'DWTS' recap: Race car driver roars to top after partner's knee crashes

James Hinchcliffe has been a top contender on "Dancing with the Stars" all season. But the race car driver hit a big bump in the road when his partner Sharna Burgess had to sit out Monday night with an injured knee.

Instead, pro dancer Jenna Johnson, who was eliminated with Jake T. Austin earlier this season, danced with Hinchcliffe as Burgess' substitute.

And incredibly, Hinchcliffe again excelled, getting a perfect score of 30 for his "Suicide Squad" themed Viennese waltz with Johnson on "Halloween night." That dance tied him for first with former football player Calvin Johnson Jr. and gymnast Laurie Hernandez, who also scored 30.

But because of his previous performances, Hinchcliffe won immunity for the "dance off" portion of the night which meant he didn't have to dance a second time. He also earned another five points with the immunity, which put him cumulatively on top of Monday's leaderboard.

As viewers saw earlier, however, Indy car star Hinchcliffe feared he would never dance with Burgess again after she slipped on her dress last week and injured her knee.

Burgess learned she'd sprained it, but was able to perform last week with Hinchcliffe.
This Monday was another story, however, as her doctor advised her not to dance to avoid further injury. Footage showed the doctor recommending she take 3-6 weeks off.

But Monday after the show, Burgess had hopes of resuming her "DWTS" run with Hinchcliffe soon, telling reporters, "I am healing really quickly. I will find out on Friday—I am going for another MRI, get another exam and make sure that I'm clear. Obviously I don't want to risk it too soon."

Burgess said she'll have Johnson dance this week with Hinchcliffe in rehearsal, "and once I find out on Friday that I'm cleared to dance Monday, I'll jump in from that point. But if, for whatever reason, I get told I need a few extra days, Jenna will have to perform with him [next] Monday."

Hinchcliffe, who cheated death in a bad car crash last year, tried to take it in stride. He said, "You can worry about things but it's not going to help the situation. I learned that time and time again in my career. This was the hand we were dealt and we had to make the best of it."

Still, the driver, who has become close friends with Burgess, was devastated to lose her after seven weeks competing together and commented, "I wasn't really expecting how different it is to step in with somebody else." He was grateful Burgess coached him and Johnson the entire way.

Meanwhile, Hernandez brought her partner Val Chmerkovskiy to tears in rehearsal, as he was overcome with emotion about her blossoming on "DWTS."

They soared again on Monday with a "Willy Wonka" themed Viennese waltz to the song "Pure Imagination." The two also won their dance off portion of the evening against Johnson.

About her dance, she said, "It felt beautiful," and shared of her rehearsal moment with Chmerkovskiy, "I was trying not to cry, too. It was interesting. From what I hear, I don't think Val cries often. It's great to be able to touch his heart like that." Hernandez, 16, also announced that her inspirational memoir, "I Got This: To Gold and Beyond," about achieving her Olympics dream, comes out Jan. 24.

Jana Kramer and partner Gleb Savchenko earned a 27 for their "Little Shop of Horrors'" jazz dance, and Terra Jole and partner Sasha Farber got a 24 for their cha cha. They lost out to Kramer/Savchenko in the dance off. But backstage, Jole was buoyant, telling reporters that next week, "I feel like we're going to be coming back and kicking some royal tushy."

Marilu Henner was relieved to have made it through elimination night, as swimmer Ryan Lochte was sent home instead. The "Taxi" icon had a difficult time last week as she fell during the group dance.

This week, things were still bumpy as she and partner Derek Hough scored just 23 in their individual dance, the tango, and were beaten in the "dance off" by Ryan Lochte and partner Cheryl Burke.

Footage aired from last week seemed to show tension as Henner asked Hough if they should have rehearsed more and Hough said he'd had more time with her than any of his partners.

But the six time mirror ball winning dance pro told FOX411 backstage he was merely reassuring Henner. Hough said, "I want to clarify that. My comment was not to be rude but to say, no, no, no. We're putting in the hours. The hours are there."