Bosch spark plugs drive to NASCAR Championship
Powered by Bosch spark plugs, Brad Keselowski in Penske Racing's No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger was crowned the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series(tm) champion as he out-dueled five-time champion Jimmie Johnson in the Ford EcoBoost 400 race at Florida's Homestead-Miami Raceway Sunday, Nov. 18.
This was not only the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship for Keselowski, but also the first for team owner Roger Penske, and the first since 1975 for Dodge, which is leaving Cup racing at the end of the season. Keselowski joins Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon to become only the third driver in his 20's to win a championship in the past 28 years.
Gordon, also running Bosch spark plugs, won the Homestead race, with Clint Bowyer second, Ryan Newman third, followed by Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle. Johnson finished way back following mechanical difficulties. He entered the season finale 20 points behind Keselowski and led the race for many laps. Johnson's driveline mechanical problem, however, resulted in a 36th-place finish, solidifying the Keselowski/Penske/Dodge championship.
"He was going to win this race, and I knew that," Keselowski said. "We were not as fast as we wanted to be, and we'd be the first to admit that, but my guys never gave up. We kept working, and at the end we were even capable of getting back up enough to where it wouldn't have mattered if he'd have won -- which made me feel a lot better."
"I just feel so fortunate to be where I'm at, in life and in racing. You are a product of who you surround yourself with, and I'm surrounded by the best. That's as good as life gets," Keselowski said, referring to the Penske Racing organization and his crew led by Paul Wolfe. Wolfe was Keselowski's crew chief when he and Penske Racing won the Nationwide series title two years ago.
Bosch Components Important in NASCAR Fuel Injection
"This was a fine culmination to this year's Chase, and for Bosch-equipped cars driven by Chase champion Brad Keselowski and race winner Jeff Gordon. Both ran not only with Bosch spark plugs, but also with Bosch fuel injectors, oxygen sensors, fuel pumps, coils, alternators and starters. It was a great win for Bosch components as well as for Keselowski, Penske and Dodge," said Wolfgang Hustedt, Bosch Motorsports Manager, North America.
"Bosch spark plugs have been a major factor in American racing ever since they won the very first Indy 500 in 1911, and have been big winners in NASCAR racing for many years. Fuel injection in all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series(r) races has brought additional Bosch components into key roles," Hustedt said. "Two Bosch wideband oxygen sensors in the exhaust in every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, for instance, determine whether the engine is running 'rich' or 'lean,' and continuously send this information to the engine's computer, which adds the right amount of fuel to the airflow just as it's entering the engine cylinders."
"Bosch oxygen sensors are an exclusive NASCAR Performance(r) product, and contribute to engine efficiency and performance," he said. Bosch pioneered electronic fuel injection back in the 1970's, developing the automotive oxygen sensor as part of the total system.
Grand Am and American Le Mans Series (ALMS) road races, and Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar racers run Bosch oxygen sensors as part of their EFI engine management systems, in addition to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars.