How Hinchcliffe Recovered From Being A Human 'Shish Kabob'

Photo credit: Kurt Bradley

When people mention James Hinchcliffe’s life-threatening Indianapolis 500 practice accident one year ago, they often gloss over all of the gory details. Not Hinch himself, though. His recap of the accident—which he doesn’t remember, thanks to a concussion—and his recovery on The Players’ Tribune is a must-read.

Despite an over 200 mph impact that forced a metal rod through both thighs, Hinchcliffe was adamant about getting back in the car as soon as he was awake:

In fact, one of my first questions when I woke up in ICU was, “When can I get back in the car?” The doctors stared at me in complete disbelief, like, How is a guy in the condition he’s in asking when can he get back into the machine that did this to him?

It’s because we’re wired wrong. This is our passion, and we accept the risks that come along with it. I don’t expect anybody who’s not a driver to understand it. It’s just what we do. We get back into the car.


I don’t think that’s wrong at all. If there’s any one story from last year that puts this year’s race in perspective, it’s this one. Read the whole thing here.

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Stef Schrader

Contributor, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.