James Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe, driver of the #5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda, prepares to drive during practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

IndyCar Driver Who Needed 22 Pints Urges Blood Donation At Belle Isle Grand Prix

May 30, 2019 - 4:44 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - Amid a severe shortage of blood across the country, you can help save a life while enjoying the Grand Prix in Detroit. 

IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe has teamed up with the American Red Cross for the Race to Save Lives Blood Drive on Belle Isle on Friday.

He says he knows first hand the importance of available blood available after he nearly died after a crash during practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2015.

"My car hit the wall and a piece of the suspension of the car actually pierced my body," he told WWJ Health Reporter Dr. Deanna Lites. "And I was losing blood at a pretty phenomenal rate.

Hinchcliffe needed 22 pints of blood to survive, about twice an average person’s blood volume. "Had there been a shortage in Indiana that day, it could've been a different outcome for me."

The blood drive will be held May 31 from 11 a.m. to 5 a.m. at the Belle Isle Boathouse located on Belle Isle, East Picnic Way, Detroit. Everyone who donates will get a free ticket to the race. 

In Michigan alone, the Red Cross needs about 650 donors each day to support patients at area hospitals. Donors of all blood types are needed to help those who rely on blood products.

For more information on how to donate blood, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) sponsor code: grandprix to make an appointment or for more information.