Keselowski Wins 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship
The Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead was the final race of the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup, with Jeff Gordon taking first place, followed by Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle in the top five. Crossing the line in 15th position, Brad Keselowski’s points tally made him the winner of the Sprint Cup Championship, bringing Penske Racing its first Sprint Cup championship and beating Hendrick Motorsports five-time champion Jimmie Johnson who took third place, with Clint Bowyer taking second spot.
Following last week’s altercation between Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer, resulting in Gordon receiving a $100,000 fine and losing 25 points for intentionally wrecking Bowyer, there was much speculation as to whether Sunday’s race would provide an opportunity for the settling of scores between the two drivers. But both drivers were totally professional and the race was incident free. Despite last week’s incident, Bowyer managed to finish in second place in the final points standings with Gordon finishing tenth.
Born in February 1984, Bradley Aaron Keselowski won his first championship in the 2010 Nationwide Series – a first both for the driver and Penske Racing. By winning the Sprint Cup Series Championship, Keselowski became the second of only two drivers to win both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Championships, the other drivers being Bobby Labonte.
Starting his NASCAR career with the 2004 Craftsman Truck Series season, Keselowski made his debut at Martinsville Speedway, with his best finish of the season being 16th at Mansfield. Keselowski driver opened the 2005 season in seventh place at the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 and after running every race of the season, finished 21st in points. The 2006 season presented some challenges for Keselowski as the team he was driving for lost its sponsorship and had to suspend operations. He filled in for other drivers during the season and in subsequent years Keselowski drove for various teams, filling in when the opportunity arose. In 2009 he achieved his first Sprint Cup victory at Talladega’s Aaron’s 49.
Keselowski joined Penske Racing in 2010, running the #12 Dodge Charger in the Sprint Cup Series, as well as the #22 Discount Tire car in the Nationwide Series. 2012 has proven to be Keselowski’s best Sprint Cup season, and with the Sprint Cup championship under his belt, fans can no doubt expect to see great things from this talented young driver in the future.