Daytona 24: Peyton Sellers battles meningitis

Peyton Sellers Battles Meningitis to Race in Rolex 24 At Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 3, 2005) -- Two weeks ago, Synergy Racing driver Peyton Sellers woke up with a headache. He shook it off as nothing serious, went on the school at ...

Peyton Sellers Battles Meningitis to Race in Rolex 24 At Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 3, 2005) -- Two weeks ago, Synergy Racing driver Peyton Sellers woke up with a headache. He shook it off as nothing serious, went on the school at Averett University, and to work at the race shop. The next day he began to feel like he was coming down with the flu, but again shook it off as nothing too bad.

However, the next day Sellers and his family began to realize this was much more than the flu, and he went to the hospital. After a CAT scan, the emergency room doctors told Sellers he must have a virus, gave him some antibiotics, and sent him home.

And then Sunday came. "Sunday was probably the worst day of my life," Sellers said. "I knew it was time to do something on Monday when I woke up. I had had enough."

That is when Sellers returned to the hospital, and doctors performed a spinal tap on him and discovered he was suffering from meningitis. A vigorous treatment was immediately commenced, and Sellers was hospitalized.

When doctors finally agreed to release him from the hospital, it was exactly one week before the start of the Rolex 24 event weekend. Although he was still weak and suffering a few lingering side effects, Sellers was determined to make to Daytona and compete in his first Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Thursday afternoon, Sellers piloted the No. 86 BMW Picchio DP2 in qualifying for the Rolex 24. And although he was not entire pleased with his performance, he truly meant it when he said he was just happy to be here.

"I'm just taking it one day at a time now and letting things get better on its own," Sellers said. "I'm about 90 percent now. I'm not going to say I'm 100 percent. My back hurts on a constant basis from the spinal tap, and my headaches come and go still a little bit. I'm dealing with it though. A good trip to Daytona will remedy anything."

Sellers will take a shot at improving his qualifying time during the second round of qualifying on Friday.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona is the most prestigious sports car race in North America, drawing top-name drivers from around the world and every racing discipline, including the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, the IRL IndyCar Series and Formula One.

SPEED Channel will broadcast more than 14 hours of the historic 24-hour race live from Daytona, with coverage kicking off at noon on Saturday, Feb. 5 and continuing through the first seven hours of the race. After a one-hour break, the live broadcast will resume at 8 p.m. and continue until 11 p.m. SPEED will return to the action at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 6, running through the checkered flag and victory lane celebration.

Live timing and scoring from the race will be available throughout the entire 24 hours online at www.grandamerican.com. Additional information on the Rolex 24 At Daytona, including ticket pricing and special events surrounding the race, is online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Peyton Sellers