Simon Pagenaud has not been cleared to race in Sunday’s IndyCar event at Mid-Ohio, with IndyCar medical officials deeming that he has not fully recovered from his crash on Saturday.

Pagenaud’s crash in the second practice session was intense, with brake failure leading to him tumbling through the gravel trap and landing against the tire barriers.

He was able to walk away, and was seen and released by the infield care center. But further cognitive tests showed that he was still feeling effects from the crash, and he was not given leave to get behind the wheel this weekend.

Conor Daly, who was recently released by Ed Carpenter Racing, was on-site, and has been announced as a replacement driver for the #60 entry.

“Obviously I have to think about Simon [Pagenaud], you hate to see someone wreck like that,” said Daly. “The most important thing is to get him as healthy as possible, as soon as possible.

“This is his car and his group of folks and I am here to do the best job that I can for this team. I’ve known Mike [Shank] for a long time and I’ve tested for his sports car team many years ago.

“I’ve always had a lot of respect for this organization. It’s an honor to be a part of this group and fill in – we will just do the best job that we can.”

The Meyer Shank Racing crew was forced to bring out a backup car, as the damage to Pagenaud’s primary car was too extensive to salvage.

That car is actually Helio Castroneves’ Indy 500 winning car from 2021, and still carries the special white livery from that event.

The MSR crew unloaded the backup car soon after the devastating crash on Saturday. Photo: Kevin Dejewski

“First and foremost, I have to speak to the safety of these cars,” said MSR Team Owner, Mike Shank in a press release. “To walk away from an accident like that is incredible and we cannot thank everyone at IndyCar, the AMR IndyCar safety team and the IndyCar medical team for everything they did to get Simon out and evaluated as quickly as possible.

“This is obviously not a scenario that we had planned for, but everyone at MSR has pitched in to get our backup car ready for Sunday. It’s actually Helio’s Indy 500 car and the one he won the 500 with in 2021.

“We have to thank Conor for being here and stepping into this, he’s been super great through all of the chaos. Now we will get back on our feet and see what we can do in the race.”

Daly will get a single short practice session to get acclimated to the car on Sunday morning, then will be thrown straight into the race in the afternoon. He will start from the very back of the 27-car field.

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