The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 15, 2013

Concussion test may soon be mandatory in NASCAR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR will likely require baseline concussion tests for all drivers in 2014.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing operations, said officials have also urged drivers to get an ImPACT test before this season.

“We’ve encouraged them all to get that, with the emphasis that in 2014 that almost likely will be mandated for all of them,” O’Donnell said Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. “We’re in the process of doing that right now. We’re educating them on what it is, how it works, and we’ll come back with that for the 2014 preseason.”

The test is used by many professional sports leagues, including the NFL, to assess concussions and determine when an injured athlete can safely return to play. The ImPACT test has transformed the way concussions are managed by giving a tangible measure of what’s going on in the brain. It’s a computer-based series of fast-paced quizzes involving words, pictures and colors. Scores reflect how quickly and correctly the questions are answered.

Four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon voluntarily took the test and says all drivers should complete one even if it’s not mandatory.

“Why not go ahead and get ahead of the game?” Gordon said. “Plus, I would rather have it before the season starts, before the potential of having a head injury, to get a baseline.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed two races last season during the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship with a concussion. Earnhardt was checked out last year by Dr. Micky Collins, the clinical and executive director of the Sports Medicine Concussion Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Collins is one of the leading experts in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of athletes who have suffered concussions. He helped with developed the ImPACT test with Dr. Mark Lovell.

“The test is really simple and pretty straightforward,” Earnhardt said.

Gordon said Earnhardt’s injury was the deciding factor in getting tested.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Lorenzana Texas-Arlington wrecks Sooner momentum with double plays

    Oklahoma didn’t arrive at L. Dale Mitchell in a listless state on Tuesday. It knew the meeting with Texas-Arlington was important. Momentum needed to start heading in a positive direction....

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners continue winning streak on the diamond

    After an up-and-down weekend against Texas that ultimately ended on a high note with the Sooners winning two of three, Oklahoma continued its streak on Tuesday....

    April 23, 2014

  • Sooners blank Mean Green thanks to one-hit shutout from Stevens

    Kelsey Stevens’ impact at Oklahoma continues to grow....

    April 24, 2014

  • Sooners rolling in almost every program

    It doesn’t seem so long ago, yet it’s been almost a decade since I wrote a snarky, though not inaccurate column questioning the head-coach-hiring skills of Sooner athletics director Joe Castiglione....

    April 24, 2014

  • Grizzlies will let Russ shoot

    During the hey day of L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, a new term was added to the lexicon. Anyone who seemingly was able to slow down the prolific scorer was automatically dubbed the Kobe Stopper. Players such as Ruben Patterson, Raja ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Tigers, T-Wolves set for showdown

    For many teams in Norman, the Crosstown Clash is the biggest date on their schedule. It’s the game that can make or break the season. The one that determines bragging rights, and the one that the players are most concerned about....

    April 24, 2014

  • Emmert seeks big changes to NCAA

    INDIANAPOLIS — Mark Emmert wants the NCAA to fast-track upgrades for college athletes — regardless of whether a player union is pushing for them....

    April 24, 2014

  • North playing for big picture, NHS fighting for a better place at the table

    While the focus for the next two days will be on the Crosstown Clash, there's also an important postseason race taking place for Norman High and Norman North's baseball teams....

    April 24, 2014

  • Mets edge Cards

    NEW YORK — With a 360-foot relay in the ninth inning, the New York Mets prevented a hard-fought victory from vanishing in the wind....

    April 24, 2014

  • Seahawks will open against Packers

    NEW YORK — As Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks get to kick off the NFL’s regular season by hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 4....

    April 24, 2014

Facebook