Kyle Kirkwood May 28, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Andretti Autosport driver Kyle Kirkwood (27) slides across the SAFER barrier through the second turn after a crash with Arrow McLaren SP driver Felix Rosenqvist (not pictured) during the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jef Richards-USA TODAY Sports

Amid all the fun and excitement of the Indianapolis 500, things turned serious and scary instantly as a tire flew over the catchfence outside Turn 2.

The crash occurred on Lap 183. Felix Rosenqvist lost control and hit the wall. With his steering compromised, Rosenqvist didn’t really have control of his car. In trying to slow down, Rosenqvist lost control, veered into the racing line, and hit Kyle Kirkwood. Kirkwood’s tire rocketed off his car with the sound of a gunshot, blasted over the catchfence toward the Turn 2 grandstands while Kirkwood flipped.

Thankfully, Rosenqvist and Kirkwood are okay, and the tire missed the grandstands as the tire hit a car. NBC reported on the broadcast that there were no injuries from the tire, and IndyCar confirmed that to be the case, but one person was treated for injuries due to other debris and was released from the infield care center.

No one wants to see anything fly toward spectators, especially a tire. Many were worried about the outcome, but we pretty much got the best-case scenario. Many relayed their worries and explanation on social media.

Obviously, IndyCar is going to investigate what can be improved. There are tethers to keep the tires attached to the cars. The majority of the time, they work. In this case, it didn’t. Same with the catchfence. It’s supposed to keep cars and car parts constrained to the track. The tire went high enough to clear the fence, so maybe there will be a consideration to raising the fencing.

Regardless, it’s not going to be something IndyCar will set aside just because no one was seriously injured.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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