Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe is improving and remains in stable condition following surgery May 18 at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for an injury to his pelvic area and upper left thigh suffered in a practice crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier in the day.

Hinchcliffe is undergoing further evaluations in the Intensive Care Unit and has been ruled out of Verizon IndyCar Series competition for the foreseeable future.

"Words can't describe how thankful I am to the Holmatro Safety Team," Hinchcliffe said. "Those guys, in addition to the doctors and staff at the hospital, are my heroes. I can't say enough how much I appreciate the outpouring of support from INDYCAR fans, my family and fellow drivers. We are all one big family and it feels like that today."

Surgery was performed by Dr. Timothy Pohlman, senior staff trauma surgeon at IU Health Methodist Hospital.

"He's stable and improving," Pohlman said. "His condition was critical upon his arrival and I think the INDYCAR system as a whole needs to be commended for how well they can take care of drivers in this situation."

Additional updates to Hinchcliffe's condition will be released when available. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has not announced a replacement driver for the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Honda for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 24.

The car that Hinchcliffe was driving made hard right-side contact with the Turn 3 SAFER Barrier and slid on its right side all the way into Turn 4 about 50 minutes into the scheduled 12:30-4 p.m. (ET) practice. Hinchcliffe, who was awake when the Holmatro Safety Team arrived on the scene, was transported by ground to the nearby hospital.

A Honda spokesman said the right-front suspension failed as Hinchcliffe's car was entering the turn and he lost steering.

He had just turned a lap of 223.916 mph and was completing his 23rd lap in the session. Cars returned for a 4:15-6 p.m. practice -- the penultimate track time in preparation for the Indy 500. On May 17, Hinchcliffe qualified on the outside of Row 8 with a four-lap average speed of 223.519 mph.

"Every time we hop in that race car, we don’t know if we’re going to come out of it, if you’re going to come out of it in one piece, if something’s going to happen to you," said Tony Kanaan, who will make his 300th Indy car start May 24. "That’s what makes us different than other people. That’s why not everybody can do this. It’s never easy to see a friend of yours get hurt or lost a friend of yours. But this is the sport that we chose.

"Accident happen. We hate them, but it's part of our job."

Hinchcliffe, 28, of suburban Toronto, is in his first season with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. He won the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on April 12 and has one other top-10 finish (seventh in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on April 26) in five races. In 73 starts covering five Verizon IndyCar Series seasons, Hinchcliffe has four victories and 19 top-five finishes.

In four Indianapolis 500 starts, he has a best finish of sixth in 2012. He qualified second in 2014 while with Andretti Autosport.

The incident is the fifth this month in preparation for the 99th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Last week in practice, Helio Castroneves, Pippa Mann and Josef Newgarden were involved in crashes. On May 17, Ed Carpenter's car made contact with the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier. The incident, along with the others, prompted INDYCAR to reduce the engine boost level and require entries to run their race aerodynamic configuration in qualifications.

The drivers in those incidents were uninjured.

Scott Dixon earned the Verizon P1 Award for the pole position with a four-lap average speed of 226.760 mph in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.