IndyCar rookie Jack Hawksworth made contact with the wall during practice Wednesday, marking the first crash of Indianapolis 500 practice this year.
Hawksworth got out of the car safely and walked to the safety vehicle on his own.
"Jack had a great Grand Prix race and he was leading it for a long time. I don't know quite what happened, I just saw he spun, he got to 180, made contact with the wall. The Bryan Herta guys will rebuild the car tonight and they'll be back out tomorrow," said three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, who is working with Track Team 13 this month.
The rain held off practice for much of the day. Drivers were able to get a few laps in after practice started up at 5:00 pm. For the first time ever, practice was extended to 7 p.m., though rain around 6:20 p.m. brought a close to the session.
"It does limit the practice time, which sometimes can be good. Because the mental toughness required to be out here every single day on the limit is tough," Franchitti said. "So a little break every now and then is good, but they want the whole of Fast Friday to get ready for qualifying and then we'll see what happens. Because that extra boost and having all the downforce out, it's a little tricky."
The wind was also a factor Wednesday, even for veteran drivers. Franchitti said the first north wind of the month was pushing cars into Turn 1 on the south end of the track.
"One's normally very difficult anyway, but these cold conditions allow the guys to take a little wick out and still have a lot of grip. So we're seeing some very fast speeds today and it's getting pretty interesting out there," Franchitti said.
The fastest speed so far has been posted by E.J. Viso, who clocked 224.488 mph on Tuesday. Kurt Busch wasn't far behind at 224.159 (also from Tuesday). Juan Pablo Montoya had 224.115 mph and Ryan Hunter-Reay was at 223.612 mph.?