Ware expects to be cleared for Talladega return

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Ware expects to be cleared for Talladega return

NASCAR

Ware expects to be cleared for Talladega return

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Cody Ware believes he’ll be given the all-clear to race this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway after a vicious crash Sunday in Texas.

Ware was treated and released from the Texas Motor Speedway infield care center with no broken bones or a concussion, but has been dealing with discomfort in his left foot and ankle.

“It was a little rough after the incident on Sunday, but I had a great group of guys around me. My team, as well as NASCAR medical, did a good job of taking care of me, treating me, and diagnosing what all was going on,” Ware told told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

“Right now, not dealing with too much pain, just trying to do some physical therapy and recover. More or less just dealing with some stretched ligaments and a lot of bruising and swelling in my foot and ankle.

“But [I’ve] already been to physical therapy twice and going to get the final approval today to get confirmation to race at Talladega. And all in all, I think we’re going to be heading in the right direction.”

The crash occurred on lap 168 of the second stage of the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500. Ware hit the outside wall in Turn 4, and then his heavily damaged car came down the track and onto pit road, where it bounced off the wall in front of Alex Bowman’s team. Ware climbed from the car under his own power but needed assistance afterward, and was taken to the infield care center on a stretcher.

NASCAR and Texas officials had to repairthe wall after Ware’s impact. Ware revealed the cause of the crash was a loose race car and the bumps in Turns 3 and 4.

“I think we just got pretty free on entry on one of the times into Turn 3 and 4, and the car just kind of shot up the track, and I think once I hit the bump, it kind of sealed our fate there,” he said.

“That first impact on the outside wall, from what we’ve seen with the car and everybody from NASCAR (and) the team looking over it, it looks like the throttle got hung after the first hit, and so once we were making our way… obviously (I was) trying to get the car stopped, trying to get the brake pedal down. But at that point with the throttle hung, there wasn’t much I could do to get the car slowed down, and unfortunately was a passenger of my own car heading toward the pit road wall.”

Ware could do nothing about where the car was headed after it hit the Turn 4 wall. Fortunately, he missed the break in the wall before Bowman’s pit stall.

“Up until the last 50 feet or so, it looked like I was pretty much headed toward that corner there, but at the end of the day, obviously, the wheel was already bent in from the right front,” he said. “It was caved into the firewall after the first impact, so I didn’t have any way to steer and maneuver the car. Obviously, I tried to do that, but wasn’t able to. Thankfully, once I came out of the grass and onto pit road itself, the car corrected to the right a little bit, and I was able to thankfully avoid the corner of the pit road entry/exit.

“Obviously, it could have been a lot worse, but all in all, to walk away just with some of the foot and ankle pain and in a position where I probably won’t have to miss Talladega, I think that things could have been a lot worse for sure.”

Ware said NASCAR didn’t take the car to the R&D Center, but officials were at the Rick Ware Racing shop to go through the teardown process with the team. Part of the process involved taking pictures of Ware’s No. 51 Ford Mustang and looking over the car’s interior.

“I think, all in all, they’ve been very proactive in seeing what they can learn and how they can fix the cars going forward and things like that,” Ware said. “I know they definitely took back my HANS and helmet to look at that at the R&D Center … but overall, I’m pretty happy with the response of how quickly they were to learn and gather information on this wreck.”

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