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Brack Stable After Crash

Driver has surgery for injuries suffered in race; full recovery is expected.

October 14, 2003|Shav Glick | Times Staff Writer

After one of the most frightening accidents in Indy car history left Kenny Brack with multiple injuries Sunday, the Swedish driver was in serious but stable condition Monday as he recuperated from surgery in a Dallas hospital.

"It was great to see how Kenny was in such good condition after the surgery," said Bobby Rahal, owner of Brack's car. "He came through with flying colors. The doctors are very optimistic."

Brack, 37, the 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner and 1998 Indy Racing League champion, suffered fractures of his right thighbone, breastbone, lower back and ankles, said Dr. Henry Bock, IRL medical advisor.

Brack underwent surgery on the thigh and ankles late Sunday. Brian Eastridge, a trauma surgeon, and Charles Reinhart, an orthopedic surgeon, performed the surgery. Another operation is planned for his back in the next few days. Bock said he expected Brack to fully recovery.

The accident occurred on Lap 188 of the 200-lap Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway when Brack tried to pass Tomas Scheckter for third place as their cars approached Turn 3 at about 220 mph. Brack's left front wheel made contact with the right rear of Scheckter's car, causing Brack's No. 15 Dallara-Honda to fly over the top of Scheckter's car and into the outside catch fence at the top of a 39-inch concrete wall on the backstretch.

The car, demolished when it tore a gash in the fence, broke apart as it fell spinning to the track. The cockpit, with Brack still inside, sailed down the track before stopping. Despite the horrifying appearance of the crash, Brack was able to speak with the IRL medical staff as he was pulled from the wreckage and transported to the track medical center before being airlifted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

Scheckter was not injured.

"Thank goodness the Dallara chassis was so strong in that kind of a crash," said Rahal after seeing Brack at the hospital.

Fellow racers Michael Andretti, Bryan Herta and Dario Franchitti visited Brack.

"He kept asking me, 'What happened?' " said Brack's wife, Anita, in a team statement. "He was happy to see his friends and Team Rahal family. Now we have to make sure he gets well."

Gil de Ferran of Brazil, who had announced this would be his final race before retiring from Roger Penske's team, barely beat Scott Dixon of New Zealand but Dixon's finish enabled him to win the series championship for Chip Ganassi's Target team.

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