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Keselowski puts phone on hold

Fri., Nov. 16, 2012, midnight

Brad Keselowski is leaving his cellphone behind.

Keselowski plans to ditch his phone during NASCAR’s Sprint Cup finale Sunday. His decision comes days after NASCAR fined him $25,000 for having the phone in his race car. It was discovered because he tweeted during a red flag at Phoenix International Raceway.

The punishment confused many who wondered why Keselowski was penalized for Sunday’s tweets when he was celebrated by NASCAR for doing the same thing during the season opener.

Keselowski felt the same way.

“I’m confused a lot,” he said Thursday. “I’ll just add that to the list.”

Nonetheless, the decision to go without his phone wasn’t easy.

“I do feel naked when I don’t have my phone,” he said. “It’s my security blanket. It doesn’t matter how I feel about it right now. It is what it is at this point. I just have to move on and focus on the weekend ahead.”

Some alleged the Sprint Cup Series points leader was actually being disciplined for his profanity-laced outburst after Sunday’s crash-and fight-marred race.

NASCAR dismissed the conspiracy theories, saying drivers had been told after the Daytona 500 that electronic devices – including cellphones – could not be carried inside the race cars from that point on.

Keselowski, who takes a 20-point lead over Jimmie Johnson into Sunday’s season finale, is looking to win his first Cup title.

Nationwide Series

Elliott Sadler has come up with one way to possibly close the gap on points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. heading into the Nationwide Series finale.

“We might throw a banana peel under his trailer before the race starts and see if that will help him out a little bit,” Sadler joked Thursday.

It might be the only way to keep Stenhouse from repeating as series champion.

The Roush Fenway Racing driver takes a 20-point lead into the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida – a significant, yet surmountable, advantage.

The two title contenders began last week’s race at Phoenix tied for the championship and likely would have arrived at Homestead locked in a tight battle. But as Stenhouse tried to chase down Joey Logano and Brian Vickers for the lead with two laps left, Sadler imploded behind them.

Sadler was racing for 12th with Justin Allgaier and Cole Whitt when he triggered a three-car accident. The wreck brought the race to a halt, forcing Sadler to sit in his battered car as NASCAR cleaned the track.

Five days later, Sadler was still kicking himself.

“I look back on it as a mistake and I talked to my team about it and could have done a better job,” Sadler said.

“But I’ve got to come back this weekend 100 percent focused and ready to go and try to make up a really big deficit at a tough racetrack.”

Formula One

The Formula One season comes down to this: Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel leads Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso by 10 points with two races left, the first on a track neither has driven before.

The first U.S. Grand Prix since 2007 will be run Sunday on the new $400 million Circuit of the Americas built a few miles outside of Austin, Texas. With so few points separating Vettel and Alonso from winning a third world title for either driver, learning every nuance in elevation, the straightaways and the 20 turns in practice and qualifying could make the difference.

“If you do everything perfectly, you will have a chance,” Alonso said. “If you make a mistake, you will lose the chance.”

If the title chase isn’t decided Sunday, it will head to the season finale next week in Brazil.

Vettel and Alonso have spent hours practicing the race in course simulators.

“By the looks of it, it looks quite interesting, but it’s always the feel you get inside the car that’s most important,” Vettel said.



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