Champ to buy big toy; downplays critics
By RICK MINTER / Universal Uclick
In addition to picking up a nice trophy and a place in NASCAR history for winning the 2012 Sprint Cup championship, Brad Keselowski is in line to collect millions of dollars in bonus money and from other sources. His take from NASCAR alone, which is split with his Penske Racing team, is estimated to be about $6 million.
So what does a 28-year-old single person plan to do with that kind of cash?
Keselowski said on last week’s NASCAR teleconference that one of the “toys” on his list is a tank.
“I’ve been looking into that really all summer long,” he said. “It all started with Wally Dallenbach, who was telling me a story about having one. I thought, wow, that would be awesome. So obviously living where I do and being around Dale [Earnhardt] Jr., I thought it would be cool if we both got a tank and chased each other around in the woods with them. It’s kind of our deal.
“I promised myself if I won it, I would buy one whether Dale does or not. It was kind of a little bit of motivation, I should say.”
He said he’s not really into buying trophies for himself, but a tank is different.
“I think a tank would be pretty cool,” he said. “I want to put one together and have some fun with it. When I’m done playing with it, I’ll just park it in the driveway and scare off people who aren’t supposed to be around. I don’t know. It will be fun either way.”
He said he’ll likely try to find a vintage model.
“I want to get something from World War II to Korea era, something in the ’40s to mid-’50s, era,” he said.
A good-running tank shouldn’t put too much of a dent in Keselowski’s wallet. They’re for sale on military vehicle websites starting at around $250,000.
As NASCAR’s newest champion, Keselowski drew plenty of notice and some criticism for appearing to have consumed several adult beverages before some of his post-race interviews from Homestead-Miami Speedway in the hours after he clinched the Cup championship. But on a teleconference with reporters two days later, he expressed no regrets.
“I think everybody faces their criticism no matter what you do,” he said. “You’re never going to get all of the people to like something that you do. It’s not possible. Someone’s always going to dislike something you do, and you have to roll that off your shoulders and move on.”
He said that if a person remains true to himself, it’ll all work out in the long run.
“I had fun, and I wanted to show that fun and enjoy it with others,” he said. “I’m more thrilled that people enjoyed [it] than I am disappointed to questioning my path because someone else didn’t like it.”
TV ratings for last week’s Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway continued a trend of Chase races drawing fewer viewers than comparable events last year.
The Ford EcoBoost 400 earned a 3.5 household coverage rating, averaging 3,444,706 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Those numbers were down from last year’s 3.6 rating with 6.8 million viewers.
Overall, the 10 Chase races on ESPN had a rating average of 2.7 with 4.2 million viewers, compared to a 3.1 rating and 4.763 million viewers last year.