I have been known to complain about Champ Car's parade starts and non-competitive races which render the racing nearly unwatchable, but I know that Champ Car and the IRL will be inexorably linked unless and until a merger occurs.
So it is with total shock that I relay the news of what has happened in Wisconsin in the last 24 hours. According to Sports Illustrated, Champ Car driver Cristiano da Matta is currently hospitalized in an unlisted condition after striking a deer.
Adding to the bizarre nature of this story is that he struck the deer not while driving along the various roadways of Wisconsin but while testing on the actual Road America course in preparation for an upcoming race.
Da Matta was unconscious Thursday when he was airlifted to the hospital, where he needed surgery to remove a ruptured blood vessel in his head, Champ Car series spokesman Steve Shunck said.
Good gracious! Our sincerest wishes for a full recovery for da Matta.
UPDATE: ESPN.com is reporting da Matta is listed in critical condition and will remain in a medically-induced coma for several days.