Craven out for Three Months

Craven out of No. 50 for three months Former NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year Ricky Craven will vacate his seat in the No. 50 Budweiser Monte Carlo for at least the next three months to recover after doctors determined he is ...

Craven out of No. 50 for three months

Former NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year Ricky Craven will vacate his seat in the No. 50 Budweiser Monte Carlo for at least the next three months to recover after doctors determined he is suffering from "post-concussion syndrome," according to a report issued by Hendrick Motorsports.

Craven was tested Thursday at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was determined to have balance problems. Neurologist Dr. Jerry Petty said that Craven's prognosis for a return to racing was good.

Craven, who is in 21st place in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series standings, has struggled since a crash last April in practice at Texas Motor Speedway that hospitalized him for several days with a broken shoulder blade, broken ribs and a concussion. It is believed his current condition is related to that accident.

"I felt like I was ready when I got back in the car after the crash in Texas," Craven said. "It (the balance problem) was something that didn't seem that serious and I thought it would go away.

"Looking back, obviously it affected my performance more than I realized. I'm encouraged by what the doctors said in terms of my chance for a full recovery and a return to racing. For the next few weeks, I'll be focusing on therapy and pulling for the Bud Team."

Craven did win The Winston Open last year at Charlotte, but has been unable to eclipse a career-best finish of third since joining the team from Larry Hedrick Motorsports, where he spent two seasons. He has finished third twice in the Budweiser car, in the 1997 Daytona 500 and the 1997 AC Delco 400.

Last year marked the second straight season that Craven was involved in a crash that slowed the progress of a promising year. In 1996 he was involved in an accident at Talladega, after which he posted just one top-5. After last year's crash, he posted just two top-5 results. This year he has just one top-10 in four events.

"All of us at Hendrick Motorsports and at Budweiser are very concerned about Ricky, and will assist him in any way we can in getting the best treatment," said John Hendrick, president of Hendrick Motorsports. "We're in the process of finding a replacement driver now, but it was Thursday afternoon before we received the doctor's report."

The team has yet to announce a replacement driver for this weekend's TranSouth Financial 400 at Darlington Raceway.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ricky Craven
Teams Hendrick Motorsports