Watch NASCAR’s Brad Keselowski Lose His Brakes at 165 mph
Scary in-car footage from Tuesday’s Sprint Cup test session at Watkins Glen.
There are few sensations more unnerving than losing your brakes on a racetrack. There's the initial shock of stabbing at the pedal and continuing at the exact same velocity as before. Then the unsettling realization of what's happening, followed by complete and abject terror. It is the automotive equivalent of stepping in a bear trap.
I have experienced this twice (the brake thing, not the bear trap) and would not wish it on my worst enemy. Much less Brad Keselowski, one of stock car racing’s finest young talents. Especially now, with Tony Stewart on his way out, NASCAR needs Bad Brad’s controversial swagger. So watching him come off Watkins Glen’s front stretch at a healthy 165 mph, then go for the middle pedal and get nothing in return, is pretty gnarly:
No beuno. The speedo’s parked at 90 mph at the time of impact. But, thanks to NASCAR’s clever Gen VI car design and the HANS device, Keselowski was okay ("still upright," in his words) after the crash. His Team Penske No. 2 Ford, less so:
The real shame is that he’d just turned his best lap of the day, a 124.57-mph burner, tops among the 14 drivers participating in Tuesday’s Sprint Cup testing session. Penske crew chief Paul Wolfe was pretty pissed.
"Lost rear brakes there. The fronts locked up; once you lose rear brakes like that, there's nothing you can do. Just pumping the pedal and it's not going to come back,” Wolfe said. “It's unacceptable.”
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen kicks off Sunday, August 7.