January 31, 2004 -- Plantation, Florida -- D'Agostino returns home and gets on the road to recovery
2004 Team USA Scholarship driver Joe D'Agostino returned back home a few days ago after spending a month down in New Zealand competing in the Talley's New Zealand International Formula Ford Series.
With a lot of momentum after recently winning the Barber-Dodge Pro Series "Big-Scholarship," D'Agostino started his time in New Zealand off strong in testing at Ruapuna Raceway Park, site for the 3rd Round of the series. Testing had D'Agostino unofficially breaking the track record and quickly adapting to the unfamiliar surroundings.
Going into the 1st Round of the three-round series at Levels Raceway in Timaru D'Agostino would be on pole position for Race One and would finish a solid 2nd and 5th that weekend.
The next round would take D'Agostino to the most southern race track in the world, Teretonga Raceway, for the famed New Zealand Grand Prix. During the third lap of the Grand Prix two cars directly in front of D'Agostino came together thus leaving the 18 year old no where to go. D'Agostino was then launched into a series of flips, when it was all over D'Agostino suffered a broken arm and a concussion and would ultimately be eliminated from the championship.
D'Agostino will have corrective surgery this Tuesday (February 3, 2004) to help speed up the healing process. "At this point surgery is the best option for me and should allow me to return back behind the wheel in time for my first Barber-Dodge race," said D'Agostino. "Looking back at the accident it still amazes me how lucky I am and I know that the safety gear I was wearing saved my life. I am very grateful to everyone who has helped and of all the phone calls and emails that I have received, thank you."
D'Agostino wishes to thank all of his sponsors, Team USA Scholarship, Arai, Sparco, Kart Mini, The Latimer Hotel, Racer Magazine, Dodge, Michelin, Skip Barber Racing School and all of his personal sponsors.