SPEEDWAY -- Going into Monday’s Indianapolis 500 practice, it had been a clean month on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. There had been no serious crashes, only scrapes with the wall by several drivers.

That calm was shattered with 49 minutes left in Monday’s practice session when Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver Katherine Legge and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Stefan Wilson had a heavy crash in Turn 1.

With the cars practicing in race trim, and with part of the idea of testing being how the cars would run in race-style traffic, Legge -- who was trailing Wilson -- was carrying more speed entering the turn and was unable to brake to avoid Wilson, who had slowed in the turn after Santino Ferrucci passed Devlin DeFrancesco in front of him.

Legge collided into the right rear of Wilson’s car as both entered the turn.

Both cars careened hard into the Turn 1 wall at near maximum speed. Legge’s car briefly went airborne, while Wilson’s car took a couple of hits on the SAFER barrier, including a nose-first hit. Both cars came to a rest in the south short chute.

“Cars had checked up (braked) in front of me. I went to lift and to down-shift, but I was carrying too much speed going into Turn 1,” said Legge, who was uninjured.

Wilson’s car hit the SAFER barrier with significant enough force to require repair by IMS.

Legge was out of her car relatively quickly in the wake of the accident, but Wilson had to be extricated from his car by the IndyCar safety team. Wilson was stretchered into an ambulance but gave a thumbs up before he was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital.

Dr. Julia Vaizer of IU Health later gave an update.

“Stefan is doing well. He is being transported (to Methodist Hospital) for further evaluation, but he’s in good spirits. He has no significant issues at this time,” Vaizer said.

Later on Monday, it was revealed the Wilson's injuries would keep him out of the Indy 500.

"After being transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital for further tests, it was disclosed that Wilson suffered a fracture of the 12th thoracic vertebrae and will stay overnight at the hospital for further tests and observation," a statement from Dreyer & Reinbold said. "Based on this type of injury, Wilson will not be allowed to compete in this Sunday’s 107th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race."

There was no update on who might compete in Wilson's place on Sunday. Dreyer & Reinbold said an update would come "in due course". Since the team would need a replacement driver, the No. 24 car would have to go to the back of the field and all of the cars starting behind Wilson's original 25th spot on the grid would move up a position.

Multi-car accidents are relatively rare in Indy 500 practice sessions. It was the first one since 2020.

The front nose cone of Wilson’s car was torn off in the accident. It is not initially known whether Dreyer & Reinbold will prepare a new car or if Wilson will be able to drive at all.

RLL later said its intention is to repair Legge’s car in time for Sunday’s race. There was heavy damage to the tub of the car on both sides.

It continued a nightmarish month for RLL as best-known driver Graham Rahal was not able to qualify for the race Sunday.

“It’s another blow to the team after yesterday. Those guys don’t deserve it. It’s not right,” Legge said.


Team Penske didn’t fare well in qualifying over the weekend, with Will Power qualifying best among the team’s three drivers in 12th.

However, Penkse had been quick in race trim last week, and the team’s strength was born out in Monday’s practice.

Power had the fastest speed at 229.222 mph. He edged Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, who turned a lap at 229.184 mph.

Power is powered by Chevrolet, Dixon by Honda. Power likes the engine under his hood.

“I think Chevy has a bit of an advantage on the power as well. I feel like we have good horsepower, and I think we're in good shape,” Power said.

Power, however, was the only Penske driver among the fastest. Scott McLaughlin was 12th-best at 225.787 mph, and Josef Newgarden was 24th-best at 224.296.

Power gave notice something to watch on race day might be tire wear.

“I think it's just because the left sides are softer. They just degrade easier. I haven't had a set without a vibration yet,” Power said.

Dixon was one of three Ganassi drivers in the top five. Takuma Sato (third, 228.382) and pole-sitter Alex Palou (fourth, 227.392) were the others.

Arrow McLaren’s Tony Kanaan rounded out the top five with a speed of 227.094 mph.

Two surprises came next in order. Ed Carpenter Racing’s Conor Daly (227.093) and Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti (226.632) were next quickest. Both had relative quiet months to date.

“Third year in a row with no track position, but I think if it's able to materialize with strategy and stuff like that, I think we have a car to stay there,” Andretti said.

The track will go dark for three days before the final practice Friday, the much-anticipated two-hour Carb Day session at 11 a.m. The pit stop competition takes place at 2:30 p.m.

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