Reports surfaced in May that Roush Fenway Racing had offered Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski a driver-owner role for the 2022 season and beyond. More than one month later, the move is reportedly a “done deal.”
According to Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal, Roush Fenway Racing has told its business partners that “it has a done deal” with Keselowski for the 2022 season. However, the NASCAR team is reportedly holding off on making a public announcement about the move “in deference to Team Penske.”
Keselowski is currently driving the No. 2 Team Penske Ford Mustang while finishing out a one-year extension he signed in 2020. He was set to become a free agent at the end of the year and had the opportunity to test the field. However, Stern’s report makes it more and more likely that Keselowski will simply move to another Mustang.
Roger Penske Previously Avoided Definitive Statements About 2022
When the original reports surfaced about the Roush Fenway deal, automotive writers responded by reaching out to Keselowski’s current boss. Roger Penske met with media members prior to the Detroit Grand Prix and faced questions about the rumored departure. However, Penske responded with a simple statement about Keselowski.
“We have a contract with, the rest of the season. Anything he’s going to do or we’re going to do, we’ll make announcements properly at the right time,” Penske said during his media session, per AP Sports’ Jenna Fryer.
Penske also avoided providing definitive answers about Xfinity Series driver Austin Cindric and Wood Brothers Racing’s Matt DiBenedetto, both of whom face uncertain futures. Cindric will move to the Cup Series in 2022, but he does not know which stock car he will drive. DiBenedetto, on the other hand, was set to lose his spot in the No. 21 Ford Mustang prior to Keselowski’s reported move to a new team.
“For me to discuss drivers, what is it, June or July? The season isn’t even over yet. We haven’t made any permanent decisions on drivers, there’s a lot of moving parts,” Penske added during the June 11 presser, per Fryer.
Keselowski Will Pursue Another Championship Before Departing
If the industry sources are accurate, Keselowski will make a major career change at the end of the 2021 season. However, he will first focus on adding to his career resume. He has a spot locked up in the playoffs, which will provide another opportunity to pursue a second championship with his current team.
The driver of the No. 2 joined Team Penske in 2010 after a part-time season with Hendrick Motorsports. He has spent his entire full-time career with the organization, resulting in a championship season in 2012 and a second-place finish in 2020.
Keselowski has 34 Cup Series wins with Team Penske, including the 2021 Geico 500. He delivered a wild victory at Talladega Superspeedway and punched his ticket to the next stage of the competition. Now he will pursue another title while facing off with a stacked field of drivers. Defeating the Hendrick Motorsports drivers will not be a simple task, but Keselowski has the veteran experience to aid him in these efforts.
Whether he achieved this goal, Keselowski will reportedly leave Team Penske as one of the organization’s most successful drivers. He will then attempt to find a similar level with a new team while taking on a larger role. Though the official announcement likely will not take place until closer to championship weekend in November.
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