Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Keselowski Crash Pictures Via Jimmie Johnson

Testing at Road Atlanta Wednesday morning included a hard crash for Brad Keselowski that resulted in him being airlifted to the hospital.

Keselowski later tweeted that he was going 155mph when his brakes failed on a right-hand turn and he slid into a non-SAFER barrier at approx. 100mph. His left ankle is badly sprained, he has a right ankle laceration and also has a lower back strain.

ESPN's Marty Smith reported that Keslowski is perhaps being optimistic when he says he will race this weekend. He was scheduled to do the double and race both in Iowa and Pocono. RaceHub reported Sam Hornish and Parker Kligerman will be on standby for the Cup and Nationwide Series races in case Keselowski can't go.

The most interesting social media portion of this incident was that Jimmie Johnson was the amateur reporter and photographer on scene. The #48 team was also testing at the track that day. The pictures above are from Johnson via Twitter. He also spoke directly on Twitter with Keselowski about what happened and his condition in the hospital.

In response, Keselowski tweeted pictures of his injured ankle, which we will just describe as rather graphic. It certainly is interesting how the flow of information about topics in the sport is now often provided directly by the parties involved.

I would urge any hardcore NASCAR fan to subscribe to Twitter. It's easy to build a customized list of specific NASCAR interests. While detractors try to suggest that Twitter is about who ate what for lunch, nothing could be further from the truth.

Fans regularly interact directly with drivers, teams and reporters. Information by teams and tracks is updated continually, NASCAR itself offers twitter accounts for every series and many of the top executives are active as well. It's great for the sport in many ways.

If you need any help getting on Twitter or have any questions, just drop me a line at Thanks as always for stopping by.

Danica Changes The TV Dynamic

It really doesn't matter if she wins. It really doesn't matter if she gets along well with others. It doesn't even matter if she hides in her bus until driver introductions. The only thing that matters is that Danica has arrived.

According to multiple reports including the AP, NASCAR and ESPN have been given an early Christmas present. Danica Patrick is coming to the Nationwide Series full time in 2012.

The script for ESPN could not be written much better. It looks like Patrick will stay with her JR Motorsports team and the former Dale Earnhardt Jr. crew chief, Tony Eury Jr. These two have a colorful relationship that also lends itself to TV.

Listening to Eury deal patiently with Patrick and her open-wheel vocabulary and skill set has been nothing short of comic gold. Whether trying to get Patrick to run up and bump the car in front of her in the Daytona draft or teasing her about her high-fashion choice of footwear, Eury and Patrick have clicked.

ESPN is the exclusive TV network of the Nationwide Series in a deal that runs through 2014. Trying to promote a Reed Sorenson vs. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. championship match-up as the reason to tune-in has been a challenge this season since NASCAR changed the rules.

The popular theory is that Patrick will run for the Nationwide Series driver's championship in 2012, while also running a limited Sprint Cup Series schedule for Stewart-Haas Racing. That instantly provides a storyline that crosses over into the mainstream media.

Powerhouse personalities like Danica trickle-down in the media where TV exposure is concerned. With her change to NASCAR, Danica will now be regularly interviewed during televised Nationwide Series practice and qualifying sessions. She will come to know and interact with the ESPN and SPEED pit road reporters, whether she likes it or not.

Patrick will also be exposed to the daily TV shows NASCAR Now on ESPN2 and RaceHub on SPEED. While Patrick has been on NASCAR Now in carefully arranged interviews, it should be interesting to see how she reacts to the more casual style of RaceHub.

Many top NASCAR drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards have worked hard to learn how to deal with the constant TV presence in NASCAR. It's one thing to speak with reporters who are going to then write stories for websites and blogs. It's quite another to forge an on-camera relationship with full time NASCAR TV reporters who must be relied on for sponsor exposure and balanced coverage.

As fans know who have recently watched the TV coverage of standalone Nationwide Series races, there is often not a lot of glamour to be found. Patrick may find herself in some very different company on the road with the Nationwide Series gang.

Anyway you slice it, the value of adding "Danica the brand" to the Nationwide Series is going to change the TV dynamic. One fan already emailed to ask if Danica was going to be the ESPN in-race reporter for every Nationwide Series race next year.

I wonder if that conversation has already taken place somewhere in an ESPN advertising sales office? Stranger things have happened.

We invite your comment on the topic of Danica bringing change to NASCAR TV in 2012. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below.