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Mar 03, 2012 - 08:04 AM
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2012 Phoenix: NASCAR Sprint Cup Friday Notebook - Brad Keselowski Explains His Cell Phone
Posted by: ASkyler on Mar 03, 2012 - 07:31 AM
Feature Articles
2012 Phoenix: NASCAR Sprint Cup Friday Notebook - Brad Keselowski Explains His Cell Phone


By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service

Brad Keselowski made news last week for tweeting from the backstretch during a long delay in the Daytona 500 -- but his reasons for keeping a phone in his car have nothing to do with his Twitter account.

"The reason why I keep a phone in my car -- it's a lengthy story," said Keselowski, who picked up more than 100,000 new Twitter followers during the two-hour, five-minute stoppage that followed Juan Pablo Montoya's collision with a jet dryer and subsequent fuel fire at Daytona.

"I was in California, driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr., and I had just gotten the ride to drive his No. 88 car (in NASCAR's Nationwide Series). We were running a race there, and I got in a really bad accident. They airlifted me off, and, obviously, my family wasn't there . . . and they had no idea what status I was in, and, quite frankly, neither did I."

 

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Keselowski arrived at a hospital in Los Angeles with no phone, no clothes, no wallet and no idea where he actually was.

"I wasn't knocked out or anything, but you're strapped on a helicopter, and you have no idea where it's going," he said.

Fast forward to last August at Road Atlanta, where Keselowski broke his ankle in a crash during testing.

"I got into another serious accident, and again got airlifted off, and the difference was that I had my phone with me," Keselowski said. "And I had my phone because testing, you know, it gets really boring, monotonous. You sit in the car for an hour while they make a change.

"So I go through the incident and so forth, and they put me on a helicopter and all that same stuff. I have my phone with me, so I just send a message to my mom like, 'Hey, just want you to know that you're going to read this in the news, but I think I'm OK.' So that really kind of put the fire out before it really got started, and I think she really appreciated that."

Clearly, Keselowski's tweeting on the backstretch was just a matter of opportunity.

"I had a pocket put inside my car to be able to keep (the phone) there," he said. "I didn't put it in my car thinking we were going to have a red flag at Daytona for a guy hitting a jet dryer and causing an explosion. I didn't have that much foresight."

NASCAR does not plan to prohibit drivers from keeping phones in their cars.

HARVICK FAVORS PHONE BAN

Kevin Harvick, on the other hand, says he'll do everything in his power to try to force NASCAR to reverse its stance on allowing phones in the racecars.

With phones come applications that might prove useful to teams -- and might contravene NASCAR's strictures against data acquisition on the racetrack. Harvick intends to make full use of those possibilities.

"To be honest with you, I had no idea that was something that would even remotely come into play, as far as keeping a phone in your car during a race," Harvick said Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. "But I guess if you're going to keep up with that side of it, you're going to have to.

"I'm going to look for every app I can for mile-per-hour, GPS mapping and anything I can find to put in my car. I'm looking for it because I'm looking to outlaw this rule as fast as I can -- because I don't want to have to keep up with it.

"I have found a mile-per-hour app, so that'll be good down pit road."

KENSETH AS COMEDY WRITER?

At Jay Leno's urging, Matt Kenseth rewrote a few of the jokes he delivered on The Tonight Show on Wednesday night.

Kenseth provided a series of one-liners to Leno's question "How high are gas prices?"

"Gas prices are so high Mitt Romney's wife can only afford to drive one Cadillac," Kenseth said, and followed with "After Tim Tebow filled up his gas tank, he dropped to both knees."

Kenseth said he was nervous during the taping, but Leno helped him feel at ease.

"He took some time with us, made us feel comfortable, did a little rehearsal and even changed some jokes a little bit for me and added some things I thought were funnier," Kenseth said. "He told me that, if I thought it sounded better like this, to go ahead and do it.

"I had a really fun time doing that. He was a really nice guy. It isn't like that everywhere you go -- everyone isn't like that. That was really neat."

MONTOYA DESCRIBES JET DRYER COLLISION

Juan Pablo Montoya didn't have much time to think while his car was spinning out of control into the jet dryer under caution at Daytona.

But, after a truck arm (rear suspension part) broke on the backstretch, the No. 42 Chevrolet turned sideways with the driver's side of the car sliding toward the jet dryer.

"I'm going, 'Uh-oh, driver's side -- that's going to suck," Montoya recalled Friday at Phoenix. "That's the only thing. You don't think, 'Oh, God, I'm going to kill myself.' You go, 'Oh, that's going to hurt,' (but) it wasn't too bad."

Montoya's car burst into flames, as did the jet dryer, but he and the jet dryer driver escaped without injury.

"As long as you get out, it's all good, no?" Montoya said.

NEWMAN TO BACKUP CAR

Ryan Newman slapped the Turn 3 wall in the closing minutes of Friday's first Sprint Cup practice session and will start Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 in a backup car.

"I opened my entry (into Turn 3) up a little too far," Newman said. "I got a little aggressive and just got loose getting in, and that was it."

Newman will have a good baseline for the backup. His owner/teammate Tony Stewart posted the fastest lap in the first practice at 138.680 mph.

"We'll just plug in the same game, and we'll be all right," Newman said.



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