HOMESTEAD, Fla – Brad Keselowski has won his first NASCAR championship. The Rochester Hills native is now the first Michigander to win the Sprint Cup Championship.
Keselowski clinched the title when fellow title contender Jimmie Johnson pulled out of the season finale because of a parts failure.
Here’s a tweet for Brad Keselowski: NASCAR champion.
Roger Penske must like the sound of that, too. The championship is the first for longtime NASCAR owner Roger Penske.
The kid who stole the show at the season-opening Daytona 500 ended the year under the biggest spotlight of them all Sunday, beating five-time champion Jimmie Johnson to deliver the first Sprint Cup championship to Penske Racing.
It’s a trophy that had eluded Penske since he first entered NASCAR in 1972. Although his motorsports organization is considered the gold standard of IndyCar racing – 15 Indianapolis 500 wins – and his empire has made Penske one of the most successful businessmen in America, his NASCAR team operation was always just average.
Then came Keselowski, the blue collar, Twitter-loving, Michigan native who convinced “The Captain” his NASCAR team could be a winner, too.
Three years later, they hoisted the Sprint Cup trophy together at Homestead-Miami Speedway following Keselowski’s 15th-place finish Sunday night.
He started the race up 20 points on Johnson, who blew a tire and crashed last week at Phoenix to give Keselowski a nice cushion and needing only to finish 15th or higher in the finale to wrap up his first championship. But the Penske team took nothing for granted – not after Will Power crashed in the IndyCar finale to blow a 17-point lead and lose the championship.
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