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IndyCar driver Mikhail Aleshin hurt in multi-car crash in Fontana

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Rookie driver is airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center

IndyCar rookie Mikhail Aleshin was injured Friday night in multiple-car crash during final practice for the IndyCar race Saturday night at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

Aleshin was conscious and airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center "complaining of injuries to his right shoulder and right foot," IndyCar officials said.

The 27-year-old, the first driver from Russia to race in the Verizon IndyCar Series, was in Turn 4 of the two-mile Fontana oval -- a track where the cars travel at more than 200 mph -- when the accident occurred at about 7:30 p.m.

Aleshin's No. 7 car was low on the track when it suddenly went into a spin. The car driven by Charlie Kimball then slammed into Aleshin's car at full speed, sending Aleshin's car sailing into the outside catch fence.

Aleshin's car ripped out a section of the fence, then pinwheeled and fell back to the track as pieces of the car were scattered for yards. It took safety workers several minutes to extricate Aleshin from his crumpled car.

"The 7 car spun from the bottom and I really had nowhere to go," said Kimball, who was not hurt.

It was not immediately known whether Aleshin's team, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, would use a substitute driver Saturday night in the MAVTV 500. Earlier Friday, Aleshin had qualified to start eighth in the race's 22-car field.

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