NASCAR's New Sprint Cup Champion May Be a Shocking Change

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IDecember 6, 2012

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 18:  Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, talks with NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France in Champions Victory Lane after winning the series championship and finishing in fifteenth place for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2012 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

It has become the standard for drivers in the elite series of NASCAR to represent themselves in a corporate manner where interviews become mundane. The 2012 Sprint Cup champion is not one of those drivers.

Brad Keselowski may be more than the sport is ready for with his brash, outspoken attitude. It is not unusual to hear curse words in his textured viewpoints.

His expletive laced rant after the Phoenix race surprised the media, though his straightforward comments may have had some merit.

Keselowski swizzled beer in the celebration that followed his coronation as the new NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.

He perhaps indulged a bit much given the interviews that were expected, but with Miller Lite sponsoring his No. 2 Dodge, beer flowed endlessly.

The 28-year-old youngin' from a blue-collar Michigan family of racers is a throwback to racers of days past. He is smart beyond his years, but not the politically correct model of drivers so common to the sport.

Keselowski has worked for everything he has gotten in racing. Now, the driver who wanted to become a champion race car driver has reached the pinnacle with Penske Racing.

He is the golden boy now for Roger Penske after bringing him the Cup title for the first time despite Penske's past with drivers like Bobby Allison, Rusty Wallace and Kurt Busch amongst others.

Keselowski moved to an exclusive group of racers when he snatched the championship in only his third year of racing in the Cup series.

Dale Earnhardt won his first of seven titles after two seasons in 1980. Jeff Gordon won his first of four titles in 1995 after being Rookie of the Year in 1993.

It almost seems a given that Keselowski will win multiple titles as well.

NASCAR needed a spark to ignite its fan base. Perhaps Keselowski, a Twitter extraordinaire, will bring in some of the younger demographics needed in the sport.

"Bad Brad" is a free spirit who says what he thinks in an unfiltered manner. He now has a Sprint Cup trophy to remind him that he is one of the best in the sport.

Keselowski is innovative, but his ideas sometimes backfire. He was heralded by NASCAR for the photos snapped at Daytona with the cell phone in his car when Juan Pablo Montoya hit the jet dryer.

NASCAR then slapped a $25,000 fine on him after this past race at Phoenix for having the same type of electronic device in his car. It violated one of those tricky NASCAR rules.

Keselowski sometimes makes strategy calls from his car during a race. The bond between driver and crew chief allows for that, but it can make for drama.

Our newest Sprint Cup champion wants to be a leader in the sport. He is smart and may well have ideas that will be cutting-edge for NASCAR.

Keselowski said at the awards banquet, "I hope that everyone of us can continue to work together and find that common ground, and as a champion, I want to be your leader and help make it happen."

There is little doubt that Keselowski is a man of his convictions. He is confident in not only himself, but the team that supports him at Penske Racing.

Right now, the new champion is riding a high, and his ego has been stroked to the max with all that goes with winning the series title.

Keselowski deserves the title of champion. He battled a five-time champion and won, but not without some luck along the way.

The driver of the Blue Deuce never had a blown tire or blown engine all season. Few drivers are that fortunate.

The 2013 season may not be quite as rewarding for him with Penske Racing becoming a Ford operation. There is the new G6 car to deal with, and the competition level may be even higher.

Keselowski is going to test NASCAR, and that may well be a good thing. He has had a taste of being at the top, and he wants to stay there.

The upcoming season may be a shocking change with our new champion in comparison to what we have seen since at least the beginning of the Chase format, and it should be a fun ride with Keselowski.