During the final weeks of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, various media outlets made several comparisons between five-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski, showing examples of how the two drivers differed, both in driving styles and in personality. Since winning his first Sprint Cup earlier this month, Keselowski has continued to show that he, perhaps, marches to the beat of his own drummer.
The new champion, to be crowned Friday night during the annual NASCAR awards banquet in Las Vegas, has been on a hectic media tour since claiming the Sprint Cup the Sunday before Thanksgiving. During several interviews in his time since becoming champion, one topic of conversation keeps coming up -- what the new champ wants to buy in celebration of his accomplishment.
I've been looking into that (buying a tank), really, all summer long.
Athletes in other sports may opt for new wheels, or perhaps some new bling to commemorate such a milestone moment, but not Keselowski. Instead, Keselowski wants to make tracks, and he wants to make those tracks with a tank.
"I've been looking into that (buying a tank), really, all summer long," Keselowski said. "It all started with Wally Dallenbach who was telling me a story about having one. I thought, wow, that would be awesome. So, obviously, living where I do and being around Dale (Earnhardt) Jr., I thought it would be cool if we both got a tank and chased each other around in the woods with them. It's kind of our deal."
There's no word as to whether or not Earnhardt is buying into the whole tank thing, but it seems Keselowski's interested whether his friend and competitor buys one or not. "I promised myself if I won it, I would buy one whether Dale does or not," Keselowski said. "It was kind of a little bit of motivation, I should say. I'm not one to really buy trophies for myself, but I think a tank would be pretty cool. I want to put one together and have some fun with it. When I'm done playing with it, I'll just park it in the driveway and scare off people who aren't supposed to be around. I don't know. It will be fun either way."
A tank may not be the first thing that comes to most people's minds when it comes to rewarding oneself. But when it comes to Keselowski, it probably shouldn't really come as a shock. After all, the new champion does have a keen interest in American history, specifically the military. The primary focus of his Checkered Flag Foundation is to help and thank military veterans.
"I want to get something from World War II to Korea area," Keselowski said. "Something in the '40s to mid-50s era." Of course, if Keselowski is to fulfill his own championship wish list, it's not going to be as simple as heading down to the local dealership and taking something for a test drive.
"I haven't found the person I want to buy it from," he said.
Still, buying a tank isn't out of the question. After all, several months ago, Keselowski wasn't exactly expected to claim his first Sprint Cup in 2012, either. Besides, Dallenbach apparently got one somewhere.