A final lap incident in Long Beach between Mikhail Aleshin and JR Hildebrand resulted in the latter leaving the street circuit up one place and with a broken hand.
Unofficial Verizon IndyCar Series timing reports after the race showed that Aleshin in the #7 Schimdt Peterson Motorsports-Honda finished ahead of Hildebrand in the #21 Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet. The final lap contact between the pair where Hildebrand bore most of the damage, put him behind the Russian, finish in P12. A post-race investigation by IndyCar Series race control, ruled Aleshin of blocking and awarded P11 to the ECR driver in the official timing report.
Hildebrand evaluated post-race in the medical center, per IndyCar safety regulations, showed Hildebrand with a broken left hand. IndyCar Series medical director Dr. Geoffrey Billows said Hildebrand will be re-evaluated, but currently, “has not been cleared to return to Verizon IndyCar Series competition.”
In a post-race interview describing his last lap clash with Aleshin, Hildebrand said he ‘tweaked’ his hand.
“He had been starting to move over, not a major blocking maneuver but enough to assert his line,” said Hildebrand of Aleshin’s movements. “He hit the brake a lot earlier than I was expecting and I ended up running into the back of him. In doing so, it ripped the steering wheel from my hand and I ended up tweaking it.”
Hildebrand’s status remains unclear for the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama in two weeks, the ECR driver was more concerned with his result at Long Beach.
“At the end of the day, to come home with an 11th place finish isn’t terrible. It is a bummer though as we were certainly on our way to finishing in the Top 10 and now we are in a bit of a jam going forward. Hopefully I can get back to it before the next race.”
By virtue of moving up to P11 in the official timing report; Hildebrand wins the tiebreaker for 10th in the driver standings, ahead of Marco Andretti who was classified as DNF.