Dana sidelined for the Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS, IND., Sunday, May 15, 2005 - Paul Dana, driver of the No. 91 Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone, has been released today from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, but will be sidelined for the remainder of the month and will miss his debut in the Indianapolis 500.

It was confirmed by doctors on Saturday that Dana suffered a fracture in the T-7 and T-8 vertebrae during a crash on Friday in practice. No surgery will be required, as doctors will allow the injury to heal on its own in a brace, Dr. Henry Bock, the race's medical services director, said in a statement.

"I am feeling much better and I am looking forward to going home later today," Dana said Sunday. "My focus right now is to get healthy and to help Team Ethanol in any way that I can. I want to thank the medical staffs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Methodist Hospital for helping me and my family through the past few days. I also appreciate the tremendous support we have received from our sponsors, friends and members of the IndyCar community. It has been a tough three days, but I am already feeling better and looking forward to returning to racing."

Dana was practicing for weekend qualifying when he did a quarter spin in Turn 2 and made heavy contact with the safer-barrier wall. His car did another quarter spin and slid backward down the backstretch. Sam Hornish hit debris from Dana's car and did a full flip but climbed out of his car with assistance.

There will be an announcement in the next few days as to who will pilot the No. 91 Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone in the Indy 500.