Juan Pablo Montoya’s unfortunate vehicular meeting with a jet drier during the Daytona 500 continues to be a topic in NASCAR garage areas, even though the traveling circus has moved on to Phoenix International Raceway.
The most popular new attire in the Phoenix garage was a black and white T-shirt with this Montoya/Daytona reference: I Love The Smell Of Jet Fuel In The Morning.
Since the Daytona incident, several tracks – including Phoenix – have said their jet drier operators will be outfitted with helmets and firesuits.
To Tweet Or Not To Tweet – Brad Keselowski created a storm of attention by using his Twitter account to supply fans with information during Monday night’s red-flag interruption of the Daytona 500.
Keselowski had a phone in his car and was able to communicate, a fact that eventually increased his Twitter followers by 160,000.
There is a potential issue in that arena, however, because of the possibility drivers might use communication devices to gain advantages.
Kevin Harvick spoke to that Friday.
“I had no idea that was something that would even remotely come into play as far as keeping your phone in your car during a race,” Harvick said. “But I guess if you’re going to keep up with that side of it, you’re going to have to. I’m going to look for every app I can for mile-per-hour, GPS mapping, and anything I can find to put in my car. I’m looking for it because I’m looking to outlaw this rule as fast as I can because I don’t want to have to keep up with it.”
Officials do not prohibit drivers from having phones in their race cars, but the use of them during green- and caution-flag situations will not be allowed, an official said.
Track Surface Groomed Again – Phoenix International Raceway has put more rubber into its relatively new racing surface in an attempt to enhance the possibility of side-by-side racing for its weekend NASCAR events.
The track used a tire rotator machine last week to work additional rubber into the upper groove of the one-mile track.
Last fall, PIR groomed the repaved race surface using a different tire-dragging device and also brought in six drivers to run more than 3,000 laps on the asphalt.
Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for SPEED.com and has been covering motorsports for 30 years. He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.