For Immediate Release
SALAZAR HOSPITALIZED AFTER TESTING ACCIDENT
ORLANDO, FLA., January 11, 1997 -- Veteran Eliseo Salazar was hospitalized Saturday after a testing accident at Walt Disney World Speedway.
Salazar, 41, of Santiago, Chile, went into Turn 1 in Team Scandia's Dallara/Oldsmobile, the car had an engine failure of undetermined cause and oil leaked under the tires, causing him to do a half-spin for 375 feet and he hit the wall at the exit of the turn.
He was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he was admitted for evaluation of a compression fracture in his lower back, according to Dr. Arthur DeBaise, the attending track physician. He was reported awake, alert and stable.
"It's a mechanical failure and we're researching what caused the problem," said team engineer Dick Simon.
Dr. Jack Miller needed only 50 laps Saturday in PDM Racing's ex-IRL Lola Buick to pass the final three phases of his United States Auto Club driver's test. He has been entered in Arizona Motorsports' Dallara/Nissan Infiniti Indy machine for the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World.
DR. JACK MILLER: "The quicker you go, the easier it is. The engine and everything was so much better today. It's a night and day difference from an Indy Lights car. It's easier to be smooth in these cars. When you turn, they go where you aim the car. Hopefully, we'll get the engine this week and be back Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of race week. If the new car runs as good as this one did, I'm looking forward to it."
JOHN PAUL, JR.: "I'm thrilled with this new car. We ran in the mid- 22s (seconds). We're not comfortable with the speed but we all agree on how to get over this next hurdle. We feel good about the information we've collected and the equal opportunity we'll have with the other teams even though we're behind by a couple days. We're thrilled we've got a new sponsor -- Tnemec. It's an industrial paint supplier that paints the walls here at Disney and at Indianapolis. It's nice to have a car I can fit into. It's been a long time since I've been able to fit into one. I always was 'higher up.' (He's 6-4). I really like the new concept."
PAUL DIATLOVICH (co-team owner, PDM Racing): "This is our second day of testing. We ran up to speed and we learned a lot. This track is excellent. Now, we got a good feel on the engine, chassis and gearbox and we can go back home with this knowledge and return here with a better product. I'll be working with teams that are behind and calling them up to give them the information. This is for the betterment of the sport. These teams were there last year for us, helping us when we were behind. Now it's our turn to return the favor.
It's very important that we put on the best show. When those stands are all full and they see what we can put on year after year. Working like this with each other is good for the sport."
DRIVER TEAM CAR/ENGINE LAPS TIME SPEED
Eliseo Salazar Scandia Dallara/Olds 27 21.98 163.785 Fermin Velez Scandia Dallara/Olds 61 22.40 160.714 John Paul Jr. PDM Dallara/Olds 67 22.52 159.858 Jack Miller PDM Lola/Buick 50 N/A N/A
For ticket information for the Jan. 19 Chevy Trucks Challenge or the Jan. 25 Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora, call 1-800- 822-INDY. Tickets are also on sale at Race Rock, 8986 International Drive in Orlando (I-4 to Sand Lake exit).
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