The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion has been crowned at Miami-Homestead Speedway after the running of the Ford EcoBoost 400.
Brad Keselowski gave his team owner something no other NASCAR driver heretofore could produce, a championship season. It is the top prize that the man known as “The Captain” has coveted for decades.
Only two seasons ago Keselowski earned Penske’s first NASCAR championship by winning the Nationwide Series title. The Sprint Cup must be all the sweeter.
Now, the off-season is upon us. It is a long wait until Daytona. As I roamed the garages, pit stalls and grounds at Homestead, I gathered responses to a question that wasn’t racing-related, which caused most to grin widely.
I asked NASCAR Hall of Famers, champions, drivers, team owners, crew chiefs, crewmen, track personnel, police officers, firemen, caterers, interns, journalists and more the same question:
“What are your simple joys?”
Responses were varied, in fact, they ran the gamut. Nobody rebuffed the question and most enjoyed answering.
As you settle in to take part in your Thanksgiving weekend, please enjoy reading about the simple joys of your favorite NASCAR personalities and people who work together to make races accessible to the fans.
Champion Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge:
Champion team owner Penske:
“Being with my grandchildren.”
Richard Childress, owner, Richard Childress Racing:
Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 RCR car in the Nationwide Series:
“Racing, hunting and fishing and being in the out of doors.”
Ty Dillon, driver of the No. 3 RCR truck in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
“Racing, being outdoors and spending time with family.”
Brandon McReynolds, Turner Motorsports driver in Trucks/ARCA/KNN and son of Larry McReynolds
“Racing, faith, family, friends and racing. Notice I put racing on the list twice!”
Jessica Green, NCWTS driver Joey Coulter’s girlfriend and a driver in her own right:
“Family, Florida, ocean, beach, racing.”
Cole Whitt, driver of the No. 88 JR Motorsports car in the Nationwide Series:
“Fishing out on the water.”
Bruce Cook, crew chief for the No. 88 JR Motorsports Nationwide car:
Justin Lofton, driver of the No. 6 NCWTS team for Eddie Sharp Racing.
“Yelling at people! No, no, no, I’m just kidding! Mountain cycling, video games, basketball, J6 Ink Vinyl Co. I’m a visual person. Weekend Warriors Productions – country music, sports marketing, film industry with Brett.”
Brett Bortle, crewman and business partner of Justin Lofton, No. 6 NCWTS for ESR:
“Filmmaking and Chicago Bears football.”
Kerry Tharp, NASCAR Senior Director, Communications/Competition:
“Having a nice quiet dinner with my wife, a strong cup of coffee on the deck with the sports page, tailgating at a SC football game, and, in five weeks, holding my first grandchild. That will go up there with my wife.”
Kris Cook, cameraman for the Speed Channel:
“Seeing my daughter.”
John Luzzi, field producer for the Speed Channel:
“Getting paid to travel!”
Rusty Wallace, Class of 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee:
“Aviation, boating, and family. I really enjoyed that, thank you!”
Kenny Wallace, driver of the No. 99 Nationwide car for RAB Racing and on-air personality for Speed Channel:
“Running well in competition, any competition, even practice! Baseball, Bud Lite and a bag of peanuts.”
Mike Wallace, driver of the No. 01 Nationwide car for JD Motorsports
“Get on my Bobcat and, using different attachments, cleaning up the grounds and moving dirt around.”
Tomorrow, I’ll offer more of the simple joys from your favorite NASCAR people.