Honda Racing / IZOD IndyCar Series / RacingLine
Brack Working Hard For Return To Cockpit
Less than five months after his devastating accident in the season finale at Texas, Kenny Brack is on the mend and working hard to regain his racing form.
"I'm feeling better and stronger every day," says the 37-year-old Swede from his home in Columbus, Ohio. "I've got quite a routine going. I work out for three hours each morning doing legs, chest, shoulder and arms.
"Then I break for lunch and come back and ride a bike for an hour. It's full speed ahead and very soon I'm going to be able to walk without crutches."
Brack suffered a broken back, sternum, right leg and fractures of both ankles as he battled for third place late in the race last September. He doesn't remember anything about the accident but realizes it could have been worse.
"I have seen a lot of still pictures from it, but I still haven't seen the video because I don't have it," said the 1998 IRL champion. "I know it was bad and I know I was fortunate. I think somebody was looking out for me.
"It's not something that bothers me or that I worry about because I already know the outcome. And it's been painful at times but I'm going to make a complete recovery."
Blood clots, water on the lungs and problems with his gall bladder stymied Brack's healing process and he lost a lot of weight during his ordeal.
"People that haven't been in a situation like this would be amazed to see how fast muscles deteriorate and how fast the body deteriorates when you're lying in a bed for like six, seven weeks," he continued. "So, part of the rehab is stretching. Part of the rehab is weight training. Part of the rehab is fitness training, like water therapy and stuff like that.
"But my appetite is back, I'm gaining weight and getting some muscle tone back."
Wife Anita, who gave birth to daughter Karma on New Year's Eve, was strong and supportive during his two months in the hospital despite being pregnant.
"Anita was fabulous. By my side every minute and I know it was tough on her but she's a strong lady," he continued. "It's exciting, you know, with this new little thing that's arrived to this world. It's something that's fantastic.
"Karma is beautiful but right now, you know, she sleeps and eats and doesn't do too many bad things around the house."
The 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner will be replaced by Buddy Rice until he's ready to get back in the cockpit.
"You know, I've never been in this position before so I can't say if it's going to be three months or 12 months. My injuries are serious, but they will heal, and it will take somewhere between five to six months from the accident date.
"I've got to wait until my bones are completely healed and I feel completely, a hundred percent, healed back up. I mean, it's no point kidding yourself or anybody else getting in a car when you're not healed up or feel 100 percent for it. You kid yourself, you might have another bad wreck or you're not going to do the team any good."
Brack claims he's got no second thoughts about racing again.
"I don't think I have doubts in my mind I can do it again. It's something that I've always done. Yeah, I've always known that it has risks and stuff can happen at times, but I love racing. "This is what I've been doing successfully in the past, and that's what I want to do successfully for a while longer, really. I still think that I'm very competitive on the track and I want to get back as soon as possible."