Saturday, September 30, 2023

Video: Taylor Gray Uses Phone to Film Himself Driving Around Daytona in Friday’s ARCA Test

Before Friday, the most iconic footage or photo ever taken from behind the wheel of a NASCAR or ARCA race car by a driver was Brad Keselowski’s photo from inside his car under the fiery jet fuel red flag in the 2012 Daytona 500. Keselowski shared that photo to Twitter and it went absolutely viral.

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On Friday, Taylor Gray said took things up a notch.

The 15-year old took video of himself driving around Daytona International Speedway during an ARCA Menards Series test session and shared it to his Snapchat account. From there, one of his followers, Dalton Collins snagged the video and used it as a side-by-side comparison of himself driving at Daytona on iRacing.

Collins posted the result of his side-by-side video mashup to Facebook.

Is it dangerous to take video of your self driving around a 2.5-mile speedway at speed? Absolutely. Is it a really cool shot? No doubt. However, doing what Gray did on Friday is highly frowned upon in the sport.

After the Keselowski photo was snapped back in 2012, NASCAR made expansive rules to prohibit drivers from utilizing cell phones inside their race cars. Even though Keselowski snapped the photo while in-race action was halted, there was obvious concern about the optics of race car drivers carrying cellphones, as texting and driving is a huge issue in the real world. There was also the possibility that a driver would feel a desire to snap a photo while a race was actually transpiring in an effort to go viral and build their brand.

In section 20C -6.7, the ARCA Rulebook states on accessories:

“Except as provided below, vehicles and drivers will not be permitted to carry onboard computers, automated electronic recording devices, electronically actuated devices, smartphones/cell phones, watches, micro-processors, recording devices, filming devices, electronic digital memory chips, traction control devices, digital readout gauges and the like, even if inoperable or incomplete.”

Charles Krall, ARCA’s Manager of Communications told that the sanctioning body is aware of the video and have had a discussion with Gray. It has not been decided what penalties, if any will stem from the video at this time, but Krall says they will be following up with the driver and his team following this weekend’s test at Daytona International Speedway.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is an award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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