Memo Gidley released from hospital, returns home to California

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This story broke last night but it’s good news nonetheless. Memo Gidley, who was injured in a serious accident at this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, has been released from Halifax Health in Daytona Beach, Fla. and was medically transported by air to his home in Northern California.

The release follows three surgeries after the accident. On the day of the accident itself, Jan. 25, he had surgery to repair a broken left leg and left elbow, and endured a lengthy surgery to repair a compression fracture in his lower back on Monday, Jan. 27. The final surgery was completed on Friday, Jan. 31 to repair a fracture in his left heel.  He has spent the days following his final surgery resting and gathering strength for the medical transport across the country.

“I’m extremely happy and relieved to see Memo taking the next step in his recovery process,” team owner Bob Stallings said in a release. “Memo has been stabilized enough so he can make the flight to northern California and be transferred to another medical facility which has a very capable protocol for handling the types of injuries and recovery process that Memo requires. The doctors and nurses from Halifax have done a terrific job in getting him to this point, and I know that Memo is appreciative of it and everything that has been done on his behalf.”

Gidley also had a statement from the team release, as he begins the next phase of his recovery.

“I’ve had great care while I have been here at Halifax,” Gidley said. “From the nursing staff to the doctors, I appreciate all they have done for me.  I know it will take a while for me to get back on my feet, but I will be working hard for all the fans, friends and family who have been pulling for me since the accident.”

With Gidley’s concern and recovery first and foremost on Stallings’ and the team’s mind, the GAINSCO group has not yet revealed the next phase of its racing plans for 2014. The GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team planned only to race in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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