Ray doubtful after qualifying crash

Greg Ray suffered lower back injuries in a crash at Richmond International Raceway on Friday afternoon. The accident prevented him from making a qualification attempt for Saturday night's SunTrust Indy Challenge Indy Racing League event.

Ray doubtful after qualifying crash

Ray, the 1999 IRL champion, crashed in the outside of the fourth turn wall during the final practice session. The driver climbed out of the car with assistance from the IRL safety crew.

Ray complained of lower back pain and was examined twice by Dr. Henry Bock, the IRL's director of medical services. Team Menard decided to withdraw Ray's car from the qualification line-up even before Bock determined the driver was not cleared to drive.

The driver will be re-examined by Dr. Bock on Saturday morning. If he is cleared to drive, he would start at the back of the 20-car field for Saturday night's race.

Ray has returned to his hotel in Richmond where he will rest the injury.

"We made the decision as a group," Ray said. "We thought I could crawl in the race car and have a good qualifying run. But my left side lower back is very stiff. It's not worth the risk. There is no upside. There are no points. This is going to be a long, hard race.

"The smartest thing we could do is get me back to the hotel as quickly as possible to rest up so I can be the best we can be for tomorrow."

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