Barack Obama Honors Brad Keselowski, Makes Dig at Jimmie Johnson

Christopher Olmstead@@whooyouknowitSenior Analyst IIIApril 17, 2013


During the previous weeks, one would have to imagine that Brad Keselowski was anxiously awaiting his trip to the White House. After all,  it's not everyday you get to meet and hang out with President Barack Obama.

However, it's more than likely that President Obama was equally excited to welcome Keselowski and his Penske Racing team.

With the nation being only 24 hours removed from the horrific events in Boston, this was a moment for President Obama to relax. The commander-in-chief should also be commended for keeping this scheduled engagement with Keselowski. In the aftermath of the Boston bombings, nobody would have batted an eye if he cancelled this visit. 

According to a recent article by Bob Pockrass on SportingNews.com, President Obama opened the visit by addressing the nation and the events in Boston. He then went on to talk about Keselowski and his championship achievements.

One of the things that I firmly believe in is that America is strong and we are resilient and we don’t let such cowardly acts get in the way of our lives.

I know the entire NASCAR family shares with me just an incredible sense of loss. We mourn the victims. We pray for their loved ones and rest assured, as I said today and will continue to say until it gets done, we’re going to uncover whoever it is that was responsible for yesterday’s cowardly act. We’re going to find out why they did it and they will be brought to justice.

I don’t think a single of one of Brad’s fans has forgotten the post-race interview he gave on SportsCenter after taking the Cup at Homestead last year. It was memorable for a few reasons — but mostly it was a celebration with the fans that helped to make his victory possible.

The President managed to keep a calm and level tone throughout the entire event, despite talking about some emotional subjects.

President Obama clearly took the politically correct approach when he was discussing what fans remembered from Keselowski's post-race celebration. For those of you who did not see this celebration, it was quite a sight.

Keselowski was doing an interview for ESPN in which it was very evident he had consumed some alcohol. That interview will always be looked back upon as one of the quirky things from his championship season.

Keselowski was joined at the White House by his entire Penske Racing team. This is a change from previous years in which drivers who finished in the top 10 were invited to Washington, D.C. It was this year that NASCAR decided to align itself with other sports by only having their champion visit the President.

While at the White House, Keselowski wasn't the only driver whose name was mentioned.

According to this article on SportingNews.com, the President made a bit of a dig at Jimmie Johnson: 

"I was getting tired of seeing Johnson all the time."

Johnson,  or "five-time" as he is referred to in NASCAR, won the Sprint Cup Championship from 2006-10. During his span of five consecutive championships, Johnson made quite a few visits to the White House.

Although Tony Stewart won the championship back in 2011, Keselowski's win marked the first new Sprint Cup Champion since 2004. It was in 2004 that Kurt Busch won his first and only championship.

The article goes onto mention that the Johnson comment "evoked some laughs."

Personally, I love the comment the President made. I mean, it's not like Johnson can win the whole thing every year. I have to say though that it would be fun to see an exchange between President Obama and Johnson if he were to win the title this season.

Keselowski's visit comes on the heels of his post-race rant against NASCAR. It was in this rant that he openly claimed that NASCAR was targeting him and his team. NASCAR has since said that Keselowski wouldn't be fined for his comments.

Ultimately, it looks like this was a day much appreciated by Keselowski and President Obama.


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