The car driven by Sebastien Bourdais, of France, impacts the wall bursts into flames in the second turn during qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Greg Huey)

Sebastien Bourdais crashes at Indy, taken off on backboard

May 20, 2017 - 6:56 pm

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Sebastien Bourdais was taken to a hospital Saturday after slamming head-on into the SAFER barrier during Indianapolis 500 qualifying.

Safety team members spent about 10 minutes getting the Frenchman out of the car before placing him on a backboard. He was awake, alert and was taken to Indiana University Methodist Hospital for further observation.

Track officials said he never lost consciousness.

A spokeswoman for Dale Coyne Racing said Bourdais was complaining of pain in his right leg.

He had just completed two laps over 231 mph — the fastest laps of the day — when his car wiggled coming through the second turn. The car slid up the track, into the wall and flipped over before coming to a stop down the backstretch.

Bourdais won the season-opening race at St. Petersburg, Florida, and had the fastest time in Friday's practice.

It is unclear whether he will be able to drive the No. 18 car when the traditional 33-car starting grid is set Sunday.

Because there are only 33 cars entered for the May 28 race, any that do not qualify will be sent to the back of the field and will be arranged based on entrant's points.


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