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Keselowski seals maiden Cup championship

"It's huge, to end up second in points and beat guys like Jimmie Johnson to do it," he said. "I'm proud of everybody, because we were there all season long," he added

Team co-owner Michael Waltrip was also still not over last weekend's events, and was clearly amazed that they had managed to overcome that adversity by rebounding in the season finale. "What happened last week stinks, but at least we overcame it," he said. "We thought it cost us a chance for second in the points, which hurt. We didn't come down here thinking we were going to finish second, but I'll be darned, here we are."

Bowyer was also quick to add his congratulations to the new Cup champion, Brad Keselowski. "It's just a cool story. We'll have a new face as the champion of this sport. I would've liked for it to have been me, but I'm super proud of him and all of his efforts."

Elsewhere in victory lane, the 28-year-old from Michigan was being handed his very own Sprint Cup trophy. It seemed like no time at all that he was the Nationwide Series champion in 2010 while simultaneously running his first full Cup season with Penske Racing. Everyone had agreed that he was one to watch, a real star of the future; it's just that no one really expected the future to arrive as quickly as it had.

"He's entertaining, you never know what you're going to get with Brad," said Sunday's race winner, Jeff Gordon. "I look forward to watching him. I think this experience, he'll just mature to a whole other level by being in this position and carrying this responsibility."

Maybe 'maturing' is a little optimistic right at this moment, though. The new champion, when asked what the title meant and how he thought it might change him, still couldn't resist answering with a quip.

"I've always wanted to date a celebrity. I'm just throwing that out there," he said to laughter from the media. Then, with a pause and a little more seasoned consideration: "Not a Kardashian."

Full race results and Sprint Cup Championship standings are available.




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