Briscoe crashes in Indy practice

Safety crew members put Ryan Briscoe onto a gurney after he crashed ahead of Indy 500...

Safety crew members put Ryan Briscoe onto a gurney after he crashed ahead of Indy 500 qualifications. (REUTERS/Jamie Gallagher)

, Last Updated: 11:50 AM ET

INDIANAPOLIS -- Ryan Briscoe from Team Penske wrecked during Saturday's final practice session preceding "Pole Day" qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Briscoe spun around and backed it hard into the turn two wall. He was transported by ambulance to the track's infield care center. Despite suffering a bruised knee, IndyCar medical personnel cleared Briscoe to drive. His team prepared his backup car in time for him to turn laps around the famed 2.5-mile track in the closing minutes of practice.

"I'm a bit bruised on my knees," Briscoe said. "My legs knocked the wheel off, actually. It's a real bummer to start Pole Day off this way, but we're going to fight hard and get back out there and see how we can run.

"I think it was cold tires. It's little bit cooler this morning than what we had been running in. I just got to [turn] two, and it just snapped on me."

Alex Tagliani from Sam Schmidt Motorsports led the way during the two-hour session with a lap at 227.184 m.p.h.

Medical officials also cleared Simona de Silvestro following her crash in Friday's practice. De Silvestro lost control of her HVM Racing car and then slammed in the wall between turns three and four. Her car flipped several times and erupted into flames. She suffered second-degree burns on the back of her hands and superficial burns on her left hand and fingertips.

"Something broke on the rear suspension, and when that happens, you're just a passenger," de Silvestro said of the incident. "You can't really do anything about it, especially when you're going about 220 m.p.h. I hit the wall, and it took forever to land, it seemed, and then it started getting pretty hot out there. It was pretty shocking, actually, especially to be on fire."

De Silvestro ran 32 laps during Saturday's practice, with her best lap at 223.357 m.p.h.

"I can move my hands, but it is pretty tight because it pulls the skin; we'll get some gloves that can fit," she added.

Starting positions 1-24 for the May 29 Indy 500 will determined in Pole Day. The first day of qualifications concludes with the fastest nine drivers competing for the pole in a 90-minute shootout.

The remaining 33-car field will be determined in Sunday's "Bump Day."


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