Team Penske IndyCar Series driver Will Power will have to watch from the sidelines this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway while teammate Ryan Briscoe duels Target Chip Ganassi's Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti for the championship, but the Australian can take satisfaction in his rapid recovery from injuries suffered in a crash in practice at Sonoma's Infineon Raceway this summer. Power says doctors have been "amazed" by his progress in recuperating from three fractured lumbar vertebrae, sustained in his collision with Nelson Philippe's stalled car on Aug. 22.
"Do I feel better? Definitely," Power told USA Today. "I saw Dr. (Terry) Trammell (series orthopedic specialist), and he said he was amazed by my progress and how I'm ahead of schedule. (The back) has healed really well, and I'm back in the gym."
Power joined Penske this year as a fill-in for Helio Castroneves, but was reduced to part-time status after the Brazilian was acquitted of tax-evasion charges. Even so, he emerged a regular front runner in the races he did contest, winning from the pole at Edmonton in July. Team boss Tim Cindric told RACER's David Malsher that Penske intends to run Power in a third Penske entry next year, hopefully on a full-time basis.
"Our goal is to be able to offer Will something for next year," Cindric said, "but our aim is to give him a full-time ride. If we can, we will."