Indianapolis mayor hit by debris from IndyCar crash, not seriously injured

Sebastian Saavedra, left, of Colombia, is hit by Mikhail Aleshin, of Russia, at the start of the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis IndyCar auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Saturday, May 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Robert Baker)

The mayor of Indianapolis was hit by debris from a crash at the start of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon.

Mayor Greg Ballard was waving the green flag for the start of the race when polesitter Sebastian Saavedra's car stalled. A majority of the field avoided him as his car sit perilously at the front of the field, but Carlos Munoz ran into the back of him and then Saavedra's car was blasted by Mikhail Aleshin.

From the Indianapolis Star:

The unidentified object hit Ballard in the elbow while he held the green flag that symbolically starts the race, said mayoral spokesman Marc Lotter.

The medical staff looked over Ballard’s arm and determined he was not seriously injured, Lotter said.

The three drivers involved in the crash walked away from their cars.

The IndyCar Series instituted standing starts on road and street course events in the 2013 season. While cars have stalled on the grid before, it's the first time the polesitter has stalled, which created a chicane for everyone behind him, one of the worst-case scenarios for a standing start.

However, after so many cars had gotten past Saavedra, it's hard not to wonder why the incident didn't end up being entirely avoidable.

It was the first time the IndyCar Series had run the road course at the speedway, which has been used for Formula 1 and sports car races previously. After the Grand Prix's conclusion, the focus shifts to the Indianapolis 500, which is Sunday, May 25.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!