I am a dedicated race fan as well as a race car driver. I have my favourite drivers and cars. I prefer F1 and the many other road race championships but will even watch NASCAR when there are no other race series on.
NASCAR has its colourful personalities as well as some very talented drivers. There are some short-fused tempers with drivers and crew willing to brawl. It’s almost like a combination of roller derby and hockey on asphalt.
I have always been a Jimmie Johnson fan since he can drive road courses as well as ovals. I cheer on Marcus Ambrose and Juan Pablo Montoya for their road racing background.
Then along came this young racer out of the ranks who showed a lot of talent. Brad Keselowski was really starting to impress me with his racing skills. I was beginning to hope he would win the Sprint Cup.
I lost all respect for this talented driver after he was fined $25,000 (a pittance for professional race car drivers) and put on probation for, of all things, having a cell phone in his race car and tweeting during the race under caution.
Everyone knows that motoring safety experts and trauma surgeons have been extolling the dangers of this type of driving for over a decade. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of traffic crashes and fatalities. When texting and driving you are 23 times more likely to be involved in a traffic crash. Not just 2 or 3 times more likely but a whopping 23 times. That is even more than impaired driving. In 2010 more than 3,000 people died in the U.S. as a result of texting and driving. If you are still not convinced of the dangers, watch this YouTube video.
Getting back to young Mr. Keselowski, these NASCAR racers have thousands of adoring fans who look up to and emulate their heroes. These racers are idolized and act as role models for young and older drivers alike.
What type of example has he set for young drivers? If Brad can text while driving, then that must be cool.
What was he thinking? His helmet must be two sizes too small and limiting blood flow to his brain! On top of all this, he is in the fight for the Sprint Cup Championship. Double dumb!
If I were Roger Penske, his car owner, I would be worried that he may have another “Busch” league driver in the ranks (in reference to the Busch brothers, Kyle and Kurt and their unprofessional antics).
Even though he was caught using this device during the caution periods, it still was the wrong thing to do. A lot is still happening on track while the pace car is out there. The other racers are weaving to keep heat in their tires as well as slowing and accelerating while waiting for the pace car to pull off to get the green flag.
There is no way an F1 driver would even contemplate doing something so stupid. Even the best driver in the world, Sebastian Vettel, nearly collected another racer while weaving behind the pace car in the last F1 race. If he had decided to text while that was going on it would have been race over for at least two drivers.
This act of stupidity by Brad Keselowski could set the war on distracted driving back several years. Totally irresponsible on his part.
On top on that, I would be absolutely irate if I had to share a race track with someone doing a boneheaded move like this.
This young racer should go public on SPEED and any other NASCAR controlled media and apologize to all his fans, sponsors, fellow racers and every loved one who has lost a driver or passenger to a distracted motorist. Then I would challenge him to be a spokesperson for the war on distracted driving.
NASCAR should set an example to all young drivers and ban Mr. Keselowski for a long, long time. At least until he grows up!
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