Proof: Race Car Drivers Are Athletes

… just not very good ones.

Less than two weeks after crashing through the final turn of the Indianapolis 500 (while in the lead), rookie IndyCar driver JR Hildebrand tore the ACL in his right knee while trying to clear hurdles during a promotional event. The final hurdle. If you need proof that God exists and has a sense of humor, watch this poor guy keep trudging through life with one leg and half a car.

From (and that’s not a typo, it’s actuallly racin’, and I’m totally going to start a blog called

Hildebrand’s knee broke the top board upon contact, and the 23-year-old Californian stumbled to the ground on a grassy lot outside the Lone Star Tower condominiums.

Hildebrand remained on the ground for several minutes catching his breath, as the outside of his left knee appeared to swell. TMS public relations staffers provided Hildebrand with some cold towels and ice from a nearby cooler to wrap the knee. Hildebrand was able to stand and walk to a nearby SUV, which reportedly transported him to the track’s Infield Care Center.

To put this into perspective, here’s an excerpt from the hat tip article on From The Marbles:

Last year, NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin tore his left ACL playing pickup basketball. Hamlin attempted to hold off on having surgery until the end of the season but opted for surgery in the spring after the pain became too great. Hamlin finished second to Jimmie Johnson for the Sprint Cup championship.

So I guess he’ll be fine, he’ll just have to push the gas with his other foot.