After winning the championship and turning out to have one of the best underdog stories seen in recent years in NASCAR, Brad Keselowski had an amazing season in 2012.
Now with NASCAR into the off-season and drivers getting ready for the 2013 year, can Keselowski improve on his 2012 season?
How can a driver who managed to beat one of the best in the sport hope to improve the season after winning the championship?
It might seem hard for Brad to improve next year, but he did struggle somewhat, and had some important breaks during the last two races of The Chase, which helped him win the championship.
He held Penske Racing on his shoulders last season, and now with Joey Logano taking over as the driver for the 22, how he helps Logano improve as a driver will only make Keselowski look even better in 2013.
The switch from Dodge to Ford will also be a test for Brad, and how he handles the adjustment will show how well he has improved as a driver.
He won the championship in 2012, but Keselowski can always improve heading into next season.
Successfully Adjust to Ford
With Penske Racing dropping Dodge and adjusting to Ford in the off-season, the new manufacturer could negatively impact how well Keselowski starts off the 2013 year.
Adjusting to a different manufacturer could be a big change, and if Keselowski wants to improve on his 2012 season, he needs to start with showing he can be just as dominant driving a Ford as he was when he was driving a Dodge car.
Keselowski was quoted over at ESPN.com by David Newton as saying:
It's hard to get a great read on the whole manufacturer change because, obviously, it's a different car. But I think all the signs are there that we have the potential to be just as strong, if not stronger, than we were last year, which is very, very encouraging.
We still have to work for it and make it happen, but the signs are there.
If Keselowski wants to become even better in 2013, and improve on his 2012 championship season, starting off hot with Penske's new Ford manufacturer is a good way to start.
Push Logano along with Pushing Himself
Last year when A.J. Allmendinger was released from Penske Racing because of a failed drug test, Brad had to carry Penske Racing on his back. He had already been the top driver in the company when Kurt Busch left, and when Allmendinger was gone, Brad was the main Penske driver, with all the attention on him.
Now with 2013 around the corner, Keselowski played a role in picking Joey Logano to drive the Penske 22. Logano will be looking to start his Penske career on a positive note and hopefully have more success than he did at Joe Gibbs Racing.
Part of his success, though, will come from how much Keselowski helps him. Brad knows what is needed to be a champion, and helping push Logano onto the championship level will only make Keselowski look like an even better driver in 2013.
"You have to understand the goal of bringing Joey Logano to Penske Racing," said Keselowski over at ESPN.com. "The goal is to have two cars that can run for a championship. I'm hoping he can push me to be better.”
"I don't want to get stagnant. I've reached the highest pinnacle you can reach in this sport and don't want to fall off it."
If Keselowski can push Logano to be a better driver next season, Logano might be able to do the same for him.
He has reached the height of the Sprint Cup series, but he can still improve, and continue to win titles.
Strive for Perfection
Out of the last 14 seasons in NASCAR, only one person was able to win back to back championships. That driver was Jimmie Johnson, and he would end up winning five consecutive titles.
Can Brad Keselowski improve on his 2012 season?
He won a championship, but he can improve on his 2012 season by winning another one. Of course it's a big feat in itself just to win a title, but winning back-to-back championships is clearly a challenge.
If Keselowski can adjust to Ford and start off the 2013 season hot, while also helping Logano along the way, it would show that he is a real leader, and can be much more than a champion.
Being able to evolve as a driver and win another championship would be a huge improvement on Brad's 2012 season.