For the last 11-plus years, Brad Keselowski has raced for Team Penske, recorded 34 wins, and won the 2012 NASCAR Cup Series championship. However, according to a new report, that relationship is over and the 37-year-old driver is headed to Roush Fenway Racing for the 2022 season, where he’ll operate as a driver and co-owner with the organization.
Brad Keselowski rumored to leave Team Penske
While Brad Keselowski has had a lackluster season — by his own standards — with just one win to his credit, he made headlines back in May when news first leaked out that the 2012 Cup champion would accept an offer from Roush Fenway Racing to become a part-owner and driver for the team in 2022.
On the surface, the move appeared odd, considering Penske is a top-tier organization, and Roush has consistently struggled to make the playoff field. However, a deeper dive reveals the move isn’t so peculiar after all, with the Next Gen car in 2022 essentially leveling the playing field and all teams using the same equipment.
Although Keselowski denied rumors of any move, team owner Roger Penske made a telling comment when The Athletic’s Jeff Gluck asked him before the Indianapolis 500 who would drive the No. 2 car next season.
“We really haven’t made a decision at this point,” Penske said. “We’ve got a contract with Brad through the end of the year and we’ll make a decision when that’s over.”
Keselowski move to Roush Fenway a ‘done deal’
Despite Penske’s revealing remark, the team and Keselowski have remained understandably mum on the matter. However, that is not the case for Roush Fenway, according to Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal.
Stern posted on Twitter Friday afternoon that Keselowski’s future team isn’t going public with the news, but privately, is telling partners that the winner of 35 Cup Series races will be running with Roush Fenway next season.
“@RoushFenway has told partners that it has a done deal with @Keselowski to become driver and co-owner starting in 2022, per sources, though it has held off on announcing in deference to @Team_Penske,” Stern tweeted.
Joey Logano not surprised about possible move
The move by Keselowski brings an end to his time with Penske and a successful working relationship with teammate Joey Logano. The two drivers combined to win 51 Cup Series races with Penske since Logano came on board in 2013.
Despite that success together, there have been more than a few issues, including the season opener this year at the Daytona 500 when the teammates tangled on the last lap and crashed, which allowed Michael McDowell to sneak through for his first-ever Cup Series win. Eventually, the pair moved past their differences.
After the race at Circuit of the Americas, a candid Logano admitted he wasn’t surprised by the news about his teammate.
“When you look at what happened last year and the one-year term, you could kind of see the writing on the wall for the most part,” Logano told reporters. “Definitely an interesting period for us at Team Penske and for Brad and his life.”
With Keselowski out, the question now is who replaces him at Team Penske. And to think this is the first of many dominoes to tumble and just one of many big moves likely to come this silly season.