Bright out of Chicago race

CICERO, Ill. (July 29, 2000) - Jason Bright, of Gold Coast, Australia, will not race in tomorrow's Indy Lights Championship race at Chicago Motor Speedway (Ill.). Bright is recovering from injuries suffered in a crash Friday ...

CICERO, Ill. (July 29, 2000) - Jason Bright, of Gold Coast, Australia, will not race in tomorrow's Indy Lights Championship race at Chicago Motor Speedway (Ill.). Bright is recovering from injuries suffered in a crash Friday afternoon while practicing for the Sunday's sixth round of the 12-race Dayton Indy Lights Championship. He has been directed to enjoy a temporary diet of rest and relaxation. Bright lost control of his Dorricott Racing-prepared Lola at 1:18 p.m. (CT) while exiting turn three of the four-corner, 1.029-mile Chicago Motor Speedway oval. The car's tail end swung around and slammed into the outside retaining wall. Bright's was transported from the crash scene to the CART Infield Medical Center where he was promptly examined by CART Associate Medical Director, Chris Pinderski, M.D. The initial diagnosis was severe lower back strain combined with pain and stiffness in the upper neck. Bright never lost consciousness in the accident. Damage to Bright's Lola was relatively tame in relation to the ferocity of the contact. Other than shattering his gearbox, bending a steering arm, and spreading an oil spray across the track, the car remained intact and repairable. Both rear corners were virtually undamaged. Bright, however, wasn't as fortunate. Dr. Pinderski recommended that Bright be transferred to Loyola University Medical Center where he was examined by emergency trauma physician Kim Davis, M.D. Following a series of x-rays, a cat scan, and other diagnostic medical procedures, it was determined that Bright suffered severe soft tissue damage to his lower back muscles, very similar to the injury former Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell suffered in a similar accident at Phoenix International Raceway in 1993. Like the Mansell accident, Bright back into the retaining wall gearbox first. Bright also complained of continuing neck pain in the mid-cervical vertebrae. He was admitted Loyola University Hospital overnight for observation and released Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. Speculation and hope that Bright would return to action as early as Saturday's afternoon single-car qualifying session ended late Saturday morning when he was not cleared by CART Medical to race. A thorough follow-up examination at the CART Infield Medical Center included additional medical treatment by CART physicians. Bright was released at 12:00 noon Rather than attend qualifying, he returned to his motor coach for rest on the advice of medical personal. Veteran Indy Lights and Indy Racing League driver Derek Higgins, of Ireland, was selected to fill Bright's seat for Sunday's race. Higgins finished seventh in last year's Indy Lights championship but collected three victories at Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Detroit (Belle Isle). Bright's lap time at the time of the accident would have been the session's fastest. His best completed lap time ended ninth fastest at 0:26.872 = 137.854 mph. It is hoped he will recuperate in time for round seven at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Sunday, Aug. 13.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Nigel Mansell , Derek Higgins , Jason Bright