Swedish driver Bräck back on track

Swedish driver Kenny Bräck, who was seriously injured in a horrific crash in the Indy Racing League in 2003, will race in the Indianapolis 500 later this month replacing America's defending champion Buddy Rice, team officials said on Wednesday.

The May 29th race will mark Bräck’s return to Indy racing after he broke his back, sternum, ribs, right leg and both ankles in a crash at the season finale at Texas Motor Speedway in October 2003.

“When we heard that Buddy had to sit out the rest of the month, Kenny was the immediate choice. Kenny is a sensational driver,” Bobby Rahal of the Rahal Letterman Racing team said in a statement posted on Brack’s website.

Rice, last year’s Indy 500 winner, has been forced to sit out the remainder of the season after suffering a concussion in a May 11 crash while practising at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

He also injured his back in the single-vehicle smash.

On Wednesday, Bräck drove his first lap in an Indy car after passing a medical the day before. He professed himself to be in fine form.

“I’m back to the same physical condition as I was before the crash because I have basically been pounding myself in the gym ever since I got out of the hospital. So I feel physically very good.”

Bräck is the 1998 Indy Racing League champion and 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner and will race the No. 15 Argent/Pioneer Honda car on May 29. (AFP/The Local)