The Lucas Oil Indy Mile AMA Grand National Championship round this coming weekend at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana 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. And Harley-Davidson factory rider Kenny Coolbeth is also planning to return to the Indy Mile after suffering a broken leg earlier this season at the Lima Half Mile.
Ingram nearly died from head and neck injuries sustained at the Springfield Mile in 1993 and that sent him into retirement, ending a nine-year career.
"I got into the concrete wall doing about 90 mph," Ingram said in a release issued by the Indy Mile. "I hit my head and my brain was hemorrhaging in two places. I broke my neck; and then I was in a coma for nine 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 Indy Mile, where he has ridden over a dozen times.
"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 racetrack; 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."
Coolbeth is also looking forward to getting back on track.
"[I] just want to give everyone a update on my leg and how it's healing," Coolbeth wrote on his facebook page recently. "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 two 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 p.m., timed-qualifying from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., opening ceremonies 7 p.m. with the first race at 7:30 p.m.
Advance tickets available at The Indiana State Fairgrounds Box Office, any Ticketmaster location, www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800/745-3000. For additional ticket information and web links, visit www.IndyMile.com.