Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brad Keselowski's tweets turn NASCAR into life in the fast info lane

Brad Keselowski takes a photo of the track at Phoenix. His Twitter posts during Monday’s red-flag delay at Daytona sparked his number of followers to triple within two hours.

Getty Images

Brad Keselowski takes a photo of the track at Phoenix. His Twitter posts during Monday’s red-flag delay at Daytona sparked his number of followers to triple within two hours.

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Brad Keselowski made news last week for posting on Twitter 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 followers of his Twitter musings during the two-hour stoppage Monday that followed Juan Montoya's collision with a jet dryer and subsequent fuel fire.

Keselowski's story goes back more than four years.

"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."

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

"As far as I knew, I was like in an Army test lab," he said.

Keselowski can joke now, but it was difficult. Not only was he helpless and lost, he couldn't tell his mother that he was all right until hours after the accident, when a team public relations person loaned him her phone.

Since then, Keselowski has kept his phone in a pocket of his fire suit every race.

Fast forward to August 2011 at Road Atlanta, where he broke an ankle in a testing crash. He called his mom immediately.

"The difference was that I had my phone with me," he 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."

NASCAR has been encouraging its drivers to be active on social media and had no problem with Keselowski having the phone, or with him sending tweets during Monday's red flag.

But Keselowski, 28, has stirred a debate as to whether phones should be allowed in cars during races. NASCAR prohibits teams from having recording devices in the car that are not for competition purposes, and two-way communication devices are supposed to be analog only.

"Where does it end?" Denny Hamlin said. "Do you text or tweet during cautions, and then you look up and run into the guy behind you? There's certain parameters we've got to all play in, but if I'm thinking about winning the race, I'm not thinking about social media when I'm under that green flag or yellow flag or any of those conditions."

Most drivers asked about it in Phoenix didn't seem to mind that Keselowski had his phone or was tweeting, and didn't even realize they were allowed to have phones in their cars. Many joked about the attention Keselowski generated, and Kevin Harvick ranted about having one more thing for his team to pay attention 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," Harvick joked. "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."

Anyway, Keselowski's tweets at Daytona were just a matter of opportunity. "I didn't put (a phone) 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," he said. "I didn't have that much foresight."

.FAST FACTS

Sprint Cup points

Through 1 of 36 races. The top 10 drivers plus two wild cards (based on wins) after 26 races make the Chase for the Championship.

Driver Pts. Back

Matt Kenseth 47—

D. Earnhardt Jr. 42 5

Greg Biffle 42 5

Denny Hamlin 42 5

Jeff Burton 40 7

Paul Menard 39 8

Kevin Harvick 37 10

Carl Edwards 36 11

Joey Logano 36 11

Mark Martin 35 12

.today's race

Subway Fresh Fit 500

When: 3 p.m., Phoenix International Raceway

TV: Ch. 13

Brad Keselowski's tweets turn NASCAR into life in the fast info lane 03/03/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 3, 2012 7:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  2. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  3. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  5. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule

    Tennis

    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]