IRL: Paul Dana returns to cockpit for a test

DANA RETURNS TO TESTING AS REHABILITATION NEARS COMPLETION INDIANAPOLIS, October 19, 2005 - Paul Dana has returned to the cockpit over the last several weeks for private testing as he prepares to return to full time competition for the 2006 Indy...

DANA RETURNS TO TESTING AS REHABILITATION NEARS COMPLETION

INDIANAPOLIS, October 19, 2005 - Paul Dana has returned to the cockpit over the last several weeks for private testing as he prepares to return to full time competition for the 2006 Indy Racing League IndyCar® Series. Dana, a rookie in the IndyCar® Series, broke his back during a practice accident while preparing for this year's Indianapolis 500. The St. Louis native sustained compression fractures of his T7 and T8 vertebrae which sidelining him for the remainder of the 2005 season.

Dana spent three months in a back brace while recovering from his injuries. In mid-August he was freed from the brace and over the following weeks began more aggressive workouts as well as outings in a shifter kart and a Formula Mazda car, a smaller version of an open-wheel car similar in construction to an IndyCar.

Last week he and the crew from Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing did two half-day tests at the nearby Putnam Park road course in western Indiana, using an Indy Lights chassis, which is similar in size, weight and power to the IRL's Menards Infiniti Pro Series. The series of tests at escalating G-loads and physical effort are designed to allow Dr. Terry Trammel to evaluate the progress of his rehabilitation.

"I'd like to thank Jimmy Kite for taking over this year and doing a good job for the Ethanol team. It's great to be back in the car, and great to be back on a road course," Dana said. "I'm really looking forward to doing a few more tests and then moving on to the IndyCar, hopefully in mid-November."

In addition to his on-track outings, Dana has begun working with renowned driver fitness specialist Jim Leo of PitFit Inc., to speed his progress via intense two-a- day workouts.

"Paul had a decent base level of fitness when he came to us, considering what he had been through, but we could see he was weak in a number of areas," said Leo. "He's already made great strides and we are happy to be able to help him return to competition."

Dana expects the doctors to give him a clean bill of health for the IndyCar by mid-November at which time he will be able to participate in whatever off-season testing is permitted under IRL rules.

Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing is backed by a group of companies within the fast- growing ethanol industry, led by the major ethanol design-build firms Fagen Inc., ICM Inc., and Broin Companies. Ethanol is a high octane, high performance fuel that is clean burning, renewable and made in America. As a growing component of the United States' gasoline supply, ethanol delivers improved vehicle performance while reducing emissions and improving air quality. The IndyCar Series has announced that it will switch to ethanol as its fuel source beginning with a 10% blend in 2006 and moving to 100% fuel-grade ethanol in 2007.

The team's 2005 roster of supporting partners under the ethanol banner includes nearly 30 equipment and process technology vendors and suppliers to the ethanol industry.

A major ethanol industry sponsor on the 2005 roster is Ethanol Products. Major associate sponsors are Dakota Gold Marketing, Flottweg, Novozymes, and Victory Energy. Associate sponsors are A&B Process Systems, Advance Tank Construction, Alfa Laval, Brown Tank, Invensys Foxboro, J&D Construction, Laidig Systems, McCormick Construction, Mid America Steel, Monsanto, and WINBCO Tank. Supporters include the American Coalition for Ethanol, Blackburn Construction, E&I Specialists, the Ethanol Promotion & Information Council, the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, New Energy Corp., the Renewable Fuels Association and Tranter PHE.

To learn more about the ethanol industry and how ethanol can be used in the passenger car you are driving today, visit www.drivingethanol.org. Team and driver information are available at www.hemelgarnracing.com, www.pauldana.com, and www.jimmykite.com.

Life Fitness is an associate sponsors for the #91 Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing entry. Life Fitness invents, manufactures and delivers the world's most advanced fitness equipment to both commercial and home markets. They are the global leader in providing industry-tailored solutions to world-class fitness facilities and training centers. Their industry leadership transcends three decades and includes some of the most celebrated advancements in the history of fitness. Additional information is available at www.lifefitness.com.

-te/hr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Kite , Paul Dana