By Frank Santoroski, Contributing Writer
Three days after sitting out the Verizon IndyCar Series season-opener, Team Penske driver Will Power has completed extensive evaluations and has been cleared to drive in the next event at the one-mile oval in Phoenix.
The Australian driver passed the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) test and a MRI/DVI study was normal in all parameters. The evaluation was performed at the University of Miami.
Power had crashed in practice on Friday and was cleared to drive the next day, showing no ill effects. On Saturday, nausea, dizziness and a headache overcame Power, and under evaluation, he failed the SCAT (Sports Concussion Assessment Tool) and he was assumed to have suffered a mild concussion.
The thorough evaluation as part of the concussion protocol revealed no evidence of a recent concussion.
IndyCar safety consultant, Dr. Terry Trammell, explained the situation in detail:
“The doctors at the University of Miami concluded Power’s symptoms were not the result of a concussion, and may have been related to a lingering inner-ear infection for which he was being treated. There is no evidence that he sustained a concussion in the crash on Friday, which is consistent with his ear accelerometer data and the mandatory screening evaluation conducted after his crash.”
“Given the nature of his inner-ear infection, it would have been extremely difficult for Will to pass the SCAT, which is what ultimately led to the concussion diagnosis, At the University of Miami they conducted a week’s worth of testing in one day and Will was seen by multiple physicians. The doctors concluded definitively that Will had not sustained recent head trauma.”
The Phoenix Grand Prix will take place the weekend of April 1-2.
Image: Chris Jones/INDYCAR