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James Hinchcliffe, of Canada, hits the wall in the third turn during practice for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Monday, May 18, 2015.

Jimmy Dawson/The Associated Press

With his trademark self-deprecating humour, James Hinchcliffe jokes that he received "a complete oil change" after his accident during preparations for the Indianapolis 500.

All kidding aside, the IndyCar driver recognizes he's very lucky to be alive.

Hinchcliffe suffered a life-threatening leg injury May 18 when a piece of his suspension broke during a crash and pierced his leg. IndyCar's safety crew had to act quickly to extract him from the car and pump him with more than 14 points of blood as they raced him in an ambulance to an Indianapolis hospital. Hinchcliffe was in critical condition when he was rushed into emergency surgery.

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He said Wednesday he has no memory of the race to save his life. He still needs one more surgery as part of his recovery process.

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