BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Championship contender Zach Daum will miss Saturday’s POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League race at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark., due to concussion-like symptoms.
The Pocahontas, Ill., native already has plans to visit specialists at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UMPC) later this month.
“I jarred up some old concussion symptoms last weekend at SIR and Belleville,” noted Daum via a Facebook post. “Looking back, I think the Humboldt crash brought them back and I’ve tried to push them away. I’ve noticed small things, but just chalked it up to stress and other things going on. I got caught up in the points chase and thinking I could handle it, but I was wrong.”
The Humboldt (Kan.) Speedway crash on July 14 was certainly a harrowing one. While leading the POWRi National Midget feature in the league’s debut at the Kansas quarter-mile, Daum’s motor locked up down the front stretch with five to go and sent him for a vicious flip.
He quickly climbed out of the car and returned to racing over the following weeks after building a new No. 5D. It seemed as if all was back to normal as Daum consistently ran up front and made the points battle close, but old symptoms returned over the weekend and forced the three-time champion to make a decision for his health.
“Thanks to some good friends, I have an appointment at UMPC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) on October 30 for these concussions,” said Daum. “Hopefully after this appointment I will have a game plan moving forward to finally cure these concussion problems I’ve had for the last couple years.”
Daum’s absence at I-30 on Saturday throws a wrench into the chase for the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League championship.
With only three races remaining, Jesse Colwell of Red Bluff, Calif., holds a 50-point lead over Daum, who was once more than 350 markers behind just a month ago.
Taking the mantle as the chaser will be Jake Neuman, third in the POWRi national points, at 900 back. Daison Pursley and Logan Seavey are fourth and fifth, respectively.