NTT INDYCAR Series
Power Misses Season Opener Due to Mild Concussion
Will Power, 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion, missed the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as a result of a mild concussion.
Power crashed during Friday’s first practice session. While adjusting the car’s brake bias with one hand, he hit a bump, lost control, and made contact with the wall in Turn 9, resulting in heavy right-side damage.
“Following his on-track incident on Friday, Will Power displayed no signs of injury and was evaluated and cleared by the INDYCAR medical team,” the series released in a statement. “Per INDYCAR protocol, we also evaluated the data collected from his ear accelerometers, which provides data specific to the impact on a driver’s head, and nothing gathered from that data indicated further evaluation was required.”
Power returned to the track on Friday to run the second session, topping the speed charts.
On Saturday, the Australian scored the Verizon P1 Award, though he was not feeling well and skipped out on the post-qualifying press conference. There were also concerns expressed about inner ear issues that prompted INDYCAR to re-evaluate Power.
The re-evaluation resulted in Power being diagnosed with a mild concussion, according to the series.
“After learning of Will’s symptoms following qualifications Saturday, he was required to submit to another evaluation by INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Billows, at which point he was diagnosed with a mild concussion,” the series stated. “Power has been entered into INDYCAR’s concussion protocol and will need to be re-evaluated prior to being cleared to drive.”
This isn’t the first time Power has suffered an injury in an IndyCar incident. In 2009, he fractured two vertebrae at Sonoma, causing him to miss the rest of the season. Two years later in 2011, he suffered a thoracic vertebral compression fracture in the crash during the season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Power had surgery and was able to return for the start of the following season.
Oriol Servia filled in for Power in the race, finishing 18th. It marks the second straight event that Servia served as a substitute, as he drove for Andretti Autosport last season following Justin Wilson’s accident at Pocono Raceway.
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