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Season Championship Banquet set for Friday in Las Vegas

The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Brad Keselowski, was crowned on Sunday, Nov. 18 following NASCAR’s premier series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Keselowski took home his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in just his third full season in the series, and it is also the first championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for team owner Roger Penske.

The Wynn Las Vegas will be star-studded on Nov. 30, when Train, Lifehouse, Natasha Bedingfield, Phillip Phillips and performers from The Beatles LOVE take the stage during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards banquet.

The Sprint Cup Series Awards will be hosted by “America’s Got Talent” judge Howie Mandel and will begin Friday night at 8 p.m. ET with live coverage on SPEED, Motor Racing Network Television, and Sirius XM Radio. The awards are the culmination of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week and will honor the 2012 champion Brad Keselowski along with the rest of the top 10 drivers in the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings.

Before heading to Las Vegas Brad Keselowski met with the media.   He was asked:
Q. Does anything stick out that you’re most excited about in the 12 months ahead?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, thank you.  I know you’ve heard a lot from me lately, so it’s good to have you back. I think looking into 2013, it’s hard to overlook the 2013 car as it comes out. I think it’s going to be a real game changer for the sport. It’s an opportunity for us to identify with some of our roots as far as manufacturing car identity and have cars that really stick out as being authentic to what you see on the streets and authentic to what our fan base drives on a daily basis.
So I’m looking forward to that part. But mostly what I’m looking forward to are the increases in competition that are sure to come with this car from the standpoint of less aero dependency and more passing on mile-and-a-halves and drivability. I think that’s going to be a huge hit for the sport as well.  So  there’s a lot to be said about that car. I actually really like the name, G6. That’s pretty cool. I don’t know who thought of that one, but they deserve a pat on the back.  

Q. How’s your head right now, everything good?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, I’m doing really well. A few people were commenting on that, but it’s been a good couple of days. I’m certainly a little tired, but that just means we’ve been working hard and we’re going to enjoy this vacation when it comes up.

   Q.  Before you got the deal with JR Motorsports, it’s not like you had been driving the best equipment, and even before that, you were driving for your dad where you  really  had to take care of your stuff. How much did that experience help you once you started getting into those premier rides like with Junior and Penske?  
BRAD KESELOWSKI: Well, I think it was both to the betterment and to the detriment. For the betterment to the standpoint it was the ability to drive the car like Dale Jr.’s and respect the situation, and respect the crew members and the role that they have every day to make sure you have the best possible car. When you respect them, they tend to respect you back, and things just go in a positive direction.
To the detriment was the fact that I felt like I could have taken more chances if I had been a little less influenced by my upbringing, and maybe my career would have taken off a little faster. It’s hard to really know that balance. It ended up all working out in the end.

Q. I’ve been seeing reports that you’re interested in purchasing a tank as one of your championship trophies to yourself.  
BRAD KESELOWSKI: I’ve been looking into that really all summer long. It all started with Wally Dallenbach who was telling me a story about having one. I thought, wow, that would be awesome. So obviously living where I do and being around Dale Jr., I thought it would be cool if we both got a tank and chased each other around in the woods with them. It’s kind of our deal.
You may reach Pete Barber at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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