Nemechek medical update

Report from Motorsport News International NASCAR Public Relations Nemechek still in critical condition MIAMI (March 17, 1997) NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver John Nemechek remains in extremely critical condition at Jackson Memorial...

Report from Motorsport News International

NASCAR Public Relations

Nemechek still in critical condition

MIAMI (March 17, 1997)

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver John Nemechek remains in extremely critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital today after suffering severe head injuries during a wreck in Sunday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Florida Dodge Dealers 400k.

"John Nemechek remains in extremely critical condition and on life support following a minor procedure that inserted a catheter to relieve the swelling of his brain," said Dr. Stephen Olvey. "His vital signs remain stable. If he survives the initial 48-to-72 hours, it will be weeks and months before the final outcome of his condition."

"The injury would be described as an 8 1/2 on a scale of one to 10," said Dr. Philip Villanueva, director of the hospital's neuro-trauma unit. "The bruises are located within the brain stem and do not lend themselves to surgical intervention. Hypothermic treatment and medication are being utilized to protect the brain and allow it to heal as much as possible."

The 27-year-old Nemechek was airlifted to the hospital from the track after a hard wreck on lap 148. As a result of a spin before he slammed into the wall, Nemechek hit the wall with the drivers side of his Chevrolet truck.

Olvey, a reknown neurosurgeon, is the medical director of the hospital's nurosurgical intensive care unit and the medical director at the Homestead Motorsports Complex, the site of the race. Olvey is also a former medical director for the CART Indy car series and was one of the surgeons that performed the successful back procedure on Emerson Fittipaldi after his crash at Michigan last year.

Nemechek, the younger brother of NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Joe Nemechek, was running his second full season in the series. Sunday's race was his 43rd career start, and he had a best finish of seventh, ironically at the Homestead facility in 1996.

Jay Sauter, another driver who was hospitalized with injuries from an accident in Sunday's race, is listed in good condition at Jackson Hospital.

NASCAR Online will provide updates on Nemechek's condition as they become available.

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Additional information:

ESPN2 showed much of the Doctor's new conference just now.

Dr. Olvey said the John Nemechek's helmet and interliner were cracked on the left side. He said it impacted a solid object with great force. Benny Parson surmised that it was the wall. Dr. Olvey also said that anytime he sees a crash where most of the car is left intact, he is always concerned about the seriousness of the injury because most of the impact has been transferred to the driver. He prefers to see a car 'explode' with parts all over track.

The address of the hospital is:

JACKSON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL 1611 NW 12TH AVE MIAMI FL 33136-1096

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jay Sauter , Emerson Fittipaldi