Track to blame for Wilson's broken back
Justin Wilson suffered a compression fracture in his back Saturday when he drove through a run-off area at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course that Dario Franchitti deems unsafe. The Izod IndyCar Series' points leader said that he told series officials during a recent test that the ground was too uneven if a car happened to travel over it.
That's what happened Saturday. Wilson's Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car drifted off the course, stormed through the grass and then struck the asphalt edge of an access road, bouncing him hard several times.
Indy cars have very rigid and flat bottoms, an area in which drivers are most susceptible to injury because they sit so low to the ground.
"The grass is very, very rough -- massive undulations on the grass," he said.
"Then you swap onto an access road -- almost another part of the track -- then it goes back onto the grass. The difference can be as much as a foot in places."
Wilson wouldn't have been at maximum speed for the 2.258-mile circuit, but it's still a quick section, Franchitti said.
"It's bloody quick," he said. "The cars don't deal with that kind of rough ground."
Kevin Savoree, Franchitti's former boss at what was then Andretti Green Racing, is part of Mid-Ohio's new Indianapolis-based ownership group. He said there hasn't been time to make changes to the facility they bought in March.
Wilson could not be reached for comment, but one of his team owners, Dennis Reinbold, said there was "no doubt" he was injured.
"He was in a lot of pain," Reinbold said.
Compression fractures can take eight to 10 weeks to heal, sometimes more when surgery is required. Indy Star