“This Was Brewing Early in the Year” – Roger Penske on Negotiations with Brad Keselowski

Published 07/26/2021, 8:49 AM EDT
Mar 7, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski (2) during the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


Earlier, it was officially confirmed that Brad Keselowski was leaving Team Penske. Instead, he will join Roush Fenway Racing as the owner and driver. In light of this, Roger Penske spoke about the Keselowski situation and how it came about. According to him, the whole scenario started all the way back in early 2021.

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He said, “We were talking with Brad [Keselowski] during COVID and it was at the end of 2020. We wanted him to do a multiple-year contract with us. His interest has been, to be quite honest, we talked about being interested in the team. He wanted to have ownership and we turned out structured, the way we are today. We talk back and forth and that gave him a chance to see what the field is about. Quite honestly, this was brewing early in the year.”

Penske admitted that he and the team tried to manage the saga as much as they could. However, it soon came to a point where it became obvious that a move was on the cards.

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What else did he say about Brad Keselowski?

Owing to this, he and Team Penske had to take a call. It then fell on them to break the news to Austin Cindric that his original plan had changed. Had Keselowski not left, Cindric was destined for the #21 Wood Brothers Racing car for 2022. Now, Cindric will be driving Keselowski’s incumbent #2 seat.

Apr 25, 2021; Talladega, Alabama, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski (2) celebrates after winning the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile for Matt DiBenedetto, he was told that he had one more year to prove himself. Penske also noted that he and the outfit wanted to focus on younger drivers. In essence, this move seems like a changing of the guard within the organisation. One thing is for sure, he hopes that Brad Keselowski does well in his new venture. However, from 2022 onwards, they will be rivals in the Cup Series championship.

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Dhruv George

12112 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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