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Keselowski runs in Cup practice sessions

Brad Keselowski returned to the driving seat for Friday's Cup race practice sessions, just two days after a major accident at Road Atlanta saw him airlifted to hospital.
Penske Racing's Brad Keselowski was able to put in a full day at Pocono Raceway, running in both practice sessions ahead of Sunday's Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Cup race.

Keselowski's participation had earlier been in doubt after he suffered a 100mph accident at turn 1 on the Road Atlanta road course during testing. Although Keselowski was able to exit he car under his own steam, he was airlifted to a local medical centre for "precautionary" evaluation which took several hours.

"The left front tyre ended up where the brake pedal was supposed to be," Keselowski said. "But the seat itself was intact and what I feel like got me hurt was that the feet area was compromised. Being a guy with long legs, [the damage] just shoved my legs back into my torso, into my hip and it was very, very painful."

At the time, Keselowski reassured his fans via Twitter that he was okay and that the X-rays had been clear, although he also posted pictures of his badly swollen left ankle. It's now emerged that Keselowski has in fact suffered a small fracture. The injury - technically known as an avulsion fracture - is caused when a tendon or ligament pulls off a piece of attached bone, where the fracture occurs. But after meeting with NASCAR neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty and a specialist orthopedist in Charlotte on Thursday, it was confirmed that Keselowski should be able to race at the weekend with no restrictions.

"Mr. Keselowski saw an orthopedic surgeon this afternoon who indicated that he would be able to put weight on the foot as necessary and should not be inhibited in any way," said a statement from Penske Racing, which confirmed that "he would be able to compete this weekend at Pocono Raceway." However, he's still very bruised and has pain when walking, so the decision to pull Keselowski from double-duty in the weekend's Nationwide Series race at Iowa stands.

Initially it had been thought that Keselowski would at least also have to sit out Friday Cup practice at Pocono, and so Sam Hornish Jr. was on standby to take the #2 car out if that proved to be the case. However, Keselowski took to the track on Friday as normal and experienced no problems, running tenth fastest in the midday session, and eighth in the afternoon session despite a spin that left him limping away from the car in turn 1. Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne topped the two session timesheets respectively.

(Full Cup practice times and positions available.)

"I consider myself a lucky guy to walk away and be here," he said on Friday. Asked if the accident was preying on his mind at all, Keslowski admitted: "I have checked my brakes a couple extra times before each corner."

That released Hornish to head to Iowa Speedway a day earlier than expected, and Hornish was therefore able to drive Keselowski's #22 in Friday practice as well as the originally-planned Saturday qualifying and evening race. Hornish was fourth fastest in the #22 Dodge in the afternoon practice session topped by Roush Fenway's Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Turner Motorsports' Jason Leffler.

Initially, Penske had planned to keep Hornish close to hand in Pennsylvania and allow development driver Parker Kligerman to handle the Friday Nationwide duties. Instead, Kligerman was able to return to running in the Camping World Truck Series Friday practice session at Pocono where he drives the #29 for Brad Keselowski Racing. He was 15th fastest in the Friday sole practice session ahead of Saturday morning qualification and the afternoon's Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service 125 race; Kevin Harvick, Todd Bodine and Kyle Busch were the three fastest trucks.



Related Pictures

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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, sits in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 5 in Long Pond, Pa. [Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose for a photo prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane with team owner Dale Earnhardt jr. after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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