There’s more going on mid-week than normal in the world of NASCAR, so here’s a quick update.
Brad Keselowski won’t be racing at sold-out Iowa Speedway Saturday night after a hard crash he sustained while testing Wednesday at Road Atlanta.
Keselowski won last week’s Nationwide Series race at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, and had planned to race in the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa for Penske Racing.
Keselowski was airlifted to a local hospital, where he was treated and later released. His injuries include swollen and bruised feet. He said the brakes failed, and he crashed in turn one, hitting the wall at about 100 mph. NASCAR does not race at Road Atlanta, which allows teams to test there, and that wall did not have a SAFER barrier.
To say Keselowski hit a ton is an understatement, and it’s good that he’ll be OK. It also brings up a point that rarely has been visited – NASCAR prohibits teams from practicing on tracks with sanctioned NASCAR events. The goal was to keep an even-playing field (or racetrack, in this case) for all teams, whether they could afford to test or not.
What the rules does, though, is force teams to practice at facilities that probably can’t afford all of the latest safety improvements. And let’s face it, brakes fail, tires puncture and engines blow up, all which can cause a car to crash in practice, even with few or no other cars on the track. It’s definitely something NASCAR officials should be thinking about.
Sam Hornish Jr. will qualify and race the No. 22 car on Saturday, according to a statement from Penske Racing. Parker Kligerman will practice the car Friday.
So far, Keselowski plans to compete Sunday in the Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway.
In other news, Carl Edwards has made his decision, and he will remain at Roush Fenway Racing after signing a multi-year agreement starting in 2012. That he made his choice now, rather than waiting until later in the season, made good sense. He’s the current points leader, and would have faced constant questions regarding his future, which would detract from his efforts to win his first Sprint Cup title.
“Carl Edwards has achieved a level of success on and off track that would put him at the top of the list for any race team,” said Jack Roush, owner. “Carl and the No. 99 team are having a terrific season again this year, and we’re thrilled that our relationship will continue for many more.”
Finally, JR Motorsports announced that Jimmie Johnson will drive the No. 7 Chevrolet in the Aug. 13 Nationwide event at Watkins Glen. Johnson’s car will promote his soon-to-be-launched video game Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With An Engine, which is scheduled for release in October.