SPEED/FOX Analysts Weigh In on 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship
In his third full season of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski beat five-time champion Jimmie Johnson to win the 2012 championship. In a shocking twist, Johnson suffered a mechanical problem that relegated him to third in the season-ending point standings with Clint Bowyer moving into second place.
NASCAR on SPEED and FOX on-air personalities Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds, Jeff Hammond and Kyle Petty offered their perspective on the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale and championship Sunday on NASCAR Victory Lane on SPEED. Following are excerpts from the program:
McReynolds: “This championship is full of firsts -- Brad Keselowski’s first championship in only his third fulltime season; Roger Penske’s first Sprint Cup championship; Paul Wolfe. And talk about a going-away present for Dodge. They get this championship and they won’t even be back next year. Penske will be with the Ford camp.”
Petty: “We talk about the champion representing the sport. It’s not like the champion is Miss America who goes out to civic organizations and gives speeches or anything like that. But I think he will be a great champion. He grew up in Michigan. He grew up working on these cars. He’s a blue-collar guy from a blue-collar family and when we go back to Dale Earnhardt Sr., David Pearson, ‘The King’ and to Darrell Waltrip and guys like that, they worked their way up through. Brad Keselowski traveled the same road to get to this point. He’ll be a great champion for this sport.”
Waltrip (on biggest moments of this year’s Chase): “I think there were a number of them. I was tweeting with Brad (Keselowski) last night and asked him what he was going to do. He said, ‘DW, this is my time.’ These wrecks we saw him go through … some years it’s just meant to be, and this year, it was meant to be for Brad.”
Hammond (on biggest moments of this year’s Chase): “The thing that sticks out in my mind is Texas whenever he (Keselowski) and Jimmie (Johnson) were racing so hard and they bounced off each other. Brad said, ‘I am not going to lose this championship.’ He showed me there he wasn’t going to be intimidated. He was going to race hard. People say it was too reckless. I don’t say it was reckless. I think he showed a lot of heart, a lot of maturity and a definite determination to let those guys behind the wall know ‘this is our championship and I’m not rolling over and playing dead.’ To me, that’s when he made a statement that this thing was a long way from being over, and tonight, he proved it.”
Stay with SPEED this week for a complete recap and analysis of Homestead and the 2012 NASCAR season on NASCAR Race Hub (Monday-Thursday at 6 p.m. ET). Additionally, SPEED offers live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Awards Ceremony from the Wynn Las Vegas on Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. ET. Furthermore, SPEED presents coverage of the combined NASCAR Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series Awards Ceremony from the Loews Miami Beach on Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. ET.