Lucas Oil Indy Mile Will See Two Remarkable Comebacks
NEWS August 10, 2012
Photo by Dave Hoenig
Released on behalf of Family Events, promoters of the Indy Mile:
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 10, 2012) - The Lucas Oil Indy Mile AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National at the legendary Indy Mile track at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana on Saturday, August 18, 2012 will play host to two dramatic comeback stories. Dan Ingram who was born and has lived his entire life on the west side of Indianapolis will race at the Indy Mile as part of his return to AMA Pro Flat Track racing after a 19 year absence. Kenny Coolbeth is planning to return to the Indy Mile after being seriously injured at Lima, Ohio earlier in 2012.
Dan Ingram nearly died from head and neck injuries sustained at the Springfield Mile in 1993. He was hurt so badly that he decided to retire from professional motorcycle racing, ending a 9-year career filled with talent and promise. Ingram said, “I got into the concrete wall doing about 90 miles an hour. I hit my head and my brain was hemorrhaging in two places. I broke my neck; and then I was in a coma for 9 days. I nearly lost my life. I retired from racing, but I never lost the love for racing or the ‘want-to’. I just wasn’t able to, so I had to get on with my life without racing being involved. It’s been very difficult and it’s taken years to get over that injury. I’m over it now, and I’m back. I feel that I’m ready. I’ve ridden four nationals so far and I’ve been in three of the main events. They are 25-lappers and we’ve been right in there. So I feel good.”
Ingram has a great appreciation for the legendary Indy Mile track, where he has ridden over a dozen times. He said, “Not only is that race track special to me because it’s my hometown but the surface of the Indiana State Fairgrounds is different from other facilities. I really like that race track—the amount of traction that you are able to get, the design of the race track; I just really like riding at that place. I’ve got a good chance to do it again. I think that I’m still young enough.”
The years away from racing for Dan have been difficult, but he claims no bitterness thinking about a career that might have been. He said, “Yes. I’ve sure thought about it, but I believe that things happen for a reason. I just have to accept.”
Now that he’s back on a bike with a brand new XR-750 engine prepared by lifelong friend and top tuner Tom Cummings, Ingram said: “I’m looking forward to meeting the fans and I’d like to thank a few of my sponsors who are making it possible: Indy Southside Harley Davidson; Harley Davidson of Bloomington, Indiana; Tucker Rocky; Zanna Racing; the Kokomo Legion Riders; Mid-America Speedway; Brownsburg Signs; and JCR and Stay Racing.”
Kenny Coolbeth Jr. of Morris, CT, who won the 2009 Indy Mile, has been sidelined from racing after breaking fibula and tibia while racing at the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio earlier in 2012. Since then, he has been working tirelessly to get back into riding shape. He has trained first on a hand-pedaled recumbent bicycle, and more recently on a standard mountain bike. According to a recent posting on his Facebook page, Kenny told his fans: “(I) just want to give everyone a update on my leg and how it’s healing. The doc said I am ahead of schedule and it is healing well. I can walk and I ALMOST don't have a limp. I have a MRI scheduled 2 days before Indy and we will know for sure if I am healed enough to race.”
The Lucas Oil Indy Mile returns as a featured event of the Indiana State Fair, and again coincides with the Red Bull Indianapolis GP weekend. Activities will be begin with gates opening at 2:00pm, timed-qualifying from 3:00pm-5:00pm, opening ceremonies 7:00pm with the first race at 7:30pm.
Tickets on sale now
Advance tickets available at The Indiana State Fairgrounds Box Office, any Ticketmaster location, www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000. For additional ticket information and web links, please visit www.IndyMile.com. Advance tickets include admission to the Indiana State Fair and race ticket.
The latest information on the Lucas Oil Indy Mile AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National and a schedule of events may be found at www.IndyMile.com, www.familyevents.com, www.amaproracing.com, www.in.gov/statefair or by calling (317) 236-6515.