Ryan Hunter-Reay treated, released from hospital after violent Pocono crash

LONG POND, Pa. -- Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay has been treated and released after he was involved in a high-impact crash during IndyCar qualifying at Pocono Raceway on Saturday. However, he has not been cleared to drive, pending a re-evaluation Sunday morning.

Hunter-Reay needed assistance to get out of his car and limped to an ambulance after he appeared to lose control of the No. 28 Honda and the left side slammed the protective soft wall. The car then shot down the track and hit the inside wall.

Hunter-Reay, whose last IndyCar win was at Pocono in 2015, had trouble putting weight on his legs, complained of pain in his hips, and was helped to an ambulance before being taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest.

"During qualifying today, out of nowhere, the car stepped out on me," Hunter-Reay said. "It was a bit of a wiggle, which I caught. The second time it happened, it came with no warning - which is a bit confusing. I hit my hip pretty bad as well as my knee, so the doctors thought it would be best to go in for further evaluation. After a CT scan and MRI, I am able to go and get a good night's sleep. I'm sure I'll wake up sore, but will hopefully be able to get back in the DHL machine tomorrow.

He had topped the speed chart in Saturday morning's practice.

Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato, who was the last driver to take his qualifying laps, posted an average of 219.639 mph to win the pole for the race.

Sato was worried for Hunter-Reay, his friend -- and the wreck put a tinge of unease into his mind.

"It made me nervous," Sato said. "What happened to him is what could happen to me, too."

Helio Castroneves also was involved in a violent wreck, but did not suffer any injuries. Castroneves trails season points leader Josef Newgarden by seven points with just four races left this season.

"That's really disappointing," Castroneves said of the accident. "The [car] was good this morning and I really thought we had a chance. Certainly [the crash] is a mistake, no question. With something like that, you should know a little bit better."

Newgarden has won the last two IndyCar races.

Simon Pagenaud joins Sato on the front row. Charlie Kimball and Tony Kanaan are on the second row.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.