Skip to content

Keselowski concerned about doctors’ input for concussion testing

Oct 25, 2013, 11:00 PM EDT

Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 Powered By Kroger - Qualifying Getty Images

2012 Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski doesn’t seem to be entirely thrilled with NASCAR’s mandate of baseline concussion testing for all of its national series competitors starting next year.

After qualifying this afternoon at Martinsville Speedway, the Penske Racing driver insisted that he’s “trying really hard to keep an open mind” about NASCAR’s new policy but also fretted over the potential input from doctors in determining when an injured driver can return to race.

“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 it 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.”

NASCAR announced this week that it would implement mandatory baseline testing via the ImPACT test, so doctors can have data on hand in the event they must evaluate a driver that may have sustained a concussion in an incident.

Keselowski appears to be particularly worried about what kind of score on the ImPACT test would be enough to get the OK from doctors to climb back in a car.

“If you have a test and you come back later and you score five percent worse, is that OK?,” he said. “Is it 10? Is it 11? Is it one? There’s a tolerance to everything we do in this world. There’s not a part on our race car that isn’t built to a tolerance. There’s not a part on the space shuttle that isn’t built to a tolerance. The same thing could be said for this particular field.

“What’s good? What’s bad? What’s the number? That’s really what’s relevant to the conversation, but if there isn’t a number that’s good or bad with this style of testing, then it’s a waste of time. It’s just another subjective field for doctors that don’t understand our sport.”

Tonight, Keselowski took to his Twitter page to state his case even further in a series of Tweets (listed here in chronological order, with the most recent at the end):

However, one of his peers had a more positive opinion on the concussion testing.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed two Chase for the Sprint Cup events last year after suffering a concussion in a massive crash at Talladega. And for his part, he doesn’t understand the concerns regarding the ImPACT test.

“It’s not two plus two equals four and ‘Oh well, you chose three, you are out,'” said Earnhardt. “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.”

Noting that his ImPACT score was much lower after he was concussed than when he was recovering, Earnhardt supported the new policy and believes that the worries will eventually subside.

“I think it’s a really good move and it’s really smart,” he said. “I think once people understand, I encourage you to go take the test. It takes 30 minutes and you will know what the test means, how it’s scored, how your graded, if you will. It’s a really loose term. Then you will see a bit more of the doctors point of view and you will understand there is not a big need for concern on the driver’s point of view.”

Latest Posts
  1. Mercedes-powered teams excel during Belgian GP practice

    Aug 22, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Nico Hulkenberg AP

    In the year of the power unit, Spa is rewarding the Mercedes-powered teams.

  2. Russian GP3 driver survives an insane, backwards barrel roll at Spa (VIDEO)

    Aug 22, 2014, 1:27 PM EDT

    Photo via @123pnz on Twitter Photo via @123pnz on Twitter

    Russian GP3 debutante Konstantin Tereschenko goes for a wild ride at Spa, but mercifully emerges unscathed.

  3. NASCAR: Kyle Larson fastest in 1st Sprint Cup practice at Bristol

    Aug 22, 2014, 1:16 PM EDT

    Irwin Tools Night Race - Practice Getty Images

    The Chip Ganassi Racing driver turns a lap of 131.083 mph around the high-banked half-mile to lead Friday’s first practice session.

  4. At just 16 years old, is Max Verstappen simply too young for F1?

    Aug 22, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Previews Getty Images

    As good as he may be, is Max Verstappen too young to be racing up against drivers twice his age?

  5. Verstappen set for practice sessions in Austin, Brazil, Abu Dhabi

    Aug 22, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Previews Getty Images

    Son of ex-racer Jos set to become the youngest ever F1 driver next season at the age of 17.

  6. Kenseth still in good Chase spot, but not out of woods yet

    Aug 22, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT

    Pure Michigan 400 - Qualifying Getty Images

    At 13th on the Chase Grid with three regular season races left, the former Sprint Cup champion isn’t feeling the need to choose between going for a win or having a good points day.

  7. Hamilton pleased with Friday running, but Rosberg remains cautious

    Aug 22, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    Lewis Hamilton AP

    Mercedes once again dominated practice, finishing first and second in both sessions on Friday at Spa.

  8. Grosjean not expecting to challenge for points at Spa

    Aug 22, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Practice Getty Images

    Lotus being punished by Spa’s high-speed nature.

  9. IndyCar: An odd Friday on tap, with no practice occurring

    Aug 22, 2014, 11:22 AM EDT

    GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Day 3 Getty Images

    Without IndyCar on track on Friday, Friday will be an abnormal day on track at Sonoma Raceway.

  10. Red Bull GRC: Scott Speed’s time on the golf course (VIDEO)

    Aug 22, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    SpeedGolf

    When he’s not racing in Red Bull Global Rallycross, Scott Speed shows Kristen Kenney the way around a golf course.

  11. Maldonado given medical check-up as a precaution after FP2 crash (VIDEO)

    Aug 22, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Lotus driver crashed hard in FP2, but said that it looked bigger than it actually was.

  12. NASCAR: Roush Fenway brings on Ortho to back Greg Biffle, No. 16 car

    Aug 22, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT

    Credit: Roush Fenway Racing Credit: Roush Fenway Racing

    Ortho will debut on the No. 16 car next weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway and make two more appearances this year before becoming an “anchor partner” of the team in 2015.

  13. Lotterer enjoys successful first outing for Caterham

    Aug 22, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Practice Getty Images

    Immediately on the pace despite not having driven an F1 car in over ten years.

  14. Vettel expecting engine penalties, misses FP2 in Belgium

    Aug 22, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    Hungary F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Defending F1 world champion is concerned about penalties due to engine component changes later in the season.

  15. WATCH LIVE: FP2 for the Belgian Grand Prix

    Aug 22, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Practice Getty Images

    Will Rosberg and Hamilton continue to lead the way during practice at Spa?

  16. F1 Paddock Pass: Belgian Grand Prix (VIDEO)

    Aug 22, 2014, 7:20 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    All of the latest news and interviews from the paddock at Spa-Francorchamps ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

  17. Massa, Hamilton and Ricciardo take on the ice bucket challenge (VIDEO)

    Aug 22, 2014, 6:46 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Previews Getty Images

    Three of F1’s field take on the ice bucket challenge in aid of ALS.

  18. Rosberg moving on from Hungary team orders debate

    Aug 22, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Rosberg AP

    German driver not dwelling on Hamilton’s flouting of team orders in Hungary.

  19. Rosberg leads Hamilton in first Belgian GP practice

    Aug 22, 2014, 5:32 AM EDT

    Nico Rosberg AP

    Mercedes’ runaway train shows few signs of slowing down in 2014.

Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1612)
  2. I. Vences (1249)
  3. K. Harvick (1171)
  4. B. McReynolds (1117)
  5. K. Kahne (1016)