Top 10 NASCAR Driver of the Year 2012:1. Brad Keselowski

Birthdate: February 12, 1984Hometown: Rochester Hills, MITeam: Penske RacingCrew chief: Paul Wolfe2012 starts: 36Poles: 0Wins: 5Top 5: 13Top 10: 23Annual earnings: $6,227,850Championship points: 2400Championship position: NASCAR Driver of 2011 position: 3rd

We here at were genuinely wondering how Brad Keselowski would fare in the 2012 NASCAR Driver of the Year standings. The goofy social media-obsessed youngster can be a bit of an acquired taste for many; others think he's just too darn young to be winning Sprint Cup titles just yet. After all, it's only a couple of years since he was ruffling feathers when he joined the senior series after winning the 2010 Nationwide Series title, and a lot of fans simply aren't ready to admit that the torch might already be passing from the generation that brought us the likes of Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon.

But pass it has, at least for 2012: and now the torch is in the hands of Brad Keselowski after a frankly immaculate season-long performance. He matched Johnson for the number of wins and came only one shy of Johnson's tally of 24 top tens; he didn't claim any pole positions this season, but he was happy enough to concentrate on fine-tuning his car in race trim, start further down the field and make his way back up through the positions. Since it won him the Sprint Cup championship, it's hard to pick a fault with that strategy.

But that's Keselowski in a nutshell: he's a smart cookie, he thinks things through and does things his own way. And it works. We're impressed with him, and we're delighted that the voters agreed and confirmed Keselowski as the stand-out driver of 2012.

Check back later in the week for the details of the averages each driver scored, and what happened to those drivers outside the top ten.

The complete top 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver of the Year 2012 results:1. Brad Keselowski2. Jimmie Johnson3. Clint Bowyer4. Kasey Kahne5. Mark Martin6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.7. Marcos Ambrose8. Martin Truex Jr.9. Jeff Gordon10. Greg Biffle



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