INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis 500 fan whose car was damaged when a tire flew off an IndyCar during a crash will receive a new vehicle.
A spokesperson confirmed that Indianapolis Motor Speedway will replace Robin Matthews’ car. Details regarding the vehicle are still pending.
With fewer than 20 laps to go during Sunday’s Indy 500, Felix Rosenqvist spun out and Kyle Kirkwood was unable to avoid a collision. The crash sent Kirkwood’s back left tire careening over the grandstands in Turn 2. It eventually ended up in a parking lot, where it hit Matthews’ parked Chevrolet.
Kirkwood’s car ended up going upside down as it skidded across the track, kicking up sparks. He and Rosenqvist were able to get out of their race cars under their own power.
The crash resulted in a red flag that delayed the ending of the race. It was the first of three such red flags before a one-lap shootout that ended with Josef Newgarden edging out Marcus Ericsson for the checkered flag.
While no one was hurt by the tire, IndyCar said debris from the crash struck one spectator, who was checked and released from the infield care center.
Matthews’ car had to be towed after the tire incident. The track gave her the chance to kiss the bricks before IMS President Doug Boles gave her a ride home.
Team and track owner Roger Penske said IndyCar would investigate why the tire flew off. For more than two decades, the series has used a wheel suspension tether to prevent tires from becoming dislodged during crashes.
The change followed a handful of incidents in which fans were killed or injured after tires became detached from vehicles and landed in the stands.
In a statement following Sunday’s crash, IndyCar said it was in possession of the tire and found that the “tether did not fail.” The series considered it an “isolated incident” and is reviewing the case to make sure “it does not happen again.”