New Zealand’s Scott Dixon said after a spectacular and terrifying crash at the Indianapolis 500 that he was “just a little beaten up”.
That Dixon lived to tell the tale was not guaranteed after a scary incident in which commentators – who later said he was “incredibly lucky” – were left stunned.
The incident occurred at the famous Indianapolis circuit, the highlight of every year’s IndyCar series, and came in the same week Dixon was robbed at gun point.
He was in the drive-through at Mexican-themed, fast-food chain Taco Bell on Sunday (US time) when he was robbed. He was unharmed in the incident.
Dixon, who won the 2008 series, was on pole for Sunday’s race – which also saw Australian Will Power fail to finish after being involved in an earlier crash of his own.
Dixon was near the front of the field and hunting down the lead when the accident happened after another driver, Jay Howard, hit the wall and lost control.
Howard ran into the path of Dixon and, as a result, the Kiwi ran over the top of him and flipped into a barrier before spinning down the track.
Watch the crash below
Flames momentarily spewed from the flying car as it disintegrated on impact.
“It’s tough,” Dixon said afterwards.
“You’re hoping Jay is going to stay against the wall.
“I already had picked that way to go. There was nowhere else to go to avoid him.
“It’s just a wild ride.”
That Dixon was uninjured in the incident showcased just how well-made the cars are, and he said he had to have faith in his vehicle when the crash was happening.
“You hold on and believe in the safety progress we’ve made,” he said.
Dixon then turned his attention to the race result.
“I’m just a little beaten up,” he said.
“It was definitely a rough ride. I’m just bummed for the team, man. We had a great shot [of victory].”
Dixon’s car lost three wheels and what looked like much of its rear section but the safety tub remained intact.
As he climbed out of his car, the crowd roared.
Howard was also able to walk away from the crash.
It was not a good day for the Australasians in the race as Power also failed to finish.
The Toowoomba driver was involved in a five-car crash on the 17th lap.
The event gained worldwide headlines before the crash because of Fernando Alonso’s participation.
Alonso, who drives for McLaren in the Formula One competition, skipped the Monaco Grand Prix to race in the Indy500.
He led for a total of 27 laps, too, but was forced to retire in the 179th lap – 21 before the end.
A former Formula One driver, Takuma Sato, won the event, just seeing off the challenge of Helio Castroneves.
– with AAP