Power gets back in the saddle at Mid-Ohio test
Back in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car for a test day at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Will Power said he "feels fine" following the hard hit into the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier June 25 at Iowa Speedway during the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer.
Power was cleared to drive by the INDYCAR medical staff July 28 and joined Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe on the 2.258-mile road course. Dale Coyne Racing's James Jakes also tested. The IZOD IndyCar Series visits the venue, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, for the Honda Indy 200 on Aug. 7.
Power also will join Pippa Mann, who will compete in three races for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, on the 1.056-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway oval for testing July 5.
Per INDYCAR rules, Power took the ImPACT (Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) test and was re-evaluated.
"It's good to be back out there in the Verizon car," said Power, who was credited with 21st place in the Iowa race and enters the Honda Indy Toronto 20 points behind championship leader Dario Franchitti. "It was a hard hit at Iowa, but I didn't actually get knocked out or anything. I just had a headache for the first night and some neck soreness. I needed to get checked out by the INDYCAR officials and it was more precautionary than anything, but that's good, because you can never be too careful.
"Every driver does a test, called an ImPACT test, at the beginning of every season. It basically tests your reflexes, your memory and so on. Then you have to go back and do that test again if you have an incident like what we had in Iowa. I took the test (June 28) and the doctors cleared me to drive."
Because race car drivers are susceptible to concussions and other head and neck injuries during crashes, baseline testing is an important part of INDYCAR's medical evaluation process. The ImPACT procedure measures a driver's cognitive abilities under normal, healthy conditions. This information establishes the driver's baseline testing data.
Before competing in an IZOD IndyCar Series event, drivers are required to establish their baseline data by performing the 30-minute, computerized ImPACT test, measuring a range of neurocognitive functions including memory, reaction time, attention span and other cognitive abilities.
If a driver suffers a head injury, doctors will perform the test again and compare the results to the driver's baseline, significantly improving the ability to diagnose the severity of the injury and better prescribe treatment.
"I'm glad we got the chance to test here at Mid-Ohio to get ready for the road courses coming up," Power said. "Now I'm looking forward to going back to Toronto next week and trying to defend our win there with Verizon Team Penske."