Just days after Brad Keselowski's Twitter tour de force, drivers took time at Phoenix to discuss the politics and ethics of carrying a phone in the car. And while no driver indicated he'd be following in Keselowski's footsteps and bringing a phone in the car, opinion broke down rather neatly into two camps.
On one hand, certain drivers said they had no problem with what Keselowski was doing. "Anything that gets the fans excited is good," Carl Edwards said. "I didn't realize we could have a phone in the car. I won't be taking a phone in the car, put it that way. But if it gets the fans more excited, more power to the guys doing it."
"I thought it was neat Brad got to do that," Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth said. "I know that was entertaining with the fans. I never had a phone in the car and I'm not going to start. But a red flag with two hours off? There's nothing wrong with tweeting and filling up some airtime."
On the other end of the spectrum, drivers worried about the advantage a phone could present. "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," Kevin Harvick said. "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. I have found a mile-per-hour app, so that'll be good down pit road."
"The social media aspect was great for the sport, great for Brad," Jeff Gordon said. "From that side of it, it's awesome that NASCAR is being that lenient. But I think the technology of phones these days is growing rapidly. There could be some things that NASCAR might need to pay attention to that might need to keep the phones out of the car."
"Where does it end?" asked Denny Hamlin, sounding a bit like your worried but slightly out-of-touch grandmother. "Do you text or tweet during cautions and then you look up and run into the guy behind you? ... If I'm thinking about winning the race, I'm not thinking about social media when I'm under that green flag or yellow flag or any of those conditions."
Keselowski, who indicated that he first brought along the phone to let his parents know he was OK after wrecks, had his own take: "You could definitely make an argument that a smartphone is a mini-computer," he said. "I could definitely see that. But it's not like I had it plugged into anything. You have fuel injection in the cars, but I don't know how you could use it to cheat, quite frankly."
- Brad Keselowski