Home » Scary Indy 500 Crash Sends Tire Past Fans And Into Parked Car (UPDATED)

Scary Indy 500 Crash Sends Tire Past Fans And Into Parked Car (UPDATED)

Indy Tire

Indycars can travel well over 220 MPH at the Indianapolis 500, so naturally the largely-carbon-fiber Dallara DW-12 chassis that the vehicles are built on have been developed with safety in mind. One of many safety enablers is the concept of the “tether,” whose job it is to keep all the various bits that are meant to absorb crash energy by breaking off the main “safety cell” from flying off onto the racetrack or into the stands. Tethers are used to hold aero bits, but they’re best known for making sure the wheels and suspension stay with the car when they break off. Apparently one tether at today’s race failed, because a car launched its wheel and tire assembly way out into the parking lot and onto a poor unsuspecting Chevy Cruze.

The Indianapolis 500 is underway, and with over 230,000 tickets sold it’s supposed to be among the biggest in the race’s over-100-year history. It’s an exciting event, with crazy parties happening in the stands, but especially in the infield’s “Snake Pit,” and just outside the speedway in the “Coke Lot.” But though the Indy 500 can feel like it’s all about parties, the race itself is a lot of fun to follow, and not just for the high-speed crashes.

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Still, while I don’t love the idea of covering only car crashes (as there’s more to racing than the dangerous part that can get people killed), I’ve just been informed of a wild one unlike any I’ve ever seen:

Wow! The Indy Star explains what happened, writing:


With less than 20 laps to go in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, Felix Rosenqvist and Kyle Kirkwood collided and Kirkwood’s rear left tire bounced off the track and headed toward — but over — the crowd in Turn 2.

It was a terrifying site as the tire flew up over the outer fencing and headed toward the grandstand. A red flag was waved to halt the race. According to Nick Criser who was in the area, the tire thankfully missed the crowd.

Here’s a look at the tire flying over the stands (see red circle):

And here’s the Chevy Cruze that took a beating from that wheel/tire (also below that in the replies to the tweet is a slow motion look at the crash:

Here you can see what appears to be the tire crashing into the Cruze:


And here’s a look at the parking lot, for context:

Perhaps the most important clip you need to see is this one:


Kirkwood, whose car was sliding upside down at an absurd speed, is safe.

Oh, and if you want to learn more about tethers, check it out:

UPDATE (May 28, 2023 9:16 P.M. ET): The Cruze had to be towed, per this tweet from Indiana-based news reporter Rich Nye:



Topshot Credit: NBC/Jamie Jordan (Twitter)

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Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago

Poor Snowball! I really hope the track is cool about making it right.

Maybe Snowball deserves a spot in the museum. Trade its owner one of the pace Camaros for it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stef Schrader
1 year ago

I’m so glad basically all of the videos of the incident have been taken down due to copyright claims.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago
Reply to  MP81

Ugh, I hate that. If a series is going to do that, they need to at least offer a replacement clip through an official source ASAP.

1 year ago

It’s the field next to the Coca Cola bottling plant. That said, if you camp there, don’t expect to sleep the night before the race. I reckon at least half of the people there, don’t actually make it to the track the next day.

1 year ago

I had my entire family at the race. Not in turn 2, but within sight at the exit of turn 1. I shit a brick when I saw that wheel fly off. I’m just so glad nobody got hurt. I’ve been going to that race since I was 15 (I’m 41 now). I’ve seen some hairy crashes. This year was the first time I brought my family, and then that happened.

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