LEXINGTON, Ohio – Driver Justin Wilson broke a bone in his back when he crashed during qualifying at the IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio on Saturday.
Wilson was taken to the hospital after he spun off the course and hit a bump between Turns 1 and 2. He was awake and alert when taken to MedCentral Mansfield.
IndyCar medical director Dr. Michael Olinger said Wilson sustained an anterior compression fracture of the fifth vertebra. Wilson will be kept overnight at the hospital before being transported to Indianapolis on Sunday to meet with specialists.
Simon Pagenaud took over the No. 22 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing entry in place of Wilson and qualified No. 22 on the starting grid.
Wilson is 14th in the IndyCar standings, with four top-10 finishes.
Fellow driver Dario Franchitti said the area of the track where Wilson was injured is a trouble spot.
"The grass is very, very rough — massive undulations on the grass. And then you swap onto an access road or another part of the track and then it goes back onto the grass," Franchitti said. "The difference can be as much as a foot in places. Especially there, it's plenty quick. The cars don't deal with that kind of rough ground."
Several drivers expressed concern for Wilson after the qualifying session.