MCREYNOLDS: Can Keselowski Win It All Again?

Brad Keselowski is going to enjoy this NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.

I think he’s going to represent our sport well as the champion. He’s going to bring a new, renewed interest in our sport because he is only 28 years old. Not to take anything away from recent champions Tony Stewart or Jimmie Johnson, they’ve been awesome ambassadors as champions of our sport for the last seven years, but I just think Brad attracts a younger demographic which is what we’re truly trying to get back engaged with our sport.

I see these guys enjoying it, but I see then going right back to work pretty hard.

They’ve obviously got a pretty major undertaking in trying to win their second consecutive title. Like everybody else in the Cup series, they’ve got a major body change, and that kind of gives everybody a clean sheet of paper and everybody’s got a lot of work to do.

Then, of course, they’re making the transition from Dodge to Ford. I don’t think that’s going to be that big of a deal for them, especially - I thought it was a brilliant move for Penske right now, it may not be long term – since they’ve elected to go to Roush Yates for their engines. That’s already an established engine company that wins races and wins championships. I think that transition, especially since we’ve got a new body stryle regardless, puts them on a much more even keel.

I see no reason why they cannot repeat as champion.

Every year, a season ends and we start to make our predictions. Our predictions are truly only based off of what we know to that point. Did we have any reason to believe that the two guys that battled in 2011 to the bitter end would not be championship contenders in 2012? Lets face it, Tony Stewart won five races of the 10 in the Chase. Carl Edwards was a model of consistency battling Tony to the bitter end.

And then those two guys were really not players this year.

Tony won his three races, but he was absolutely never a factor in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. And Carl Edwards didn’t even make the Chase.

Did we ever believe that Brad Keselowski and Paul Wolfe, in only their second season together in Cup and only Keselowski's third season in the series, did we ever believe they were going to win this championship? We felt they were going to run well, but I’m not sure we picked them as championship contenders.

Would we have ever believed that Clint Bowyer, going to a brand-new organization, a brand-new race team and Micahel Waltrip Racing as a whole, since they started in 2007 not really making a lot of noise in the sport, did we ever believe they would be contenders wining three races and finishing second in the points?

So I guess we sit here today and say it looks like it will be Keselowski, Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, the five that finished at the top of the heap this year, contending for the title but I can almost guarantee you there will be some new players next year just like there were this year.