Why I Love NASCAR: Brad Keselowski & Jimmie Johnson by Chief 187™

Brad Keselowski
Credit: Debbie Ross/Skirts and Scuffs  
The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race for the Championship has been a rollicking ride – a roller coaster of ups and downs for the Chasers vying for the Cup.

In the past ten articles, I have examined the personal reasons the drivers in the 2012 Chase have captured my attention, enthusiasm, and fandom.

Now, on the eve of the Championship-deciding race – Chase Race No.10 from Homestead-Miami - I am left to point the spotlight on the two drivers left in this contest.

Brad Keselowski is in only his third year of NASCAR Sprint Cup competition. The Penske Racing driver, 28 years old, has made no secret of his rapt desire to win a Cup for his team owner Roger Penske.

In his short time in Cup, Keselowski has earned some nicknames that range from “Brad Crash-a-lotski” to “Special K”. He has sharpened his skills, focused his ambitions, and consistently runs in the lead vying for wins and now the top prize.

At the beginning of the season I went on record as stating Brad Keselowski would win the 2012 Championship. He has served me well in my prediction.

His consistency, will to win and conversion from will to reality, intelligent driving, and cohesiveness with his team have all proven to be a winning formula.

Brad Keselowski just may deny Jimmie Johnson his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup and bring home Penske’s first. It would be a shot in the arm that NASCAR needs to shake up the competition and draw new fans to a sport that has floundered in recent years due to the economy, among other reasons.
Johnson sits in the catbird seat, a familiar position for the man who has won five consecutive Sprint Cups from 2006-2010. He is clearly determined to erase the “failure” of last year’s showing and get back to winning and accruing more Cups.

Jimmie Johnson won at Texas Motor Speedway, can
he win the 2012 championship as well?
Credit: Skirts and Scuffs
Johnson was never a favorite of mine. Like many I echoed, “Anybody but Jimmie” once it became clear of Johnson’s dominance.

But in the last two seasons I was determined to give Johnson a chance. As a historian it fascinated me the stranglehold he and his team had on the Cup.

I watched as a “bad car” or a “bad day” resulted in a top 10 or top five finish. I listened as others lambasted their teams for poor runs/finishes, Johnson praised his team and, in rare instances, took blame as a team and never threw his guys under the bus.

What I realize is I’ve been watching true NASCAR history unfold before my eyes these last seven years. Johnson’s place in NASCAR’s record books is being etched and I’m a witness to it.

It is possible and even probable that Johnson will earn seven or more titles before the end of his career, tying if not surpassing Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt on the all-time Cup win list.

As a fan of both Petty and Earnhardt I could be sad or angry, but I am neither. I am excited to watch the events play out. This is the era of Johnson.

But I’m not calling this championship yet. We run the races because nobody knows how they will end until they are over.

Regardless of who wins, I am thrilled with the 2012 Championship Chase. I am tickled that Keselowski has run so strongly and Johnson is showing his brilliance once again.

Keselowski and Johnson are yet more reasons why I love NASCAR.

Chief 187™ is a writer, columnist, and blogger as well as creator of the widely popular Chief 187™Chatter. Her column “Why I Love NASCAR” and other articles are featured on Skirts and Scuffs. She can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit http://Chief187.com.

Why I Love NASCAR: Brad Keselowski & Jimmie Johnson by Chief 187™ Why I Love NASCAR: Brad Keselowski & Jimmie Johnson by Chief 187™ Reviewed by Chief 187 on Monday, November 12, 2012 Rating: 5