The IndyCar medical staff has cleared Will Power to return to action following his heavy crash during the race at Iowa. Power will return to the cockpit today alongside Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe for a test session at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, meanwhile, are slated to test at Sebring tomorrow.
Power's Verizon Team Penske car made hard contact with the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier during the Iowa Corn Indy 250 and, per IndyCar regulations, was obliged to take the ImPACT (Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) test and be re-evaluated.
"It was definitely a hard hit," said Power, who dropped out of the championship lead with his DNF and title rival Dario Franchitti's fifth-place finish.
Because racecar drivers are susceptible to concussions and other head and neck injuries during crashes, baseline testing is an important part of IndyCar's medical evaluation process. The ImPACT procedure measures a driver's cognitive abilities under normal, healthy conditions. This information establishes the driver's baseline testing data.
Before competing in an IZOD IndyCar Series event, drivers are required to establish their baseline data by performing the 30-minute, computerized ImPACT test, measuring a range of neurocognitive functions including memory, reaction time, attention span and other cognitive abilities.
If a driver suffers a head injury, doctors will perform the test again and compare the results to the driver's baseline, significantly improving the ability to diagnose the severity of the injury and better prescribe treatment.