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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Brad Keselowski rises above carnage at Phoenix and is a week from being Sprint Cup champ; also blasts Bowyer and Gordon’s “B.S.” racing

Brad Keselowski will be your next Sprint Cup champion, barring a legendary collapse or some extremely bad luck at Homestead next week.

That’s not hyperbole, that’s just a fact.
On a day when everything went crazy in Phoenix, Brad rose above all the insanity, staying near the front all day and letting the carnage take place behind him.

It really was a perfect race for Brad; other than having to avert disaster on the last lap, he avoided any major drama, while his opponent in the title hunt found it. Jimmie Johnson, usually perfect in the Chase, had the ultimate off-day at the worst possible time, hitting the wall and finishing in the 30s, while Brad came home 6th. That means that winning the title is out of Five-Time’s hands.
It’s been quite the journey watching the rise of Keselowski. In not-so-many years, he’s gone from being a kid racing for the family team in Trucks, to being a top Nationwide driver for Jr. Motorsports and later a Nationwide champ for Penske Racing, to being a likely Sprint Cup champion and giving Penske that long-awaited NASCAR Cup title.

Brad’s brash moves and risk-taking have ruffled some feathers along the way, but Brad has always been one thing deep down – a great racecar driver, one of the best on track, as a matter of fact.
Beneath all the battles with Hamlin, Edwards and others, there was a guy who was destined for greatness. He left a powerhouse organization in Hendrick Motorsports when there  was no room for him, went to a Penske Racing team that many pundits and fans – myself included -- thought couldn’t achieve at a Hendrick level.

\We were all wrong of course, and the difference was the driver. With a driver like Brad Keselowski, a team can overachieve – perhaps all the way to a championship.
It would be an amazing and unique story to see a young man from Rochester Hills in Oakland County, Michigan, become a Sprint Cup champion – but unless he chokes badly at Homestead like Denny Hamlin did a couple years back, Keselowski  will be champion in one week.
Instead of the same old same old with Jimmie Johnson, we might be seeing  a fresh face win the title for the first time in a long time – and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not his last one either.
Brad sounds off his day, the race carnage and more
As per usual, Keselowski was very opinionated after the race.
On his chances to win the title at Homestead
“The same thing could happen to us next week (that happened to Jimmie).You try not to take anything for granted, focus on what lies ahead”

On how he survived the last lap wreck and made it to the finish line
“I just hit the gas as hard as I could and somehow the car straightened itself out”

He was especially upset at the on-track battles between Bowyer and Gordon, which stole the show Sunday.

“I’m disappointed in the quality of racing today. I thought it was absolutely ridiculous. I’m ashamed of being part of it,” he said bluntly.
"What offends me is the double standard that I spent a whole week being bashed by a half-dozen drivers about racing hard at Texas and how I'm out of control and have a death wish, and then I see bullshit like that," he said. "That's fucking bullshit! That's all you can call that.
"These guys just tried to kill each other. You race hard and I get called an asshole for racing hard and called with a death wish, and I see shit like that and it just pisses me off. It's just fucking ridiculous, and they should be ashamed. It's embarrassing."

“The retaliation is out of control in this sport. It’s not what the sport needs. It’s going to get somebody hurt. We walk the line between chess players and daredevils, and we’re not walking it very well. The sport needs hard racing, not a bunch of people who have anger issues.”


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