BY JIM MILLER WEEKLY INDYCAR WRITER
Verizon IndyCar Series driver Will Power’s season started by sitting out the race in St. Petersburg due to concussion-like symptoms following a crash during practice. He then went on to capture four wins becoming the most likely challenger to front-runner and Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud for the season championship.
During last week’s IndyCar Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, however, Power’s chance to win the champions’ Astor Cup was in question after he made contact with Charlie Kimball’s car and crashed into the guardrail bordering the track. Data collected by IndyCar from Power’s car incited a medical evaluation before being allowed to drive in the last race of the season.
Power was assessed last Tuesday at the University of Miami (Fla.) Concussion Center under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Olvey and successfully passed concussion testing protocol, clearing him for this coming weekend’s season finale at Sonoma.
“Will is doing fine,” Dr. Olvey said. “He flew down to the University of Miami Concussion Center early this morning and we conducted two sophisticated tests to determine if he’d suffered a concussion over the weekend, and he passed both of them with no issue whatsoever.”
During his examination, Power passed both the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) and Vestibular/Ocular-Motor Screening (VOMS) exams.
“So, I had to go and do those tests, and you’re definitely better being safe than sorry,” Power said. “It’s just IndyCar doing what they’re supposed to do.”
Power trails championship leader Simon Pagenaud by 43 points with one race remaining, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sept. 18th which is worth double-points. Both drivers have demonstrated strong talent and success on road courses.
Power is seeking his second series title while Pagenaud needs to only finish as low as fifth place to win his first series championship. Regardless of which driver wins Team Penske will be dancing on Sunday, and James Hinchcliffe will be “Dancing With The Stars” on Monday chasing the Mirror Ball Trophy.