Hinchcliffe to miss more time with concussion

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 11, 2014 at 6:38 pm •  Published: May 11, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — James Hinchcliffe's tough IndyCar start is getting more clouded.

E.J. Viso replaced the injured Canadian on Sunday in the opening practice for the Indianapolis 500 and it's still unclear when the popular Hinchcliffe will turn his first laps on the famed 2.5-mile oval.

Hinchcliffe was injured Saturday in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis when debris from Justin Wilson's car flew into the cockpit, striking Hinchcliffe in the head. He was taken away from the track on a stretcher, transported to a hospital and diagnosed with a concussion. He was hoping to be re-examined Sunday, but that never happened and now he's out until at least Tuesday.

"We'll have a better feeling then," team owner Michael Andretti said. "They just said rest and they don't want to see him again until Tuesday."

Later, the team issued a statement saying that exam date has been scheduled.

Traditionally, IndyCar drivers with concussions have missed a minimum of seven days off before being cleared to race. But series officials issued a statement Sunday night, saying concussions are handled on a case-by-case basis and that drivers with head injuries must pass an ImPACT test before they're cleared to compete by series medical director Dr. Michael Olinger.

If Olinger adheres to the strict timeline, though, Hinchcliffe would miss the only full week of Indy practice and might not be back in the No. 27 Honda until next weekend when the only two qualifying sessions will be held.

Andretti brought in Viso, who hadn't even been in an IndyCar this season until completing 28 laps Sunday.

Even Viso isn't sure what to expect next. He finished sixth on the speed charts with a fast lap of 222.105 mph. Twenty-four cars made it onto the track. Australia's Will Power, who drives for Roger Penske, was the fastest of the 24 cars at 223.057 mph.

Viso said he is prepared to do whatever Andretti's team needs — even if that means replacing Hinchcliffe for qualifying or in the May 25 race.

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