Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 11/19/12
Gettyimage.ashx_url_http_3a_2f_2fcache.gettyimages.com_2fxc_2f99569167.jpg_3fv_3d1_26c_3dewsasset_26k_3d2_26d_3d77bfba49ef878921a343b2c87a49d8f50012563902c802240670f575c1d197a3ed3859e7469a3d6f
Before the party continued at the W in South Beach, Brad Keselowski lugged his new trophy down the backstretch at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His mission? The perfect avatar photo. "I want it dark," Keselowski said. "Like Batman and (crap)." As he strolled away from the generator-powered lights, the new Sprint Cup champion experimented with several poses and facial expressions before he zeroed in on just the right one. "What do ya think," Keselowski asked as the photographer flipped through the photos. While the 28-year-old needed a little convincing through his sponsor's product goggles, Keselowski was already perfecting his image - one of a champion. Five hours into the celebration, the third-generation racer was cognizant of his responsibility to the sport from this day forward. And as NASCAR tries to reach its popularity heights again, particularly with the younger markets, Keselowski insists he's up to the challenge to lead the charge. "Where I see myself now is pushing it to make it the best sport possible," Keselowski said. "Whether that is achieved is based on how many others share that passion. There's not a question in my mind that I would love to be the guy that takes this sport to the next level and I'm ready for the responsibility to do that. "People can take that different ways. What I find most often when I say things like that is some people will put you in a position to fail. They might say, 'Well, this means you have to do 36 TV shows.' Is that part of being a leader in the sport? Yes. But if I nail all 36 TV shows, it's still not going to make the sport the best it can be. It's going to take an all-inclusive approach to make it happen." Certainly, if there is a driver with the necessary passion to achieve this feat it would be Keselowski. It's been well-documented how he worked as his father's team engineer before he was even old enough to drive. How he carried the weight of his family's future when he was selected to drive for their race team. And how Roger Penske told Keselowski one year ago to accept the mantle of leader after Penske Racing parted ways with Kurt Busch - a message the Captain pounded into his driver over the winter. Before Sunday's Ford 400, Penske came over the radio to thank his men and reminded the team "we have the leader in that 2 car today and he knows what he has to do to bring it home." After four decades of competing in NASCAR, Keselowski was able to bring home a title that Penske had coveted to add to all of his open-wheel accomplishments. However, what made the achievement sweeter was finding a driver as determined as Keselowski to share the journey. "This guy Keselowski is something special, and for me it's a lifelong goal when you think about Hendrick (Motorsports), you think about (Dale) Earnhardt and (Richard) Childress and (Joe) Gibbs and just to mention all the guys that have been up there, and we've been close but we've never delivered. But this guy here delivered it for us. Every week all through the year, gave us this championship. Boy, I'll tell you, man, I love you." If Keselowski could get the Captain to buy in, who says he can't be the catalyst in NASCAR's turnaround? "I want to make the sport better," Keselowski said. "I want to make it stronger. I want to see it be stronger than it's ever been. How am I going to do it? By trying to carry on a legacy of passion and honor that's unprecedented in my generation. "It's always important to have someone who is relevant to the fans. Just being a part of a generation doesn't necessarily do that but maybe with some it does." Keselowski is right. One man cannot do it alone. And while Keselowski has never shied away from a challenge, this could be his greatest one yet.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Novak Djokovic could miss rest of season with elbow injury

Reggie Jackson praises, urges caution with Aaron Judge

Panthers QB Cam Newton shows up to camp in best shape of career

Yankees progressing on deal to acquire Sonny Gray, Yonder Alonso

Report: Derrick Rose was unwilling to accept bench role with Lakers

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Stephen Strasburg expected to make next start for Nats

John Lackey makes history, hits four batters in one game

Report: Suns G Brandon Knight suffers torn ACL

Cavaliers have one unhappy star and three options

Garrett walks out on media over Whitehead questions

D-Rose landing in Cleveland could be good for Cavs, himself

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

Every MLB team's best and worst deadline trade from the last 25 years

The most memorable moments from the class of 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

28 MLB trade deadline deal prospects since 2000 who went on to become All-Stars

Box Score 7/25: The pressure of the trade deadline is here

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

NASCAR News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker