Brad Keselowski and Penske win first NASCAR title
Brad Keselowski won his first NASCAR title despite finishing well down the field at the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400
Last Updated: 18/12/12 4:41pm
The 28-year-old from Detroit clinched the Sprint Cup title when fellow title contender Jimmie Johnson pulled out of the race because of a mechanical failure.
The championship was the first for longtime NASCAR owner Roger Penske and was a fitting finale for outgoing car manufacturer Dodge.
An aggressive pit strategy had put Johnson in a position to challenge for the title, but his race fell apart - almost literally - on lap 214 when he pulled away from his pits with a loose wheel nut and was forced to stop to correct the error.
And Johnson's race finally ended on lap 224 with a drive line problem, his crew pushing the car to the garage where it sat for the rest of the race.
That meant all Keselowski had to do was stay out of trouble over the final 60 miles, which essentially turned out to be 40 victory laps around the Florida circuit.
Johnson's teammate, Jeff Gordon eventually won the race, crossing the line 1.028 seconds ahead of Clint Bowyer with Ryan Newman in third, followed by Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle.