IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe opens up about the car crash that nearly cost him his life He’s among the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ celebrity dancers in season 23 with pro partner, Sharna Burgess And now he’s relived his amazing recovery in dance on ‘Most Memorable Year’ week.

James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess

Photo: James Hinchcliffe, Sharna Burgess
Credit: PR Photos

The 29-year-old Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe nearly lost his life in May of 2015 during a practice session for for the 2015 Indianapolis 500. A year later, he returned to competed in the 100th annual running of the iconic race, winning the pole position.

Now he’s facing yet another challenge. This time around on his own terms and with much less at stake; after all winning or not winning the coveted mirror ball trophy is nothing compared to perhaps taking or not taking one’s final breath. — he’s among the celebrity dancers on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars with 31-year-old pro partner Sharna Burgess.

In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight (video below) he opens up about that crash that could have claimed his life. He said, “I was appreciative of the position I was in before, but it really drives the point home when you almost lose it.”

He went on to say, “I suffered a pretty big concussion and I have no memory of the accident itself.” He had crashed into a wall at a speed just over 200 miles per hour and, along with the concussion suffered a life-threatening injury when a shard from the car lodged in his thigh and struck an artery.

After multiple surgeries, he faced a painful rehabilitation, but miraculously was back to racing in just four months. He said the pain he endured — “It didn’t tickle, that’s for sure” — and went on to reflect, adding, “But I was, honestly, I was so lucky. For those 100 things that went wrong, 1,000 things had to go just right for me, not only to survive that, but to be able to race again, and be able to have absolutely no lasting side effects.”

Now his admirable resilience has made for quite an incredible ‘My Most Memorable Year’ dance, as he reenacted that fateful year, a story that’s as amazing as it is inspiring.

Earlier in the season, his pro partner also weighed in on his amazing resiliency and zest for life. She said, ““That experience changed him and I think hearing that story will make people understand how and why he lives for every moment and finds the light in every situation. He, more than anyone, knows that life is too short.”

As for returning to racing so quickly, he himself said last year, ““Racing drivers are just wired differently…And even after going through something like I did last year, I never had any hesitation about wanting to get into the car or wanting to get back to racing.”

You can see video of the interview below as opens up about the near fatal Indy car crash as well as some of his Dancing with the Stars videos. Check back for the ‘Most Memorable Year’ dance!