On Tuesday, November 27, newly crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski’s whirlwind of activity continued as he traveled across the country from New York to Las Vegas in advance of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards on Friday night.
The run-up to Champion’s Week took Keselowski to the Big Apple and multiple appearances including “Late Show With David Letterman” Monday. On Tuesday he was still talking about meeting the comic host. “He was even funnier in person than on TV,” said Keselowski.
Little wonder then, embarking on the opening day of Champion’s Week festivities in Las Vegas that Keselowski was channeling Willie Nelson, singing the opening lines of “On the Road Again.” A road that began in early March in Daytona Beach, Fla. with the Daytona 500 will reach its climax on Friday when Keselowski, team owner Roger Penske and crew chief Paul Wolfe will celebrate their first NASCAR Sprint Cup championships at Wynn Las Vegas.
But first things first as Champion’s Week steam rolls to the main event – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET live on SPEED, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. This year’s ceremony will be hosted by the one and only Howie Mandel, who will bring his unique brand of humor to NASCAR fans, competitors, and anyone else who cares to watch!
Tuesday was media day for the 28-year-old, first-time champion. “You have questions; I have answers,” Keselowski said in greeting a television interviewer. At the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the subject matter turned to tanks. Keselowski, whose foundation serves military personnel and veterans, agreed a tank would make a nice addition to his collection of vehicles.
“I don’t want to do what everyone else does; I want to be different,” he said. “It will look good parked in my driveway behind my gate.”
Joking aside, Keselowski spoke highly of the next generation stock car he and his NASCAR Sprint Cup rivals will drive in 2013 calling it a “game changer for the sport.” He added, “It has way more growth potential than the current model.”
Keselowski and Wolfe surveyed the Wynn’s spacious hall where workers are readying the banquet room and red carpet area. He playfully picked up Clint Bowyer’s banner and placed it behind his own – just to be sure everyone knew who finished first.
The champion visited a number of Las Vegas’ iconic “destinations,” including the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, the set of Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage and the House of Blues Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay.
Keselowski also participated in the opening day of NASCAR 2012 Motorsports Marketing Forum at the Aria, an event that continues on Wednesday.
Overall, Keselowski was pleased to be back in Las Vegas – the 32nd-place finish in March’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway all but forgotten.
“Vegas is a special place to be,” he said. “It is a win-win situation for NASCAR and the fans. We love coming out here. It is a great week to be a race fan in Las Vegas.”
NASCAR’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ qualifiers take over downtown’s legendary Fremont Street Experience on Wednesday for the Fourth Annual Fanfest Presented by Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 12 drivers will walk the red carpet, interact with fans and participate in a game-show format hosted by comic Carrot Top.
Wednesday is also a travel day for NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., who will be heading west to join in the festivities at the end of the week. Stay tuned to the West Palm Beach Motorsports Examiner for a one-on-one interview with the 2-time champ.
For more information on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas, visit NASCAR.com/ChampionsWeek.
Be sure to subscribe to this column, and keep track of your favorite racers. If you’re a motorsports fan, and know of an event, team, or person you’d like to see profiled, please let me know. Also, be sure to follow me on twitter, and read my articles about local getaways, HOAs, elections, and restaurants.