Turn 1 was a dangerous place during opening practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series at Pocono Raceway.
Following a blistering lap speed of 217.932 mph, Ryan Hunter-Reay’s No. 28 Andretti Autosport Honda snapped sideways in Turn 1, leading to a massive shunt into the SAFER barrier.
Though his chassis lifted off the ground after impact, Hunter-Reay landed back on the ground before coming to rest against the inside wall.
In a similar incident later in the session, Charlie Kimball lost his No. 83 Chevrolet in the first turn before backing it into the wall hard. The crash came moments after the Chip Ganassi Racing car posted the fourth quickest lap speed at 218.622 mph.
In an odd sight, Kimball’s steering wheel was found dislodged from the racecar shortly following the impact with the wall. Kimball later said his knee knocked it loose during one of the impacts.
“The rear started to slide and I couldn’t catch it anymore,” Kimball said. “Then I packed it in pretty heavy. It’s too bad, I feel really bad for the guys.”
In the final minutes of the lengthened opening session, Juan Pablo Montoya over-corrected his No. 2 Team Penske machine in Turn 2, pancaking the outside wall before striking the inside wall. The 2014 Pocono winner was ninth fastest before the crash.
All three drivers were checked and released from infield care center and will both go to back-up machines for qualifying.