Watching the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race from his hospital bed, James Hinchcliffe’s spirits were lifted by the job Ryan Briscoe did in his place.
Briscoe advanced 19 positions relative to his starting spot to finish 12th in the 99th edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” even after the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda was spun and stalled during first-lap contact.
"I just want to thank everyone for the opportunity to jump in the car at the last minute," said Briscoe, who made his 10th start in the 500 Mile Race. "We're all thinking of Hinch and I was thinking of him during the race as well.”
Briscoe was called upon May 20 to drive after Hinchcliffe was injured May 18 in a practice crash on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. Hinchcliffe underwent surgery for an injury to his upper left thigh and pelvis the same day and is recovering at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
A photo posted May 22 on Instagram showed Hinchcliffe walking the hallway. A replacement driver for the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans doubleheader May 30-31 has not been announced.
After being fitted in the car, INDYCAR granted the team a 60-minute session May 21 for Briscoe to get acclimated to the car with the new aerodynamic platform.
"It's the Indy 500 and we had a good run,” Briscoe said. “We moved forward from the last row up to 12th. Not quite enough to get right up there but I had a lot of fun. The pit stops were phenomenal. I really want to thank everyone at Arrow Electronics, Lucas Oil and all the other partners on the team.
“It's been a whirlwind for the last four or five days for me but I've gotten to meet a lot of great people, made a lot of friends already and I really wish the SPM team the best for the rest of the season."
Race winner Juan Pablo Montoya advanced 14 positions, while Graham Rahal moved up 12 spots to finish fifth in the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda. Takuma Sato, driving the No. 4 ABC Supply Co. AJ Foyt Racing Honda, was involved in the first-lap incident but returned to the race and finished 13th. He started 24th.