May 12, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT
Ballard suffered what was deemed a “minor soft tissue injury” per a statement released by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
He said he was hit but immediately left his positioning, just on pit lane as the cars launched from the standing start.
“I never saw it. Some videos (have it) slowed down; I’ve got to go look at it,” he said. “I just knew something hit me. I did know if it was metal or carbon fiber; I just knew it was a pretty solid hit. As soon as I looked down it had already swelled up. I got out of there.”
He added of what he saw, “I remember seeing things in the air, that’s about it. It wasn’t like I lost my consciousness or anything. I was having way too much fun waving the green flag. I was having a ball. I thought it was great. I’ll be back. I’m here today.”
Ballard said he opted to stand in that position on his own, but if he returns, he’ll be in a different location – anywhere else IMS places him.
“That was more me than anyone else,” he admitted. “I like being near the cars, you could have figured that out. I like being down there. I wanted to be even closer than I was, but they had some other precautions.”