Monday, October 1, 2012

Who Kyle Petty thinks would make the best NASCAR champion

   Many NASCAR fans - obviously those not fans of his - would prefer someone other than Jimmie Johnson win this year's championship. Mostly, that's because he's already won five in the past six seasons.

   And then the legions of Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans would certainly prefer to see their favorite driver win his first Sprint Cup Series championship.

   But public-relations wise, who would be the best guy to win the championship? Who does NASCAR need to be champion? Earnhardt? Johnson? Brad Keselowski?

   Here is former driver and Speed TV analyst Kyle Petty's take from his appearance Sunday night on "Wind Tunnel."

   "Clint Bowyer would be the best champion. I’ll just go and throw that out there. He’s the guy with some personality who would have a good time and have some fun. I think you flip a coin between these guys – I don’t care. This is such a sterile sport now. ," Petty said.

   "Nobody has a lot of personality. Brad (Keselowski) has as much personality as anybody else. Jimmie was the champion for five years. Did the sport grow in that five years? I don’t think so. Tony Stewart was the champion last year. Did the sport grow? I think they’re great champions and they represent the sport well but they’re not Miss America. They don’t have to go out to civic organizations and preach the gospel of the sport, so I don’t think any driver is going to do that.

   "Just that blue-collar guy to bring the sport back to the Earnhardt era, the Richard Petty era, to that older deal when fans really are interested in the drivers? My money would be on Clint Bowyer."