The race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship was full of hi’s and lows. Jimmy Johnson came into Sundays race in second place just 20 points behind leader Brad Keselowski. Jimmy still had a chance to win the 2012 title. On lap 209 Johnson was running first and Keselowski in 24th. Lap 213 Johnson pits and leaves missing a lug nut. He has to return to pit lane and now goes a lap down. At this point Keselowski is now in 7th place. At this point things were going to get worse for Johnson. He was now off the pace and returned to pit lane for smoke from the rear differential. Lap 228 the Lowes Chevrolet was pushed to the garage to have the rear differential replaced.
Lap 224 Jeff Gordon takes the lead by 2.1 seconds over Clint Boyer. The next 8 laps Gordon managed to maintain the lead and take his Dupont Chevrolet to victory lane. This was the first victory for Hendrick Motorsports at Homestead Miami Speedway.
Brad Keselowski captured the championship by finishing fifteenth in Sundays race. This was his first and a first for team owner Rodger Penske. It was also the first championship for Dodge since 1975. Ironically Dodge will not be returning to NASCAR in 2013. Team Penske will be switching to Ford.
Another great achievement was by Clint Boyer. He managed to stay out of trouble all day and finish in second place. This brought him up to second place in the overall standings. The mechanical failure Johnson suffered dropped him into the third position.
The 2012 season was exciting to watch. The Champion was not determined until the middle of the last race. At the end, a young guy from Michigan would win his first Championship for himself and team owner. Congratulations to Brad Keselowski and Team Penske.