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The Callahan Report: Ricky Craven Sidelined . . . No Replacement Named

19 March 1998

By Terry Callahan
The Auto Channel

Ricky Craven
DARLINGTON, SC: Ricky Craven, who drives for Hendrick Motorsports on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit, will be out of action this weekend. In fact, doctors say he could be out for as long as three months. Doctors say Craven is suffering from post concussion syndrome.

Craven's troubles started almost a year ago. He crashed during practice at Texas Motor Speedway last April. As a result of that crash, Craven suffered a broken right shoulder blade and a concussion. Doctors were concerned immediately after that crash. Craven had a small contusion on his brain. Their concerns went away when Craven seemed to bounce back the next day.

The young driver from Maine had dizziness and headaches Thursday. He had tests performed in Charlotte to determine the cause. After the testing, Dr. Jerry Pate, a neurologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill stated that it was determined Craven has "balance problems." He further stated that Craven could be out of the driver's seat for up to three months.

Craven commented, "I felt like I was ready when I got back in the car after the crash in Texas." Craven said. ``It was something that didn't seem that serious and I thought it would go away. Looking back, obviously it affected my performance more than I realized.''

A relief driver has not been announced. Craven is part of a three-car "super team" in NASCAR. Craven's teammates, Jeff Gordon and Terry Labonte, have won the last three Winston Cup Championships.

John Hendrick, president of Hendrick Motorsports said, "All of us at Hendrick Motorsports and at Budweiser are very concerned about Ricky, and will assist him in any way we can in getting the best treatment. We're in the process of finding a replacement driver now, but it was Thursday afternoon before we received the doctor's report."

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