Lucky Keselowski Playing Hurt

Brad Keselowski

“I consider myself a lucky guy to have walked away and be here." (Photo: Getty Images

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Brad Keselowski turned in 22 laps in Friday’s opening round of practice for Sunday’s Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway, After being tenth quick in the opener, he took 28 laps in final practice and posted the eighth fastest lap of the round,

That’s a productive day, considering it’s just two days removed from a hard practice crash at Road Atlanta. Keselowski’s memory of the accident is crystal clear.

“It wasn’t good,: Keselowski told reporters between the two practice sessions. “The biggest thing is that I felt lucky that was all that was tore up. I hit about as hard as you can hit in one of these cars and I’m still here somehow.

“As a driver, probably one of your worst nightmares is going through a corner, like that one was, without a safer barrier, without any of the stuff that we’ve got used to and got accustomed to, without brakes. And knowing that I had two or three seconds staring at a wall, knowing that I was going to hit it about as hard as you possibly could. Probably less comforting was knowing that it was a temporary wall and on the other side was trees, so I figured I was going to end up in the trees. Somehow, I made it through it, broke the wall down and came flying through on the other side. I was just really, really lucky.”

The Michigan native admits that Friday at Pocono was not one of his easiest days.

“It’s been easier at times,” Keselowski said. “In general, I’m not that bad. There are some things down there that don’t feel real good. It took a little effort to make it all work inside the car. I’ve got a good car, so it will be alright.

“I was pretty sure after I hit the wall that I had broken everything that I could break. I was hurting pretty good. I guess, you know, a few days recovery and I just healed up. I feel pretty decent now. Walking isn’t all that easy, but that’s just the deal. You get in the race car and make it work somehow.

”This is probably my worst. I’ve never had both feet injured at the same time and everything else that comes with that. It’s just the way it is. I think in a long race season, at some point you’re going to have to deal with injuries or deal with what happens; if we can make it through this, we can make it through anything.”

“I got to take a Motrin or two and they put some pain medicine in me while I was at the hospital through an IV; I don’t know what that was. Thank God for that. Otherwise, it would have been really bad, really rough. I’ve been really lucky that each day I’ve recovered tremendously. All the swelling in both my feet have gone down. I’m able to walk and do the things it takes to be a race car driver.”

One thing is clear for the driver of the Miller Lite Dodge. Come Sunday, Keselowski says he will be in the car as long as it’s on the track.

“I’m not going to get out (of the car);” he emphatically stated. “I don’t care how much it hurts. That’s not going to happen. Sam (Hornish Jr.) is going to drive my (Nationwide) car at Iowa. I would go there if they would let me. I don’t think I’m going to be able to convince Roger (Penske) of that. I can tell you, I’m not getting out Sunday.”

Keselowski says the timing of his injuries certainly didn’t help.

“This is about the worst time knowing we’re coming up on the Chase,” Keselowski explains. “Knowing that we need another win to get in, knowing that we have tracks coming up that require a lot of finesse with the brakes – Watkins Glen and here at Pocono. And then, you’ve got one of the toughest races of the year with Bristol, it’s 500 laps on a short track. There’s no good time, but this is certainly the worst time.”

Full recovery is going to take some time.

“I should be back to 100 percent I guess in the next six weeks. The big question is how the bone in my foot is going to heal. That’s a huge question; we’ll just have to find out as we go.”

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