Team Penske driver, Will Power, took the pole for today’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, but immediately seemed out of sorts following the session.
Complaining of nausea and a headache, speculation was that he has picked up a stomach bug or flu.
Power had crashed in Friday’s opening practice and was evaluated by the IndyCar medical staff. At the time, he appeared to have no lingering effects, and was cleared to continue to practice and qualify.
After qualifying, when Power began to display these symptoms he was brought in for further evaluation, revealing that he had suffered a mild concussion on Friday, and thereby was not cleared to race.
Credit IndyCar for doing the right thing in this instance, as concussions and other head injuries have presented challenges to athletes, not only in racing, but in many sports.
Indycar released the following statement this afternoon:
Following his on-track incident on Friday, Will Power displayed no signs of injury and was evaluated and cleared by the INDYCAR medical team. 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. 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. Power has been entered into INDYCAR’s concussion protocol and will need to be re-evaluated prior to being cleared to drive.
Vereran driver Oriol Servia was brought in to fill in for Power while he under goes further evaluation.
Image: Chris Jones/ INDYCAR