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INDIANAPOLIS -- Simona De Silvestro has a simple game plan this weekend -- gut it out.
De Silvestro burned both hands last week when her car slammed into a wall in practice, went airborne, and flipped several times before coming to a rest upside down and in flames.
Friday, she plans to spend the final hour of Indianapolis 500 practice on the track, fine-tuning her backup car. She's hoping adrenaline helps numb the pain in her burned hands, especially during Sunday's race.
"The race will be tough," she said. "It's hurting quite a bit now, but it's important for me to do as many laps as we can. There's no backup plan that I know of."
HVM Racing owner Keith Wiggins wouldn't think of it after qualifying weekend.
After De Silvestro's No. 78 car skidded down the track last week, Wiggins said the team considered using a replacement driver for qualifying. Two days later, though, the tough 22-year-old Swiss driver produced one of the gutsiest qualifying runs in years at the famed Brickyard.
On her final Pole Day qualifying attempt, De Silvestro put up a four-lap qualifying average of 224.392 mph, good enough to put her safely in the field.
Clearly, De Silvestro is hurting.
On Sunday, doctors peeled the burned skin off her hands, now covered in bandages from the middle of her fingers past her wrist. She expects the bandages to stay on for another 15 to 20 days.
Doctors have tried to dull the pain with "freeze" treatments and have given her special gloves, which De Silvestro planned to test during Friday's practice.
If all else fails, well, there's always her ability to tough things out.
"It will be different, but I think you'll get used to it," she said.
Bayne eager to race
CONCORD, N.C. -- Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne may never learn what caused the illness that has sidelined him the last five weeks.
An insect bite initially caused Bayne to seek treatment after he experienced numbness in his arm during an April race at Texas. He thought everything was fine after, then woke up with double vision two days after the April 17 race at Talladega.
Roush Fenway Racing sent him to the Mayo Clinic, where he spent a week undergoing tests to determine what was causing his symptoms.
"I think I finally just had to accept that nobody knows," Bayne said Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I still don't have an official diagnosis, but they treated everything they thought it could be and since then everything has gone away. To me, they hit something."
Bayne said he went through a series of MRI's, a spinal tap, and at one point had 16 needles in him at the same time. All of it could rule out what he didn't have, but nobody could pin down what he did have.
In the end, doctors simply said he suffered from an inflammatory condition.
His next Sprint Cup race will be next month at Michigan.
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