Found November 15, 2012 on
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The coronation day for Brad Keselowski has arrived. Or has it? After 400 miles Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the racing world will know for sure.
One thing is certain: Five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who's overcome a deficit in the season finale before, won't go quietly.
Keselowski and Johnson will decide the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title Sunday in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN), the final chapter in a hard-fought 10-race Chase postseason. What's yet to be seen is whether the 2012 campaign ends in a crowning achievement for a first-time title contender or a sixth title in an era of dominance for one of the sport's best.
Keselowski overtook Johnson in the standings last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, capitalizing on Johnson's tire failure and crash to stretch out a 20-point advantage. He needs only to finish 15th or better Sunday, regardless of how Johnson performs, to win his first Sprint Cup crown, but knows that the same sort of gremlins that derailed Johnson could visit him this weekend.
"I know that the troubles that they had are the same troubles that we could have next week, and so you try not to take anything for granted," Keselowski said after finishing sixth last Sunday at Phoenix. "You try to just focus on what lies ahead, and we've got to do the best job we can at Homestead. That's where my focus is."
The 1.5-mile Homestead oval is one of five tracks where Johnson -- who will be making his 399th start Sunday in NASCAR's premier series -- hasn't won during his 11-year career. He's had success at Homestead with two pole positions and a pair of runner-up finishes, but for the most part, Johnson hasn't needed to win there.
In four of his five consecutive championship seasons, Johnson has held a comfortable lead heading into the season finale. In the one exception in 2010, Johnson overcame a slight deficit in the standings, coasting home in second place after early misfortune fell on points leader Denny Hamlin.
Johnson will need a much larger rally Sunday, but isn't ruling out the possibility.
"My brain won't stop . . .," Johnson tweeted from his personal account after the race Sunday. "This championship is far from over."
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Jimmie Johnson's prerace strategy for this weekend is simple - plant a seed of doubt in the mind of opponent Brad Keselowski.
As the clock ticks closer to Sunday's season finale, which will decide the Sprint Cup championship, Johnson knows from experience that moments of uncertainty will start to flood Keselowski's mind.
After competing for multiple NASCAR titles -...
Brad Keselowski became an instant social media darling for hopping on Twitter during a lengthy delay in the Daytona 500.
The tweets made Keselowski the center of attention. NASCAR seemed trendy and hip - a description its executives surely adored.
Turns out, tweeting from the car isn't that cool with NASCAR: Keselowski was fined $25,000 on Monday for tweeting during the red...
Brad Keselowski was a Hendrick Motorsports driver...
Brad Keselowski became a social media darling after hopping on Twitter during a lengthy delay in the Daytona 500.
Keselowski was the center of attention, and NASCAR seemed trendy and hip - a description its executives surely adored.
Turns out, tweeting from the car isn't cool with NASCAR.
Keselowski was fined $25,000 on Monday for tweeting during the red flag at Phoenix International...
Five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson is the king of mind games and he doesn't mind reminding Brad Keselowski what's at stake at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend.
Keselowski takes a 20-point lead over Johnson into Sunday's finale. He needs only to finish 15th or better to win his first Sprint Cup title.
Johnson opened Thursday's news conference talking about...
This weekend 47 drivers head to Homestead-Miami Speedway – four will go home – while the other 43 will make their last start of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Homestead-Miami Speedway is a 1.5 mile oval track which has been home to NASCARs “Ford Championship Weekend” for the last ten years.
Homestead’s 400.5 mile, 267 lap race has been home to many close battles...
Brad Keselowski was once on the fast track in the Hendrick Motorsports farm system.
Now he's battling Rick Hendrick's five-time champion Jimmie Johnson for the 2012 Sprint Cup title.
With Nationwide Series team JR Motorsports, a Hendrick Motorsports sister operation owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Keselowski finished the 2007 season in the No. 88 Chevrolet. The next two seasons...
Joey Logano may have knocked Brad Keselowski off the front row in Friday's time trails at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but Keselowski nevertheless had reason to celebrate.
The last of 47 drivers to make a qualifying attempt, Logano scorched the South Florida track in 30.672 seconds (176.056 mph) to claim the pole for Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race...
Many would consider the 20-point cushion for Brad Keselowski enough to go ahead and crown him the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.
And with the way he’s running this year and turning in strong finishes at tracks he usually struggles at, why wouldn’t you etch his name on the trophy?
He’s been clutch and running like a champion each week. All he has to do Sunday is finish 17th...
Brad Keselowski's worst finish in the Chase is 11th...
The NASCAR HOTPASS lineup for the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway is as follows:
DIRECTV Channel 795:
Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team of Penske Racing
Brad Keselowski will make his 125th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his fourth at Homestead-Miami Speedway … Has one top-15 finish in four Sprint Cup starts at Homestead … The 28-year...
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, sits second in points, 20 behind leader Brad Keselowski going into the final race at the Homeestead-Miami Speedway. Johnson talked to the media on the eve of the race weekend and below is the transcript of that meeting.
I know there’s so many people trying to downplay the mind games, but are you just trying to plant a seed in...
When Brad Keselowski signed on with Penske Racing, he was a follower, not a leader.
Kurt Busch was the No. 1 driver in the Penske camp and remained so for Keselowski's first two seasons of full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup racing. But Busch's abrupt departure, after a vitriolic tirade against an ESPN camera crew a year ago at Homestead-Miami Speedway, left a leadership vacuum...
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*Editor’s Note: This Phoenix race...
If he should win the Sprint Cup title, Brad Keselowski would be the first Michigan native to do so. Keselowski, 28, also would be the first Cup champion born after Richard Petty won his seventh and final championship (1979) and after Dale Earnhardt Sr. won his first (1980).
If Ty Dillon, 20, were to overcome a 12-point deficit to James Buescher and win the NASCAR Camping World Truck...