The Chip Ganassi Racing team was closing up shop on pit lane after Thursday’s practice session for the Indianapolis 500. It’s the same routine for every team; all of the equipment is uncovered and readied in the morning and broken down and put away at 6 p.m., but something went awry as Scott Dixon’s tire specialist Kevin Evory (pictured above) and a fellow teammate were dropping the lid on the No. 9 car’s big radio and scanner cart.
Through nothing more than a simple error, the lid came down hard while Evory’s right index finger was extended across the base of the cart, and with the sizable lid coming down with a fair amount of force, his finger was severed close to the knuckle.
Taken to the emergency room, Evory’s injury was treated and bandaged, and rather than take some time off to deal with the pain and adjust to the permanent change, he was back at the track on Friday, on pit lane, preparing Dixon’s tires with the help of one of CGR’s IMSA crew members.
Evory’s story is but one of many like it in the sport; like athletes playing with an injury, at least one member of every team entered in the Indy 500 is dealing with a serious injury or physical limitation while doing their job. Knees, backs, shoulders, ankles, wrists, and in Evory’s case, fingers are all subject to immense punishment after years of working on pit lane.
“They’re all tough men and women on this team,” Dixon told RACER. “You know, Kevin has been a great tire guy, and we all just want him to be OK. But it says a lot about him and the culture in this team, man, that he’s here and didn’t miss a day. Massive respect for him.”