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article imageINDYCAR: Wilson in coma after incident at Pocono

By John Duarte     Aug 24, 2015 in Sports
Long Pond - Ryan Hunter-Reay won the penultimate race of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season on Sunday, but the celebrations were subdued after a crash late in the ABC Supply 500 sent Justin Wilson to hospital with serious head injuries.
The incident occurred in the late stages of the race after Sage Karam hit the outside wall in Turn 1 at Pennsylvania's Pocono Raceway, sending debris across the track. What appeared to be a piece of the nose cone from Karam's car struck Wilson on the head as he drove to avoid the debris. Wilson's car turned sharply and bounced off the inside wall. IndyCar safety workers converged on the scene and Wilson was airlifted to hospital after being extricated from his car.
Michael Andretti, who is car owner for Wilson and race winner Hunter-Reay, said, “It's just a tough one right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with Justin right now. Hopefully, he's okay.”
As of Monday morning, IndyCar officials would only say that Wilson was in critical condition and undergoing further evaluation at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pa.
ABC Supply 500 winner Hunter-Reay was subdued after the race — the victory being an afterthought. He showed ultimate concern for his teammate, trying to get an update on Wilson's condition.
“All I know is that he was unconscious, he was not responding and he was airlifted,” Hunter-Reay said. “That's all very bad. I'm very worried right now.”
The win was Hunter-Reay's second in three races in what has otherwise been a disappointing year for the 2012 series champion. He sits in 11th place in the driver standings. Hunter-Reay thanked his team, saying his crew has “given me great race cars over the years and this was one of them.” He took over the lead on Lap 196 of 200 and coasted to victory with the race finishing under yellow-flag conditions.
“We came through the field several times and the team game me what we needed,” said Hunter-Reay, who started eighth on the grid. “I hope fans enjoyed the show because it was fun in the race car.”
Josef Newgarden finished second in the ABC Supply 500 and Juan Pablo Montoya was third. The race was marred by multiple crashes and over one quarter of the total distance was driven under the caution flag.
Six drivers will battle for the title at the final race of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series. It will be the tenth-consecutive year the series championship will be decided in the season finale. Only five drivers have a mathematical chance of catching points leader Montoya, who has a 34-point advantage over Graham Rahal in the standings. Despite the good-size gap, Montoya is not ready to celebrate just yet, especially with 100 points up for grabs at the season finale.
“You never count it before it's yours,” said Montoya. “We've had an awesome year. We've got (an Indianapolis 500) win. We've done everything. If we win the championship, it's a bonus.”
The other four drivers still in the hunt for the IndyCar title are three-time series champion Scott Dixon, reigning champion Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Newgarden.
The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma brings the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule to a close on Aug. 30 at Sonoma Raceway, in California.
More about verizon indycar series, pocono raceway, Ryan hunter, Justin Wilson, Auto racing
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