INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — England's Mike Conway will be sidelined from IndyCar racing for at least three months with leg and back injuries sustained in his frightening Indianapolis 500 crash, his team said Monday.
Conway had surgery for multiple fractures in his lower left leg. He was also diagnosed with a compression fracture in his spine, an injury that wasn't confirmed until Monday.
Conway was hurt on the penultimate lap of the 200-lap race on the 2.5-mile oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The 26-year-old was charging through the pack when Ryan Hunter-Reay, low on fuel, slowed.
Conway couldn't avoid hitting Hunter-Reay and the collision sent Conway's car careening into the catch fencing, with his car breaking into pieces as the remaining cars on the track barrelled through.
Conway was on race winner Dario Franchitti's mind as the Scottish driver took a lap around the speedway with reporters in a van.
"When they called yellow, there was relief, like 'OK, this helps us'," said Franchitti, who had Dan Wheldon bearing down on him when Conway's crash prompted the caution that prevented Wheldon from overtaking.
"Then, the next thing you heard was 'Debris is everywhere'.
"And I thought 'Oh no.' Then I saw it was Mike and was hoping it was OK, and when I came around the next time, I saw his helmet was off and I knew he was OK. When you see the size of that accident, you knew he was lucky."
Conway will be fitted for a back brace that he will wear for three months.
Hunter-Reay injured his left thumb Sunday and was to have surgery, but the injury didn't happen in the big late crash.
Doctors believe a carbon fiber splint will allow Hunter-Reay to compete Saturday at Texas in what could be his final IndyCar race for Andretti Autosport.
His part-time deal was set to end after the event in Texas.
Hunter-Reay, who has one win this season, finished 18th at Indy and Conway was 19th.
Dreyer and Reinbold had three other drivers in Sunday's race - Brazil's Ana Beatriz, South Africa's Tomas Scheckter and England's Justin Wilson. Beatriz, and Indy newcomer, also got caught up in Conway's spectacular crash.
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