IndyCar driver Mike Conway will miss at least 3 months with back and leg injuries from his frightening crash in the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.
Conway had surgery for multiple fractures in his lower left leg and has been diagnosed with a compression fracture in his back. The back injury was not confirmed until yesterday morning.
Conway's team, Dreyer & Reinbold, has yet to say who will replace him in the No. 24 car.
The 26-year-old Englishman was injured on Lap 199 when Ryan Hunter-Reay's car, already low on fuel, started sputtering. Conway was going about 220 mph through the short chute between turns three and four, and couldn't avoid running into the back of Hunter-Reay. The contact sent Conway airborne and into the catch fence, splitting the car into two large pieces though the driver's seat remained intact.
He was airlifted to a local hospital after the race, where he had surgery.
Yesterday morning, race winner Dario Franchitti reflected on the horrific crash as he took a lap with reporters in a van.
"When they called yellow, there was relief, like, 'OK, this helps us.' Then, the next thing you heard was, 'Debris is everywhere,' " Franchitti said. "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, who finished 19th in ther race, will be fitted for a back brace that he will wear for 3 months.
Franchitti earned $2,752,055 for his victory. Runner-up Dan Wheldon earned just over $1 million, and third-place finisher Marco Andretti earned $630,505.
Danica Patrick finished sixth.
In another race:
* Kurt Busch used a lightning fast final pit stop to chase down the leaders and give team owner Roger Penske a victory in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., Sunday.
Busch, who led 252 of the 400 laps has 1,869 points, second to Kevin Harvick (1,898) who finished 11th.