Keselowski Sounds Off On Concussions & Doctors In NASCAR
MARTINSVILLE, VA - OCT. 25: Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 Powered by Kroger at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 25, 2013 in Martinsville, Va.
Friday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR announced it would implement mandatory baseline testing for all drivers at the beginning of the 2014 season. The move is an effort to better understand and diagnose drivers who may have suffered a concussion after a hard hit in the car.
"Doctors don't understand our sport," Keselowski said. "They never have and they never will. Doctors aren't risk takers. We are. That's what makes our sport what is is and when you get doctors involved, you water down our sport. I'm trying to be open-minded to the possibility that they can help us, but past experience says no."
Keselowski admitted he had never had a baseline test, and said he had "about 100" questions about the testing and what determines if a driver has to sit out of the car or not.
After discussing with the media, Keselowski took to Twitter to further explain his issue with doctors and mandatory concussion testing in NASCAR.
What I can promise those who think I'm uninformed about the topic- I research my health every day, it's my job, passion, career and life.— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) October 26, 2013
I believe that self responsibility more often then not serves the common good for man kind. My health= my responsibility— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) October 26, 2013
Everyday we set foot in a race car as race car drivers we take a risk. I choose not to run from it, or look for excuses not to participate.— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) October 26, 2013
How do we quantify concussion risks? That's the question being asked of the medical field across all sports. Striping all selfresponsibility— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) October 26, 2013
Concussions in all sports are real and they are a serious problems requiring serious solutions. The medical field can always be beneficial.— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) October 26, 2013
Today, the medical field struggles to fully diagnose concussions. The full proof science doesn't exist for mild cases. Who decides then?— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) October 26, 2013
Concussion testing is not a bad thing, I commend those who have proceeded down that route under the guise of self responsibility.— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) October 26, 2013
I feel if we really care about concussions as an industry, we have several other key steps that far out reach monitoring and diagnosing.— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) October 26, 2013
Earnhardt Jr., who stepped out of the No. 88 car in 2012 after suffering two concussions, did not understand why anyone would have concerns about the baseline testing.
"Going through what I went through I don't understand that," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I think that you have to know how the test is taken and how the test is scored and how you are evaluated in the retest. It's not two plus two equals four and 'oh well you chose three you are out.' There is no right or wrong answers. It's a test that really gives you an image of how someone thinks, how quickly they make decisions and how they make decisions, how they rationale. It's not really a test of what's the capital of North Carolina. There is not a grade. You are not graded to it."
Like many others in the garage, Earnhardt applauded NASCAR's decision, and said those on the fence would eventually come around once they took the test and examined the results.
"It takes 30 minutes and you will know what the test means, how it's scored, how you're graded, if you will. It's a really loose term," Earnhardt Jr. said. "Then you will see a bit more of the doctor's point of view and you will understand there is not a big need for concern from the driver's point of view."
Eventually, Kenny Wallace also joined the conversation.