Kyle Kirkwood has a thought on how to handle the next time he finds himself hanging upside down and firing backwards at more than 100mph in his Indy car: Leave his visor down.

If being hit by the crashing and spinning Felix Rosenqvist while in sight of a top-six finish with 16 laps to go in the Indy 500 wasn’t wholly unexpected, the decision by the driver of the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda to reach up — while inverted and amid a shower of sparks — to open his visor while in the midst of his own crash was another unforeseen aspect of the Floridian’s race-ending journey.

“I wouldn’t say that was my brightest moment,” Kirkwood said. “I’m not gonna lie. A lot of people asked me if gravity pulled the visor open and honestly, I didn’t know what to answer until I watched the video. You know, I just completely lost vision of where I was because I was upside down and it was completely dark. I’ve never had that situation before in a race car, so natural instinct was to open my visor to see where I’m at.”

Kirkwood used one thumb to open his visor and the other to radio his race strategist Bryan Herta as his wheel-shedding crash was taking place.

“And yeah, I was still upside down…sliding on my lid and as most people know, the radio that is sent back to IndyCar, the feedback is always a bit late,” he continued. “So when you hear spotters talking and whatnot, it’s usually two or three seconds behind. So I’m actually radioing back to Bryan Herta saying, ‘Get me out of this!’”

With a number of cars in front of him that were due to make their final pit stop, Kirkwood was on pace to deliver Andretti Autosport’s top finish of the day until the Arrow McLaren driver’s No. 6 Chevy slid up the track into his car.

“Wish it didn’t come when I’m essentially running sixth with 16 laps to go, but I guess that’s Indy for you,” he said. “It honestly didn’t start off that good. We were not good. In the beginning, we struggled with the car balance and with vibrations. Our second stint was horrendous with vibrations and I lost a couple positions. I was up into 13th at one point and fell back to my starting position of 15th.

“Man, we made one change on the car, got a good set of tires on that didn’t get massive vibrations like everyone was dealing with, and I went from I think 10th all the way up to second in the second-to-final stint. The car came alive. We felt like we were one of the good cars out there and it was disappointing what happened.”