Will Power feeling better, planning Tuesday test at Barber for return

Photo: IndyCar

As he was cleared to drive on Wednesday, Will Power took time to discuss what happened to him during the weekend at St. Petersburg from the lead-in to the weekend through his being ruled out of competition.

“Yeah, feeling better, and obviously it’s great to be cleared to get back in the car again. That’s the best medicine you can have,” he said Wednesday during a conference call.

“I think obviously it was tough having to watch the race with someone else driving your car, but yeah, I mean, that’s just the way it went. Got to move forward.”

Power said he didn’t feel great going into the weekend, and things got worse as the weekend went on.

“Well, actually the third day when I turned up to track, I had very swollen glands around my ears. You know, so I wasn’t 100 percent then,” he explained.

“Obviously Dr. (Terry) Trammell and Dr. (Stephen) Olvey talked about the muscle tension, the neck was most probably the cause of the headaches. But I wasn’t — on Friday after the crash, I was okay. But I got out, felt fine, got in the car, felt fine, did practice, and then — yeah, it was that night that I started to feel — started to have some of these symptoms.

“Yeah, and then that kind of continued on into Saturday and kind of got worse, and then it came to the point where I had to say something to the medical staff.”

Power pressed on through qualifying, but was less inclined to drive afterwards come Sunday.

“Before qualifying I wasn’t feeling very good, and I wasn’t sure whether I should do it or not,” he said. “I was kind of keeping it to myself, and yeah, I just thought, I’ll just go out, see how it is, and kind of did one lap on black tires, and then just kind of went from there and just kept it short. I just really was just doing one more lap and a lap and then pitting. But yeah, I wasn’t feeling good at that point.

“Sunday morning, yeah, I was, yeah, that’s when I was questioning. Obviously it’s tough to say you don’t want to get in the race car, but I just had those symptoms that the doctors had talked about. So at that point it went to this SCAT test, and yeah, determined at that point that I had all the symptoms of a concussion.

“You know, it’s tough to say. Obviously I wanted to get in the car, but on the other hand, when you feel you’ve got a concussion, that’s also very concerning.”

Power said he’s less worried going forward about matters, as his infection feels better.

“My inner ear is feeling better. I don’t have headaches or nausea, and yes, I’ll be testing Barber next Tuesday to make up for the test. Yeah, that’ll be good to get back in the car.

“Actually I had an at-Phoenix test, and I actually had the infection when I was there, and it didn’t seem to be a problem. I’m not worried about that.”

Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”