Justin released from hospital
Justin was released from hospital in Indianapolis today. He was transported from Ohio to Indianapolis on Sunday to meet with INDYCAR’S medical consultant Dr. Terry Trammell who found that Justin has a stable burst fracture of the T5 vertebra with no spinal cord injury. He is being treated with a brace and will receive a regular x-rays and check-ups, but will be unable to drive for a minimum of three months.
During Saturday morning’s practice session in Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Justin ran wide on the exit of Turn 1 and the No. 22 car porpoised through the grass, hitting an access road which then sent the car airborne. Although the car was undamaged, Justin was immediately aware that he had hurt his back.
"Obviously, I have a little bit of a backache, but I'm just frustrated to not be at the racetrack,” said Justin today. “I think that we had just started to get our season turned around and the car was really good at Mid-Ohio. I know that I'm going to miss the ovals and I think we've found some good stuff that was going to help our oval performance, so I'm disappointed to not be in the car”.
“But my back is the most important thing,” he added. “I'm going to try and get that to heal and get back to 100 percent as soon as possible and get back in the car. I'm feeling good and I'm already thinking about getting back to racing. Also, the response has been incredible and it's really nice to see that rather it's on Twitter from the fans, or drivers and ex-drivers. Everyone has been really supportive, so thank you to all of them. I also want to thank the Safety team, medical staff and AirMed that did the transport from Ohio to Indianapolis. It's been great treatment all round. I want to wish the team good luck this weekend and I'm looking forward to seeing how they do."
Simon Pagenaud jumped into the No. 22 entry at short notice at Mid-Ohio, qualifying 18th and finishing 13th. Tomas Scheckter will pilot the car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. Tomas competed in ten races for DRR in 2009 and four events in 2010, including the Indianapolis 500.
"We wish that Justin could be with us this weekend, but right now we are happy that he is okay and we just want him to have a speedy recovery,” said Dennis Reinbold, Dreyer & Reinbold co-owner. “For us, Tomas made the most sense because we had great runs with him last year and he has a ton of oval experience.”
"Obviously, it's not the circumstances that you want to get in the car, and I want to wish Justin a quick recovery,” said Tomas. “It will be great to be back with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and it will also be good to be back on an oval. It looks like a really cool oval that's new to everybody. I'm looking forward to it and I feel at home with the team and I can't wait to get back in the car.”
Decisions have not been made on who will drive the No. 22 car for the races beyond New Hampshire.