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
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
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
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.”