Brad Keselowski was airlifted out of Road Atlanta on Wednesday following a vicious crash in Turn 1 that completely destroyed his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, but the driver was dressed and ready to practice at Pocono Raceway on Friday.
Keselowski was adamant about not having a driver fill in for him this weekend.
“I’m going to drive this car until they drag me out of it,” Keselowski said. “They’re not getting me out of this damn car.”
Keselowski suffered an avulsion fracture of the left ankle but was cleared to compete this weekend at Pocono Raceway “without any limitation” according to Dr. Jerry Petty, who regularly advises NASCAR members. Keselowski met with an orthopedic surgeon Thursday afternoon “who indicated that he would be able to put weight on the foot as necessary and should not be inhibited in any way,” Petty added.
Keselowski, 27, said he was practicing without any additional support on his ankle.
“There’s not a piece of tape on it,” he said.
Keselowski is currently 21st in the point standings. With a win eight races ago at Kansas Speedway, he is in contention for one of two wild card spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He still needs to work his way into the top 20 in points (he’s currently 16 points out), and collect enough points to qualify one of two Wild Card spots. A second win in the next six races would certainly elevate his chances.
While Sam Hornish Jr. will practice, qualify and race Keselowski’s No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge at Iowa Speedway this weekend, the driver told his Cup crew chief Paul Wolfe before practice, “The way I feel right now, I want to go run Iowa.”
When Clint Bowyer was asked about Keselowski’s accident, the fellow driver acknowledged that “probably the hardest thing, the biggest fear is someone else getting in your car,” to substitute during the recovery period.
“It ain’t my time yet,” Keselowski told fellow racer Joey Logano as he sat in a director‘s chair in the garage.