Thursday, June 21, 2018
Sports

Keselowski concerned about concussion testing in NASCAR

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Defending Sprint Cup champ Brad Keselowski is skeptical about concussion testing in NASCAR.

"Doctors don't understand our sport. They never have, and they never will," he said Friday, asked why race drivers might be reluctant to take tests. "Doctors aren't risk-takers. We are. That's what makes our sport what it is, and when you get doctors involved, you water down our sport."

NASCAR announced last week that it plans to take a "baseline" test of drivers at the start of next season so it can compare it to the results from a driver who has had an accident, using it to judge the impact or chance of a concussion.

Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., who missed two races last year after a second concussion, said he supports the baseline test.

But Keselowski said he has "100 questions" about the process.

"If you have a test and you come back later and you score 5 percent worse, is that okay?" he said. "Is it 10? Is it 11? Is it 1? There's a tolerance to everything we do in this world. There's not a part on our race car that isn't built to a tolerance. … But if there isn't a number that's good or bad with this style of testing, then it's a waste of time. It's just another subjective field for doctors that don't understand our sport."

Keselowski, naturally, had more to say on Twitter, adding that, "Concussions in all sports are real and they are a serious problems requiring serious solutions. The medical field can always be beneficial." But when asked on Twitter if he'd ever had a concussion he said, "Not sure. Drs. have never been able to diagnose."

Sub's shot: Elliott Sadler said it is "definitely a special opportunity for me" to drive the final four races for Brain Vickers in Michael Waltrip Racing's No. 55 Toyota. Vickers is out with blood clots. "To sit here and tell you that I just want to go be competitive and not do much is a lie," said Sadler, who starts 35th in today's Goody's 500 at Martinsville Speedway. "My expectations — I don't know what you guys think is realistic or not — we're here to win a race."

Tribute: Today, Richard Petty Motorsports honors Maurice "Chief" Petty by running a car featuring the likeness of the Hall of Fame inductee on the hood. Aric Almirola's traditional No. 43 Ford will be replaced with a No. 41 in Petty blue. Maurice Petty, the brother of Richard, used No. 41 during his driving career. RPM's predecessor, Petty Enterprises, won 19 Cup races at Martinsville, 15 with engines built by Maurice Petty.

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