Fisher checked over after practice shunt

Sarah Fisher was checked and released from Memorial Regional Medical Center after complaining of neck pains following a crash in Indy Racing League practice at Richmond International Raceway on Thursday afternoon.

Fisher checked over after practice shunt

The 20-year-old Indy Racing League driver crashed in the second-turn wall and twisted her neck. Fisher uses the Head and Neck Support (HANS) device and, according to her mother, her neck twisted in a peculiar manner because of the impact.

The HANS device helps prevent severe injury on a forward motion impact, but Fisher's crash was a side impact with the rear corner of the car making contact with the wall.

Prior to the crash, Fisher had completed a lap at 157.481 miles per hour in her Dallara-Oldsmobile Aurora as the IRL teams practiced for Saturday night's SunTrust Indy Challenge.

Fisher returned to the track late on Thursday night during the second practice session, but must be cleared by Dr Henry Bock, the IRL's director of medical services, before she can attempt to practice and qualify on Friday.

"I'm all right, I'm just a little sore," Fisher said as she walked into her transporter after returning to the track. "They just took some precautionary x-rays to make sure there wasn't anything beyond a bruise. There's nothing there. I just felt a little sore at the first stoppage, and I'm perfectly fine.

"Richmond is awesome. We're really looking forward to the race. We just had a lot of push (understeer) dialed into the car, and when you have that and you hit some bumps, you get a snap-oversteer kind of feeling, and that's what happened.

"It overshot and came around on me in an instant," she added. "Fortunately, we didn't tear up anything too major and it will allow us to get on the track tomorrow - same car, same everything. We're just going to start up where we left off, which was a pretty good spot."

This is the first time the IRL has attempted to compete at the .75-mile Richmond International Raceway short track. It's the first time the IRL cars have raced at a track under one-mile in length.

Donnie Beechler, who drives one of two entries for A.J. Foyt, also crashed in the second practice session when he hit the outside retaining wall in the fourth turn. Beechler was treated and released from the infield care centre without injury and is cleared to drive.

"I really don't know what happened," Beechler said. "The car was tight through the corner. The back end just came around. The race car was comfortable the whole time. The track gets faster with the sun down. It has cooled off. We hope to get this back together and will practice Friday. It should be a great race."

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