Three drivers crash in opening IndyCar practice session at Pocono

Ryan Hunter-Reay's car slides to a halt after a crash in Turn 1 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. Saturday morning. (Videos at bottom of article)

The Verizon IndyCar Series took to the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway on Saturday morning for its first practice session of the weekend.

Initially scheduled for 90 minutes, the session saw 10 minutes added due to three on-track incidents, all of which saw the drivers checked and released from the infield care center. Qualifying and Saturday afternoon’s practice were ran without incident.

At last year’s ABC Supply 500, Justin Wilson was hit by debris in a crash in the closing stages of the event, and succumbed to injuries the following day.

The scary part about it, however, was that the incident was not initially a major one. Race leader Sage Karam had simply spun in Turn 1 and hit the wall. The nose cone flew off of his car and hit Wilson’s helmet, and Wilson died from head injuries on Aug. 24, 2015.

Wilson Children's Fund updates site as IndyCar heads to Pocono

IndyCar has made changes in the name of safety since Wilson’s fatal crash, most notably having added tethers to the nose cones to stop them from flying off in incidents.

Yet the fact that three cars crashed in Saturday morning’s session is worthy of note. Last year, the ABC Supply 500 was slowed 12 times, and saw 74 of the 200 laps ran under caution.

With it being the first practice session, teams could simply be experimenting with downforce levels at this point, and hopefully there will be less drama come Sunday.

Mikhail Aleshin set the fastest lap in the session at 221.932 mph.

Replays of this morning’s incidents are below.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (early on in the session):

Charlie Kimball: (his knee knocked his steering wheel off in the crash)

Juan Pablo Montoya: (crash in Turn 2 ended the session)