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Two IndyCar drivers injured in Sonoma practice crash [Updated]

August 22, 2009 | 12:07 pm


IndyCar Series drivers Nelson Philippe and Will Power were injured today in a crash during practice for Sunday's Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

Both drivers suffered concussions and Philippe had an unspecified left-foot injury, and both were transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, IndyCar spokesman John Griffin said. Power also was to be examined for back pain. Both drivers were awake and alert, Griffin said.

[Updated 2:02 p.m.]: Power had two broken vertebra in his lower back and Philippe suffered a broken left foot and was undergoing surgery at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, said IndyCar spokesman John Griffin. Both drivers were expected to remain in the hospital at least overnight, he added.

The crash started just past Turn 3 on the 12-turn Infineon course when Philippe spun out and came to rest while still on the track. The turn features a slight crest and Philippe stopped just past, or below, that crest.

Another driver, E.J. Viso, then came over the crest and crashed into the front wheels of Philippe's car, and moments later Power followed and also slammed into Philippe's car, littering the track with debris.

It wasn't immediately known whether either driver would be able to compete in Sunday's race. Philippe, who drives for Conquest Racing, was attempting to make first start at Infineon Raceway in the IndyCar Series. Power drives for Penske Racing.

-- Jim Peltz in Sonoma

Photo: Will Power takes part in practice at Sonoma on Saturday. Credit: Ben Margot / Associated Press