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Defending champ Brad Keselowski now has to play to the role of Chase spoiler

Brad Keselowski prepares for practice for Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series aurace Concord N.C. Thursday Oct. 11 2012. (AP Photo/Terry

Brad Keselowski prepares for practice for Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race in Concord, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

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If there is a couple things that Brad Keselowski has learned in his NASCAR career, it’s that there are a lot of things in the sport that he can’t control. And if you end up being too honest or too candid on social media, someone waves the immaturity flag in your direction.

Keselowski is the defending Sprint Cup champion. But a series of mechanical issues and bad luck have Keselowski out of the Chase for the Sprint Cup when it begins with Sunday’s GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet.

So Keselowski is going to look at the bright side and use his role as a non-Chase driver to his advantage: he’s going to play the spoiler.

“We could win three, four or five races in the next 10 and push our team forward in the next few weeks,” Keselowski said. “I’m disappointed, but at the end of the day my career and my team’s legacy is determined by much more than one year and I plan on being around for a long time.”

Keselowski will also be a presence on Twitter for a long time, too. The driver of Roger Penske’s No. 2 Ford has over 400,000 followers, and likes using the social media platform to interact with fans and voice his opinions. Keselowski is known as one of the more outspoken drivers in NASCAR.

But that’s where the immaturity tag sometimes comes in.

“There are a lot of people who are always rooting against you and that is understandable,” Keselowski said. “It is difficult to be open and honest with those who don’t understand what is going on. You get criticized on being immature. But what social media is for is to share what is going on. If (fans) call you out for it, you tend not to do it and it creates a cycle of silence.”

Keselowski, an avid video game player, is also being featured in a new game that will be released in November called “Watch Dogs” set in Chicago. It’s almost fitting that Keselowski will be immortalized in a video game after the 29-year old Michigan native made a prediction about his longevity.

“Time will tell, but I will be around for a long time,” Keselowski said. “I have the right group around me to be successful. The best thing about this year is walking into the garage area as the Cup champion — and knowing that no one was going to take that away from me.”

Email: takouris@suntimes.com

Twitter: @takouris



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