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Rookie Mears Crashes in Practice

May 9, 2001

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Rookie Casey Mears, nephew of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears, was taken to Methodist Hospital for observation after a crash during practice Tuesday.

Mears was quickly out of the car but complained of back pain.

Speedway officials said Mears was released from the hospital at about 8:15 p.m. with a bruised back.

The 23-year-old Mears, whose father, Roger, also is a former Indy driver, had just completed a lap at 216.573 mph when his car spun out coming out of the first turn. He made a half-spin and struck the wall with the rear of the car.

Former winner Arie Luyendyk, following Mears on the track, also spun to avoid the debris but did not make contact with Mears or the wall and was not injured.

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