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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]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Both Johnson and Harvick are in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, loses control of the car after making contact with Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS qualified for eleventh position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Earnhardt, Jr. is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS qualified for third position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates setting the pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate a Driver Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, prepares for practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads the field after a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, places his name in the top twelve on The Chase Grid after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, puts the winner`s sticker on his car in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Eckrich Ford, races Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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