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Mon, 4 Nov 2002, 05:51 PM

John Lingenfelter Update
by Phil Burgess,

POMONA, Calif. -- November 4: John Lingenfelter remains in stable condition at Pomona Valley Hospital recovering from injuries sustained in a racing accident Oct. 27 at the Mazda NHRA Sport Compact Finals presented by Toyo Tires at Pomona Raceway. Lingenfelter is being treated for a broken neck, broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and a possible head injury.

Doctors removed the drainage tube from Lingenfelter's collapsed lung and are working to wean him off breathing assistance. He remains heavily sedated for pain, but is responsive to stimuli.

"John will open his eyes when people talk to him," said Tom Cress of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, "and he is able to move all of his limbs. The doctors have told us that John's body has undergone a lot of trauma and it's going to take some time for his body to rejuvenate itself. His color is really good and his vital signs are excellent. The doctors are ecstatic about his condition compared to how he was when he first came in. He's progressing very well.

"They've labeled his head injury as a concussion, but they won't know more about it until he's more awake. It's not really a big concern of theirs now. They just want him to rest up and allow his body to begin to heal itself."

"The doctors are not actively keeping him sedated, so as soon as he's ready to wake up, he will," said Summit Racing teammate Matt Hartford, who has spoken to Lingenfelter's wife, Cindi, and daughters Kerri and Kelly. "The doctors are very optimistic. Right now, it's just a healing process; we have to let time take its time."

The immediate plans call for Lingenfelter to remain in Southern California for at least another two weeks before he can be transferred home to Indiana, where he most likely will end up at well-regarded Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Realizing that many of his friends will be in attendance in Pomona for the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event, the family reminds everyone ahead of time that Lingenfelter is in the Intensive Care Unit and unable to accept visitors. The family appreciates your understanding and cooperation.

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