Jason Keller, driver of the No. 57 Albertsons Taurus, was involved in a horrific accident with two laps remaining in last weekend's Busch Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Keller was immediately transported from the track to...
Jason Keller, driver of the No. 57 Albertsons Taurus, was involved in a horrific accident with two laps remaining in last weekend's Busch Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Keller was immediately transported from the track to Halifax Medical Center for precautionary measures where a CT scan was performed and proved to be negative. Keller, who was cleared to compete in this weekend's Rockingham 200 by Dr. Jerry Petty, spoke about the accident and lingering effects on his body.
JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus:
"I talked to the doctor yesterday, Dr. Petty, and it's pretty common to have some sort of amnesia either a little before or a little after an impact like that. There's actually 30 seconds after the impact that I'm not so clear on and the worker said I wasn't blacked out when they got there. There are things there that lead to the fact that I wasn't blacked out. I was really dazed."
WAS THAT HARDEST HIT YOU'VE EXPERIENCED IN A RACE CAR? "By far. It was the first time in my 22-year racing career that I had to leave the race track in an ambulance. Hopefully I've got 22 more."
ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE WAY THAT THE SAFETY WORKERS HANDLED YOUR CASE? "At that point I was so dazed time stood still to me. As I get back and look at the TV and the replays, they seemed to be on the spot pretty quick. I really don't have any problems with how fast they got there."
HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? "I still feel banged up, I really do. I'd be lying if I said I was 100 percent. Sometimes you have to play hurt and this will be a couple of weeks where I have to play hurt. Everything did what it was supposed to do in the car. The seat held up and the HANS did what it was supposed to do. I'm very happy with that, but still when you have an impact that hard, things move around. I'll be OK. I feel like I'll be OK when I get in the car."
WHAT ARE THE LINGERING EFFECTS? "A lot of soreness mostly. All of the tests have come back negative as far as my bones and joints are concerned. They actually did some x-rays on my neck yesterday to make sure I didn't have anything torn. It's just pure soreness now, and I'm not a 20-year-old any more. I'm pushing 33, so it takes a little longer to bounce back from soreness."
NOW THAT YOU'VE BEEN ABLE TO SEE THE REPLAY, WHAT IS YOUR ASSESSMENT OF THE ACCIDENT? "That was a careless accident. I don't feel that anybody needs to hide that fact. I'm not going to get in a media war with anybody, but it was a careless accident. I was unfortunate to be behind it, and that's the bad part of it; it wasn't anything of our doing. We had worked our way up and were going to get a solid top-10 finish and accomplish what we had set out to accomplish at Daytona, but there are other elements that come into play and that's one of them."