Sunday, November 4, 2012
Jimmie Johnson vs. Brad Keselowski one heckuva show
By Terry Blount
FORT WORTH, Texas -- What more could you ask for? Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski -- the two men neck and neck for the Sprint Cup championship, racing side by side in the closing moments that included three dramatic restarts in the last 19 laps.
It was one restart too many for Keselowski, who couldn't stop Johnson's charge past him to the outside on a green-white-checkered dash at the end.
Johnson got one last chance to get by his new rival and he made the most of it, earning the 60th victory of his career and taking a seven-point lead over Keselowski with two races remaining to decide the 2012 title.
But what a show this was. It sure didn't start that way. Sunday's event at Texas Motor Speedway was long and uneventful for a good part of the day, but the finish was worth the wait.
Bad Brad was Brave Brad down the stretch, gambling on a two-tire pit stop to get the lead, then holding off Johnson (who had four fresh tires) when Johnson tried to pass him with eight laps to go.
Not many racers can stop Johnson in that situation, but Keselowski didn't give an inch when Johnson challenged him. Frankly, it was Keselowski at his best, showing skills as a driver that few people believe he had by keeping the five-time champ behind him as they raced inches apart at 185 mph.
You had to see it to believe it. This is what NASCAR racing should be, what everyone wants it to be on the 1.5-mile ovals that so often disappoint us.