Iinside Indy:/I No Miller Time

Like a bad tooth, Dr. Jack Miller has pulled himself out of the No. 11 Cahill Racing car to focus on recovering from a concussion he suffered in an 11-car wreck at Atlanta Motor Speedway on April 28.

Miller, who has started three Indianapolis 500s, made the decision Tuesday afternoon.

"I have pushed myself in the last week to get ready for Indy, but after evaluating my injuries, I realize I will need some time to get healthy," said Miller, who is also known as The Racing Dentist. "I must step away and take a break from racing. I have to think about protecting my health for my dental career, as well.

"I am disappointed that I will not be able to participate in the 85th running of the greatest race in the world, but after careful consideration of all the issues, I believe my decision is in the best interest of my health and my family."

Brian Barnhart, Indy Racing Northern Light Series vice president of operations, honored Miller as an asset to the IRNLS during his five-years of competition.

"Dr. Jack has a real passion for the sport of auto racing, and I know this must be a tough time for him," Barnhart said. "Dr. Jack has been a positive presence here in the Indy Racing League for the last five years; he has been a very popular driver among fans and has been a great ambassador for his sponsors and his teams.

"Everyone here at the IMS and Indy Racing League wish Dr. Jack the very best and a speedy recovery."

Miller’s most recent appearance in the Indy 500 was in 1999, when he started 31st and finished in the same position.

This season, Miller was driving the No. 11 Olympus-Opalescence Tooth Whitening System car for Cahill Racing. The sponsors will move over to Cahill’s No. 10 car and driver Robby McGehee, the 1999 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year.

Miller will stay involved in the business end of the racing team while he recovers.

"I will continue to work with Cahill Racing and all my sponsors on the business side of racing as we move forward," Miller said. "I want to thank my fans and sponsors for their tremendous support. This has been really tough, but I know that my health is the most important consideration."

Arie’s Close Calls: Arie Luyendyk came of retirement this year to specifically focus on winning a third Indianapolis 500 title, and he’s looking strong three days into practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He’s also dodged a couple of bullets already.

Monday during practice Luyendyk brushed the wall in Turn 1, white-walling the tires on his No. 5 G Force-Aurora.

On Tuesday during the final 45 minutes of practice, the 47-year-old had just turned in the fastest lap of the day before being caught up in rookie Casey Mears’ Turn 1 accident.

"I was heading into Turn 1 and saw the smoke. I knew that wasn't a good sign," Luyendyk explained. "I had to decide where to go. I didn't want to go high and get into the debris, so I turned just a little bit left.

"That was enough to make my car spin. I put my head back and waited for the hit that never happened. I was lucky but also smart to keep the wheel as straight as I could."

Luyendyk flat-spotted his tires and a piece of debris from Mears' mangled machine punctured the sidepod of his Meijer car.

Mears climbed out of the car under his own power but was taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. He was released late last night with a back bruise.

John Paul Jr. Ready: John Paul Jr. is expected to practice Wednesday for the first time this month.

The veteran is driving for Zali Racing. He will be behind the wheel of the No. 81 G Force-Aurora.

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Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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