Starting his fifth lap of the famed 2.5-mile oval, the front-left wheel of the #21 ECR machine went down below the white line negotiating Turn 1 and the rear continued to swing around, but it went through only one 360-degree spin before striking the outside SAFER barrier on the exit of Turn 1 with its right side.
The car then scraped along the track before coming to a halt at the entry to Turn 2.
VeeKay, last year’s IndyCar Rookie of the Year, stepped from the car without needing assistance from the AMR IndyCar Safety Team.
The accident occurred in the 12th minute of the first session of the day, and VeeKay was the only driver on track to have turned more than a systems-check/installation lap.
He had just turned his best lap – an average of 217.539mph – the lap before.
On being checked and released from the medical centre, VeeKay reported that his hands were “bashed about”, but otherwise he was OK.
He told NBCSN’s Kevin Lee: “I want to say sorry to the team, of course. I wanted to do as many laps as possible and be successful. And it just ended completely early, and it’s very, very unfortunate and I’m very sorry.
“It was a very weird moment… I was just building… You have a tailwind in [Turn] 3 so it should be very safe going flat-out into T1 with a headwind, and so I did that.
“It felt good on entry but then just the front dipped down and I lost it. Once that happens, you’re a passenger.
“So I’m going to go back to the trailer now and see what happened exactly. Just leave this behind and make sure we only learn from this and go better onwards.”
On Instagram, VeeKay revealed he had broken a finger in the crash, but added he was “good to go”.
Conor Daly led the opening Indy 500 test session, providing some consolation for the Ed Carpenter Racing team.
The track was lost to rain in the final half hour of the two-hour session, at a point when Daly’s 222.714mph had put him top, ahead of the 221.296mph of team-mate and team owner Ed Carpenter.
Scott Dixon was third for Chip Ganassi Racing, ahead of the two Arrow McLaren SP cars of Felix Rosenqvist and Pato O’Ward and a second Ganassi entry, that of Alex Palou.
Twenty-one cars took part in the opening session, which was for veterans only.
The next two hours of on-track action will be reserved for Rookie Orientation Practice and Refreshers, but the scheduling is currently undecided due to the wet track.
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