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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]
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field at the start of the Nationwide Childrens`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS, qualified sixth Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Harvick is 8th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell wreck at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, and Joey Logano, driver of the #12 Snap-On Ford, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Nelson Piquet Jr., driver of the #77 WORX Ford, prepares his equipment in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, captures the flag with his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 after winning Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 3, 2014 in Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 after winning Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 after winning Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane with a broom after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates with a burn out after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 Presented by New Holland at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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