Hinchcliffe pays tribute to Holmatro Safety Team that saved his life

Published May. 26, 2015 4:06 p.m. EDT

INDIANAPOLIS -- James Hinchcliffe, who suffered life-threatening injuries in last week's crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, surprised the audience at Monday night's Indianapolis 500 Victory Awards Celebration with an audio tribute to the Holmatro Safety Team.

It was the quick action of the Safety Team that kept Hinchcliffe from bleeding to death when a suspension rod pierced through the tub of his race car after a pounding crash into the SAFER Barrier at an estimated 228 mph. The rod entered Hinchcliffe's right leg, travelled through his left thigh and into his pelvis. He lost a massive amount of blood, but the Holmatro Safety Team was able to stop the bleeding in order to cut him out of the car. After that, Hinchcliffe underwent emergency surgery at IU Health Methodist Hospital.

Amazingly, the driver from Oakville, Ontario, was walking the halls of the hospital last Thursday, sent out a photo of him and his girlfriend watching Sunday's Indianapolis 500 from his hospital bed, and then surprised the crowd with a tribute that started, "Greetings from the fourth floor of Methodist Hospital."

The members of the Holmatro Safety Team were honored during the banquet and given a standing ovation.


"While I do sit with a long road to recovery in front of me, it's very possible my road could have come to an end last week were it not for the speedy response and heads up action taken by our incredible safety team," Hinchcliffe said. "It's incredible to me that for as dangerous a sport as we participate in, we can so often confidently strap into our cars, pushing the danger to the back of our minds, and that is largely due to the fact that we know just how good hands we are in.

"To Mike Yates and the entire Holmatro Safety Crew -- from myself and all of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers -- thank you so much for everything you have done and will continue to do to keep us safe at the track. It means the world to us. Thank you and I will see you at the track again soon."

Also, three drivers that were involved in the multi-car crash on Sunday -- Jack Hawksworth, Stefano Coletti and Sebastian Saavedra -- spoke about the incident. The crash in Turn 4 on Lap 176 scattered debris over a large area of the race course and set up the final battle when the green flag waved on Lap 185.

"I guess it's on me, the last 30 laps I got a little bit greedy and I misjudged the speed differential," Hawksworth said. "Apologies to the other two guys. It's on me."

Coletti and Saavedra joined Hawksworth on stage to discuss the crash.

"I saw two cars spinning in front of me and I missed the first one but the second one came off the wall and I didn't miss that one," Coletti said.

Saavedra suffered a foot injury and admitted he was a little loopy.

"The medicine is actually making me be with you guys today," Saavedra joked. "I won't pass the drug test for Detroit."


Be sure to catch Bruce Martin's Honda IndyCar Report on RACEDAY on FOX Sports Radio every Sunday from 6-8 a.m. ET.