News & Media

Behind the Wheel: Keselowski's own crashes genesis for carrying phone

March 08, 2012, Brad Keselowski, Special to NASCAR.COM,

Keselowski's own crashes the genesis for carrying phone in race car

It's an honor to be doing another diary for "Behind the Wheel" again this season. This format will be a little different. You won't have to hear from me twice a month anymore, only once. NASCAR.COM really is the place to go to find news on our sport. Hopefully I can continue to assist in that.

The season has just started but it has already been a busy couple of weeks for me and my team. There is a lot of buzz around Penske Racing right now. Not only do we have two fully funded Cup Series teams, we have new initiatives and partnerships on the horizon that should make us even stronger in the years to come.

"I don't tweet and drive on the race track, or in my personal car at home."


It's amazing. Just two years ago I was telling myself that Twitter was a fad; that it would eventually go the way of the compact disk. I wasn't on Twitter at the time. My account was up and running, but I was not active on it at all.

Then, I got an iPad for a gift in December of 2010. It gave me a good reason to give Twitter a try. I was still skeptical at first, but it didn't take long for it to become clear that it was a great tool to connect with fans. I had other people tweet for me early on, but when I took over it became something that I took a lot of pride in.

My philosophy on Twitter, and this can be applied to all social media, is that I put myself in the position of the fan. I ask myself, if I were a fan, what would I want to see? To me, it doesn't have to be any harder than that.

That's why what happened during the Daytona 500 is a bit overwhelming to me. It's great that people really liked and enjoyed what I did -- and gaining 160,000 followers is great, too -- but tweeting from the race car is something that I would want to see if I were a fan of our sport.

I've been asked a lot about why I had my phone in the car with me. It wasn't because I knew someone was going to break a piece of suspension and hit the jet dryer, causing a massive explosion and a red-flag situation. I've been involved in some pretty serious wrecks. One of the first was at Auto Club Speedway in 2007. I had to be airlifted out of the track to a hospital in Los Angeles. I had no phone, no wallet, no clothes and had no idea where I was. It was over an hour before my public relations person made it to the hospital, so I had to wait that long before I could get a message to my parents that I was OK. From that point on I had a pouch put in all my race cars that I could put my phone in.

Now, fast forward to last August when I had another hard wreck at Road Atlanta where I was airlifted once again. This time I had my phone -- there are pictures of my ankle to prove that, and I was able to call my mom and let her know that I was OK.

I've also been asked if I tweeted while the car was moving. That is a big NO. Not only was the Miller Lite Dodge stopped on the race track, but it wasn't even running. I don't tweet and drive on the race track, or in my personal car at home.

What will I do for an encore? I'm not sure how I can top that one, but you'll just have to keep following @keselowski to find out.

Twitter wasn't the only thing that kept us busy this week. On Thursday, Penske Racing announced that we would be joining Ford Racing in 2013. It's a bittersweet move, for sure. I've really enjoyed my time with Dodge. Helping get both cars into the Chase last year is one of the most memorable accomplishments in my racing career.

Ford is really ahead of the curve as it relates to the new 2013 car. That's why we all felt the time was right to make the move. It's also why we announced the move so early in the season. The sooner we can start to understand with the new car, the better off we'll be when we get to Daytona next January. It's pretty hard to believe that we are thinking that far ahead, seeing as how we just left Daytona, but that is the way of the sport.

In my opinion, the season is off to a great start. The stands have been full and the racing has been solid. I think this will be a great year for our sport. Keep tuning in and filling the seats.

Behind the Wheel with Brad Keselowski runs once a month on NASCAR.COM as he shares his experiences throughout the season, both at and away from the track. Follow him on Twitter at @keselowski. The opinions expressed are solely those of Keselowski.