By Patrick Rall
This past weekend brought us the first round in the 2012
NASCAR Sprint Cup “Chase for the Cup” in the Geico 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway
and when the checkered flag dropped on the first race leading up to the
championship – Dodge driver Brad Keselowski was the winner.
The Geico 400 began with the #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger
driven by Brad Keselowski starting in the 13th spot while Sam
Hornish Jr continued his fill-in job for AJ Allmendinger in the #22
Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger as he started in the 16th spot. Keselowski quickly worked his way towards the
front of the field and on lap 232, BK passed Jimmie Johnson in a move that
Johnson claimed was an illegal move by the Dodge driver. According to the driver of the #48 Lowe’s
Chevrolet, Keselowski merged back onto the track earlier than he should have
and that caused Johnson to have to slow down.
However, NASCAR reviewed the situation and by lap 240, the
sanctioning body had ruled in favor of the #2 Charger. From there on out, it was clear sailing for
Brad Keselowski as he drove to his fourth win o fthe 2012 NASCAR season. While Sam Hornish Jr was routinely in the top
ten throughout the race, the #22 Charger was forced to settle for an 11th
This race marked a fresh start for the top 12 drivers in the
standings as part of the “Chase for the Cup” championship structure so when
Keselowski won the race on Sunday – he put himself in the top spot for the
championship with just 9 races left in the season. Since he is in the running for the NASCAR Nationwide
Series championship, Hornish is not eligible for Sprint Cup points.
Seeing the #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger driven by Brad
Keselowski do so well in the race is great for Dodge NASCAR fans but with the
news that Dodge will leave NASCAR after this year – Keselowski’s success comes
too late for some fans. On the other
hand, that won’t prevent hardcore Mopar lovers from routing for Team Penske
until the day that they stop using the Dodge race cars.
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