CONCORD, N.C. (May 27, 2000) Petty Enterprises encountered more problems Saturday when John Andretti complained of sharp pain in his torso and was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fractured rib. The team said the injury ...
CONCORD, N.C. (May 27, 2000) Petty Enterprises encountered more problems Saturday when John Andretti complained of sharp pain in his torso and was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fractured rib.
The team said the injury apparently occurred one week earlier when the right side of Andretti's STP/Cheerios Pontiac made a hard impact into the wall at Lowe's Motor Speedway during the NASCAR Winston Cup Series' annual all-star race. Andretti said he felt tenderness in his right side in the days following the race, but the pain flared up significantly Saturday morning while he was driving in a practice session at the speedway for Sunday night's running of the Coca-Cola 600.
Andretti immediately brought his Grand Prix back to the garage area, where he had to be helped from the car. He was driven by ambulance to nearby University Hospital, where X-rays confirmed the fracture.
"Pain doesn't bother me," he said after he returned to the speedway. "It's sharp, intermittent pain that bothers me. That's what this is."
While Andretti was at the hospital, the team had Todd Bodine drive several laps in the car in case a substitute driver is used for Sunday's event, which at 600 miles is the longest race on the circuit.
Crew chief Greg Steadman said the team planned to let Andretti start the race, then get out of the car at the first caution and replace him with Tim Fedewa.
"Keeping John in the best health is what we're concerned with right now," Steadman said. "We don't want something to happen to him that would put him out for any longer. Whatever he needs to stay in the best shape, that's what we're going to work with."
Petty Enterprises' other NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver, Kyle Petty, is taking the week off as he continues to work through the grieving process following the death of his eldest son, Adam, in a NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division crash earlier this month.
Steve Grissom attempted to qualify Kyle Petty's car for the Coca-Cola 600 but was unsuccessful, and the team did not have a provisional starting position available for the race.