Washington, D. C. – For winning the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, Brad Keselowski was honored by President Barack Obama in a brief but colorful ceremony on the south lawn of the White House on Tuesday afternoon. Honoring the newly crowned champion has become an annual event over the years, and NASCAR’s leaders and its participants look forward to the recognition received.
As the program opened, team owner Roger Penske and championship crew chief Paul Wolfe emerged from the White House trailed by President Obama and Keselowski.
President Obama opened the program paying respect to those who were killed and injured in Boston, assuring everyone that America is strong and will do everything in its power to capture those that caused the tragedy. “Rest assured, as I said today and to continue to say until it gets done, we are going to uncover whoever it is that is responsible for this cowardly act and they will be brought to justice,” the president said.
Turning to the program at hand, the president stated, “We are here to honor Brad Keselowski for winning his first Sprint Cup championship.” This statement triggered an enthusiastic response from the 200 or so dignitaries present. The president went on to comment on Keselowski’s post-championship television interview on ESPN. “It was memorable for a few reasons but mostly for the fans that made it all possible. And Brad said on that date, ‘Life is a team sport and I have the best team, my family, my friends and my co-workers and without them I am nothing,’ and that’s what life is all about.”
The president also recognized Messrs. Penske and Wolfe for their dedication and perseverance, leading to the championship. “Congratulations to the team, Roger (Penske) and Paul (Wolfe) for their accomplishments,” Mr. Obama noted.
The president also recognized Keselowski’s “Race to Recovery” program that works with wounded warriors. “Those brave warriors head to the track for a VIP experience and a chance to ride shotgun with Brad. To quote Brad, ‘I couldn’t do on the race track what I do without these men and women making the sacrifices that they do for me.’ I want to thank you Brad for visiting with our wounded warriors.” He also praised NASCAR chairman Brian France for his long tradition of honoring America’s troops.
Mr. Obama and Mr. Keselowski then walked a few feet to view the No. 2 Miller Lite racecar that was sitting nearby. At that point, the two gentlemen posed for pictures with the Sprint Cup and Keselowski then gave the president an up-close look-see of the shiny car.
When the program concluded, a reception line formed with Messrs. Obama and Keselowski greeting the invited guests.