, which should eliminate lift when a car is traveling backwards at high speed during an accident.
Judging by Hunter-Reay’s accident, that change seems to have worked as he stayed on the ground.
IndyCar also adjusted the degree of the rear wing angle has been adjusted to increase the overall downforce with the hope that it helps enhance the overall racing.