IRL: Steve Fried Focusing on Fitness after Hospital Release

INJURED CREW CHIEF FOCUSING ON FITNESS AFTER HOSPITAL RELEASE INDIANAPOLIS, June 16, 1999 - Pep Boys Indy Racing League crew chief Steve Fried is starting a physical therapy program after being released from Methodist Hospital on June...

INJURED CREW CHIEF FOCUSING ON FITNESS AFTER HOSPITAL RELEASE

INDIANAPOLIS, June 16, 1999 - Pep Boys Indy Racing League crew chief Steve Fried is starting a physical therapy program after being released from Methodist Hospital on June 13, the next step in his remarkable recovery from critical injuries suffered in a pit-road accident during the Indianapolis 500 on May 30. Fried, crew chief for Energizer Motorsports rookie driver Robby McGehee, will remain in Indianapolis to work on his rehabilitation program. The immediate focus will be to regain his strength and balance. Energizer Motorsports team members, who talked to Fried over the phone several times each day last week while in Texas for the Longhorn 500 presented by MCI WorldCom, are calling Fried's recovery nothing short of miraculous. "To have seen him lying there on pit lane only two weeks ago, and knowing how bad he was hurt, it is unbelievable to me that he has been released," said team leader David Conti. "We all knew Steve was a fighter, but this is really incredible." McGehee, who presented Fried with his Bank One Rookie of the Year trophy before leaving Indianapolis, is also amazed. "Steve is a tough guy, and we all know how he hates to lose, but every day when we get reports and talk to him it continues to surprise all of us," McGehee said. "We miss him, and I can't wait until he is back strapping me into that car." Fried already is thinking about his eventual return to work, including a recent dream about his job responsibilities. "I dreamed that my wife, Jennifer, and I had to repaint and get the Energizer decals on the backup car that the team just bought," Fried said. "I knew I was in no shape to do it, and I didn't see how she was going to get it done, but we had to do it because that was our job." Said Conti: "That's Steve. He's one of the hardest workers I have ever known, and he feels responsible for everything. I know he wants to be back, and we can't wait to have him back, either. You could never hope to replace a guy like him." Steve and Jennifer Fried wish to express their thanks to the countless fans and members of the racing community who have expressed their support during Steve's recovery. "It is really overwhelming to get cards and flowers from all of these people that I have never even met," said Fried. "It just reaffirms what I have always known: That the whole racing community is just one big family, and they are all very special people. It really makes me proud of my profession, and to be a part of the sport of auto racing." Fans wishing to send cards or notes of encouragement to Steve and Jennifer Fried may direct them to:

Get Well Steve! Conti Racing/Energizer Motorsports 7602 N. County Road 150 E. Pittsboro, IN 46167 E-mail wishes, which will be transmitted to Steve via hard copy, may be sent to: SteveFried@energizer-motorsports.com.

Source: IMS/IRL

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Series IndyCar