Obama honors NASCAR champ, denounces ‘cowardly’ attack in Boston

Nicole Lafond Contributor
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WASHINGTON — During his speech Tuesday honoring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, President Barack Obama vowed again to bring justice to those who committed the “cowardly” bombing at the Boston Marathon.

“One of the things that I believe in is that America is strong, and that we are resilient, and we don’t let such cowardly acts get in the way of our lives,” Obama said in a ceremony on the South Lawn at the White House. “Today we are here to congratulate Brad Keselowski on winning his first Sprint Cup NASCAR championship.”

The president invited Keselowski to the White House to honor his win, as well as recognize Keselowski and NASCAR’s efforts to give back to the community. Keselowski founded the Race to Recovery program through his Checkered Flag Foundation. Race to Recovery recognizes wounded veterans who have recovered from their injuries.

“‘I couldn’t do what I do on the race track without these men and women making the sacrifices that they do for me,'” the president quoted Keselowski as saying.

The president began the speech acknowledging that the nation is focused on the tragedy at the Boston Marathon yesterday, but he stated the need to celebrate the efforts of “this great American sport.”

Obama cited the importance of the roles family, friends and a strong team can play in NASCAR, but also in life.

“That’s really what life is all about — our family, our friends, our co-workers, everybody that makes us who we are,” Obama said. “The people that are there through triumph and also through tragedy and hardship, the people who cheer us on when we succeed and pick us up when we fall, that’s who we remember, that’s what matters, in life as well as in sports.”

Keselowski’s car and Sprint Cup Series trophy were on display at the ceremony. The president thanked Keslowski for his efforts with wounded soldiers and also expressed a desire to take the car for a drive around the South Lawn, but said the Secret Service “once again said no.”

The ceremony was held Tuesday in continuation of the president’s tradition of honoring athletes and sports teams for their efforts both on the field and in their community.

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