Mikhail Aleshin

FONTANA, Calif. – Verizon IndyCar Series driver Mikhail Aleshin was upgraded Aug. 30 to stable condition at Loma Linda University Medical Center following a procedure for a chest injury, according to INDYCAR medical consultant Dr. Terry Trammell.

Aleshin, 27, of Moscow, was admitted to the hospital Aug. 29 following a multi-car accident during final practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway. He was evaluated and diagnosed with a concussion, fractured ribs, a broken right clavicle and chest injuries.

He will remain hospitalized while he recovers from the procedure. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports crew members wore Mikhail Aleshin T-shirts on the grid before the MAVTV 500.

Aleshin’s No. 7 SMP Racing car veered below the white line exiting Turn 3 and spun up the racetrack into the oncoming No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing car driven by Charlie Kimball. Aleshin’s car became airborne and made contact with the fencing above the SAFER Barrier. He was awake and alert when removed from the car by the Holmatro Safety Team.

Kimball was checked at the infield medical center and cleared to drive. He finished 12th in the race.

Aleshin had just completed a timed lap of 33.4413 seconds (215.303 mph) during the scheduled 30-minute session under the lights on the 2-mile oval. Earlier in the day, he qualified eighth, a season high on an oval, with a two-lap average speed of 216.726 mph in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-prepared car.

Aleshin, in his first season of Verizon IndyCar Series competition, has a high finish of second in the second race of the Houston doubleheader in June.

MAVTV extends race sponsorship through 2016

MAVTV has agreed to a two-year extension of its title sponsorship for the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway. INDYCAR will announce a 2015 race date will be announced soon.

"MAVTV anchors its entertainment in motorsports, and we do a lot throughout the year to bolster support for many forms of racing around this great country," said Bob Patison, president of MAVTV.

Streaks and such

Race winner Tony Kanaan dedicated the race to four-time series champion Dario Franchitti, who retired in November. Kanaan took over the wheel of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car from his longtime friend. ... The 174 green flag laps to start the race were the most in a 500-mile race in Indy car history. ... Helio Castroneves made his 295th Indy car start; he is the active leader. ... Kanaan made his 233rd consecutive start, extending his record. Scott Dixon started his 175th consecutive race. ... Dixon has 10 consecutive seasons with a win. ... Castroneves' 41st pole, earned for the MAVTV 500, broke a tie with Rick Mears for fourth all time. ... Juan Pablo Montoya, who finished fourth, clinched the 1999 CART championship at Auto Club Speedway.

Actors get high-speed laps

How do you impress a Hollywood celebrity? By offering them a ride in an Indy Racing Experience with racing legend Mario Andretti doing the driving.

Actors Nathan Kress and Michael Madsen were among the celebs at Auto Club Speedway on race day, and both were passengers in the two-seater. Madsen also hung with four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt.

“Baby T-Rex” from Walking with Dinosaurs also was making the rounds in the paddock and pit lane, though it wasn’t offered a ride in the two-seater.