The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is down to their last race of the season and it will be a battle between Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski.
Johnson is trying to win his sixth championship in the last seven years, and Keselowski is trying to add his name to the list of 28 drivers who have won the championship.
The drivers are separated by 20 points going into this week’s race at Homestead. Johnson’s unlucky day at Phoenix ruined what could have been a great final race of the 2012 season.
Fans can only hope that this year’s final race will be as good as last year’s battle between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards.
NASCAR fans seem to be split over who they would rather see win the championship.
The argument can be made that Johnson has won enough championships and it would be good to see another driver win for a change.
Some fans want to see history made, and if Johnson is able to add a sixth championship he would have to be considered the greatest NASCAR driver of all time.
Whichever driver wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship this year will have the responsibility of representing the sport for the next year.
NASCAR would be in better hands if Johnson won on Sunday, instead of Keselowski.
Johnson has been a great spokesman for NASCAR during his reign as champion. Johnson was the first driver to win the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year in 2009.
He was also named Forbes.com’s Most Influential Athletes for 2011 and 2012. If Johnson overcomes the odds and wins another championship this week, he will bring some much needed good exposure to the sport.
Keselowski’s win on Sunday would just be another headline in the sports section of next Monday’s newspapers.
Diehard NASCAR fans know who Keselowski is and the reputation that he has created in the sport, but when non-NASCAR fans read the headline, they might ask, “Who is Brad Keselowski?”
While it is important for NASCAR to try and bring in new fans, the diehard NASCAR fans want a champion they can respect. Keselowski may not be that guy.
Keselowski has made enemies on and off the track in his five years in the Sprint Cup Series. In 2009 Keselowski was in a feud with Carl Edwards.
The two drivers raced each other aggressively for many laps throughout the season. Keselowski ran into the back of Edwards’ car at Talladega, sending him high into the fence. It was a miracle that Edwards was not seriously injured in the race.
Keselowski has also had a feud with Kyle Busch. Most NASCAR fans know that Busch can get under a drivers skin at times, but Keselowski was at fault for the aggressive driving that lead to their feud just as much as Busch was.
Instead of talking to Busch privately, Keselowski decided to take the microphone at the drivers’ introduction at Bristol in 2010 and call Busch names.
Keselowski’s arrogant attitude contributes to his success on the racetrack, but it also makes him unpopular with other drivers and the fans.
In order to run up front each week a driver must believe he is the better than his competitors. Keselowski has no problem convincing himself he is the best.
If Keselowski wins the Sprint Cup Championship this week, he might be the only one smiling. NASCAR needs a good ambassador for their sport.
Keselowski winning the Sprint Cup title would be terrible for NASCAR.
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