Lucky to be alive. Race car driver James Hinchcliffe opened up about his terrifying 2015 crash during Dancing With the Stars' "Most Memorable Week" on Monday, October 10.
The 29-year-old athlete slammed into a track wall while practicing for the Indy 500 at the time. His doctors told DWTS cameras that the star was "bleeding so profusely" that they briefly lost his pulse.
"So much of this week and the story that I wanted to tell wasn't about something bad that happened to me, it was what good came out of that," Hinchcliffe told Us Weekly exclusively following the live show. "Eighteen months ago I don't think I would have done this show, but what I went through really changed my perspective on a lot of things, and it opened me up to doing something a little bit outside my comfort zone. Or a lot outside my comfort zone!"
Miraculously, Hinchcliffe only got a few scars from his injuries. "It really makes me honestly believe that when it's your time, it's your time, and for whatever reason, it wasn't my time. And that's part of what opened me up to looking at life a little differently, looking at each day a little bit differently," he told Us. "I came back fitter than I was before I got in the accident. It's constantly there, I think about it, for sure, because it's affected my every day from that day forward. Every day I wake up with an attitude and an outlook on life that I wouldn't have had without it. So I'm reminded every day of all the good that came out of it."
Hinchcliffe has shown that positive attitude throughout season 23 of DWTS. He and his pro partner, Sharna Burgess, have become fan favorites and landed a score of 29 out of 30 for their tango performance on Monday, putting them on top of the leaderboard ahead of such fierce competition as Laurie Hernandez. Burgess, 31, believes that he can go all the way.
"He's got the determination and the drive to fight for that so I'm going to give him everything I've got to try to get him to that final and hopefully take him all the way," she told Us. "But in the meantime I'm having a blast. This is probably one of the most fun seasons I've ever had."
DWTS airs Mondays on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.
Watch Hinchcliffe and Burgess on DWTS in the video above!
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!