Scary Rollover Crash Halts Indy 500 Practice, Driver Safe

nolan siegel indianapolis 500 practice crash 2024
Rollover Halts Indy 500 Practice, Driver SafeIndyCar / YouTube

Friday's Indianapolis 500 practice session was briefly halted after a major crash in turn 2. The incident started when rookie Nolan Siegel spun into the outside wall and continued into a rollover on the back straight after Siegel's car caught air while spinning. Siegel immediately reported to his team that he was okay and he has already been seen and released by the track's infield care center.

Unlike two other drivers who have crashed this week, Siegel did not drift below the line and onto the mid-corner kerbing before spinning. He instead stayed on a reasonable racing line well into the corner exit, only for the car to violently snap around at around 230 MPH before heading into a spin that ended in the outside wall. Momentum then carried the car back into the wall, allowing air to hit the bottom of the floor at what were still fairly high speeds.


The air then blew the car over, leaving it to roll in the air and land hard on the top of the nose and sidepod. That hit was hard enough to make the car bounce, so Siegel's car hit the pavement again a split second later.

Two hits into the track itself were enough to cause a brief delay for pavement inspection, but the track did not require significant repairs. Since this is the Friday before qualifying and horsepower has been boosted to qualifying levels while teams prepare for the session, Siegel's crash happened at faster speeds than he would see in the same corner during next Sunday's race.

Siegel, a rookie running a part-time schedule for Dale Coyne Racing while racing full time in the Indy NXT junior series, has been struggling to get up to speed in the senior-level car. Runs near the bottom of the timing sheet in the week's only two long practice sessions to date already put Siegel in danger of facing the last row shootout that will determine which of the 34 entered drivers misses the race. Now that his car has been substantially damaged and his team may need to go to a backup, he will be both running in a potentially slower car and asked to get it up to speed without a full day of practice in advance of his first career four-lap qualifying run.

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