NASCAR

Penske Racing

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) - Brad Keselowski has won his first NASCAR championship.

The 28-year-old Detroit native clinched the Sprint Cup title Sunday when fellow title contender Jimmie Johnson pulled out of the season finale because of a parts failure. The championship is the first for longtime NASCAR owner Roger Penske and gives outgoing car manufacturer Dodge the sweetest of parting gifts.

All Keselowski had to do was stay out of trouble over the final 60 miles, which essentially turned out to be 40 victory laps around Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Penske Racing

Tomorrow, a man from Rochester Hills has a chance to do something no one from the state of Michigan has ever done.

28 year old Brad Keselowski is the son, nephew and brother of race car drivers.

But he’ll have the bragging rights at the Thanksgiving dinner table this year, if he becomes the first Michigander to win stock car racing’s biggest prize: the Sprint Cup title.

Keselowski currently leads in the NASCAR points standings going into the season’s final race at Homestead, Florida. He only has to place 15th or better to take the NASCAR crown.

Dodge

Dodge will withdraw from NASCAR competition at the conclusion of the 2012 season - this after its partner Penske Racing announced earlier this year that it had decided to switch to Ford Motor Company in 2013.

Chrysler's Ralph Gilles said the company "couldn't make the pieces of the puzzle fit together" in trying to find a new racing team that would maintain the level of competition Dodge wanted to maintain.

He didn't rule out re-entering NASCAR competition at a later time.

Brother O'Mara / Flickr

Romney to wrap up Battleground Bus Tour in Michigan

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is on a tour of half a dozen battleground states that winds up tomorrow in Michigan. Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports:

Romney will make three campaign stops and attend a pair of fundraisers.  Matt Frendeway is with the Michigan Republican Party.  He says the swing through Michigan is a signal that Romney will make a strong play for Michigan and its 16 electoral votes.

"He’s going to come to Michigan and talk to folks who are struggling under President Obama’s economy, under his failed policies. He’s going to be visiting small towns and talking to folks about the difficulties they’ve faced, the 400,000 Michiganders here who are still out of work, looking for work, looking for jobs."

Democrats have tried to make an issue of Romney’s opposition to federal loans to GM and Chrysler. But two recent polls show the race for Michigan’s 16 electoral votes is tightening.    
   
Rich Robinson tracks political spending for the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. He says Romney appears to be benefiting from advertising by independent groups attacking the president’s job performance.

"They’re not explicitly saying, ‘Don’t vote for this guy,’ but the effect of what they’re doing is pretty obvious."

The Republican presidential nominee last won Michigan in 1988.

NASCAR

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. raced to his first Sprint Cup victory in four years, ending a 143-race winless streak Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

The state’s popular Pure Michigan tourism campaign is headed to the race track this summer.

Pure Michigan will sponsor its first NASCAR race at the Michigan International Speedway. It will be billed as the Pure Michigan 400. ESPN will be broadcast the race  nationwide and run Pure Michigan ads during the event.