Johnnyh Leonard to compete in Daytona

"Dr. John Kagan Largely Responsible For Leonard's Quick Return To Racing" Cape Coral, Florida - - ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Johnny Leonard will head to Daytona International Speedway next week feeling a more comfortable than he did three months...

"Dr. John Kagan Largely Responsible For Leonard's Quick Return To Racing"

Cape Coral, Florida - - ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Johnny Leonard will head to Daytona International Speedway next week feeling a more comfortable than he did three months ago, after the racecar driver was injured while operating his successful Affordable Roofing company last October.

The incident, kept this quiet, yet motivated upcoming superstar out of commission for several weeks. However, if it had not been for Dr. John Kagan, the driver of the No. 13 Boca Bay Builders Chevrolet could have easily have missed Daytona testing in December and quite possibly even the 2005 season opener.

Kagan, one of the best Athletic and Reconstructive Orthopedic Surgeons in the United States immediately took Leonard's case operating on his knee just two days after the initial incident took place.

After two hours and thirty minutes of successful Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Osteochondral Autograft Transfer System (OATS) and Meniscus repair surgery, Leonard would be forced to take it easy for a few weeks before bouncing back into his normal routines. Not an easy task, for a person who is always on the move.

14 weeks later, ARCA driver Johnny Leonard is walking normal and is expected to make a full-recovery by the end of the 2005 season.

"I truly and honestly do not know what to say to Dr. John Kagan, other than thank you," said Leonard from his office. "Dr. Kagan didn't have to take my case, but he did and he treated me like a superstar. It's great to know that they are doctors in this world that will drop their personal life to attend to a person who is in need."

"It really couldn't have happened a better time," Leonard said jokingly about the accident. "We just had competed the Talladega event, and we were beginning to work on our 2005 plans when it all came to a crashing end. I was limping around a little bit at the Daytona test in December, but I was feeling pretty good, and had no trouble climbing in and out of our Boca Bay Builders machine. I'm not in any pain right now, and really looking forward to next week."

For Leonard, the pain is almost gone, but his appreciativeness will never disappear. "I really can't say where I would be today with my knee if Dr. Kagan wouldn't have operated on it. My personal doctor, Dr. Jane Phillips literally pleaded with Dr. Kagan secretary to see me, and he did quickly. He is one of the most professional, organized, and detailed doctors I know, and I'm glad he was on my side last October."

As a "special" thanks to Dr. John Kagan, Leonard will plaster a bold "Thank You Dr. Kagan" on the hood of his No. 13 Pontiac Grand Prix underneath primary sponsor Boca Bay Builders at Daytona International Speedway next weekend.

"I know this does not make up for what he did for me, but it's really a cool way to boast about the great job he did," continued Leonard, who hopes to make his second-consecutive ARCA season opener next Saturday. "He really means a lot to me, and I hope he enjoys seeing that message just as much as anyone else."

Kagan himself is a race fan and Johnny Leonard hopes to treat him to a magical weekend at a track of his choice later this season.

The Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 is the first of 23 events on the 2005 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. Practice begins Thursday, February 10th. with a morning and afternoon session planned. Qualifying is on tap for Friday, February 11th, with the race set to take the green flag Saturday February 12th. The Speed Channel will air the event live from Johnny's on-board camera beginning at 4:00pm EST.

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Series ARCA
Drivers Johnny Leonard