IRL: Airton Dare undergoes surgery after Texas crash

Dare undergoes successful surgery at Parkland Hospital

Ft. Worth, TX June 6, 2003--Indy car driver Airton Dare underwent successful surgery at Parkland Hospital in Dallas last night to repair fractures in his right upper arm (humerus) and right thigh (femur) sustained in a crash in practice yesterday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway.

Major crash for Airton Dar?.
Photo by Michael C. Johnson.
Dare is expected to be transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on Sunday to undergo surgery to repair minor fractures in his right hand and right foot.

The 25-year-old driver from Bauru, Brazil had just turned laps in the 210-mph range when the suspension failed going through turn four of the 1.5 mile banked oval. The cause of the failure is still being determined.

"Something broke and it just shot me into the wall," Dare said. "The IRL Safety Team got to me very quickly but I remember A.J.'s story when he got hurt at Elkhart Lake, he asked the doctors to hit him in the head with a hammer. I knew what he meant because I was wishing I could be knocked out too. I feel much better today--it only hurts when I move."

"I am very upset about what happened to Airton," said A.J. Foyt, team owner of the No. 5 Indy car that Dare was driving. "But I'm glad they are the type of injuries that he can recover from. When I talked to him on the phone today, he sounded pretty good."

Jaques Lazier will drive the No. 5 back-up car in the Bombardier 500 here at Texas Motor Speedway. He will start at the rear of the field since he did not make a qualifying attempt. He was 10th quickest in his first practice session for the Foyt team this afternoon.

"I'm thrilled to be with A.J. (Foyt)," Lazier said after his first practice in the Toyota-powered car. "It's the whole package, the car, the Toyota engine. I'm finally getting to use gears I only dreamed about until now. I know there's more in the car. We're going to make a gear change and try to free up the car more. It's been a blur since A.J. asked me to drive last night. I came to the track at 10 a.m. and did a final seat fitting. I'm trying to stay calm and cool about everything."

A.J. Foyt IV will start 14th in the Conseco No. 14 G-Force/Toyota in his first IndyCar start at his hometown track where he clinched the Infiniti Pro Series championship last fall.