The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season is nearly complete, and Brad Keselowski remains focused on winning a second championship for Team Penske. However, he is also engaging in talks with partners that will join him at Roush Fenway Racing in 2022, including those that are “new to the sport.”
The driver of the No. 2 Ford Mustang met with media members ahead of the trip to Las Vegas for the first Round of 12 playoff race. He explained that there are conversations taking place that will set the No. 6 team up for the 2022 season. However, he will not reveal the identities of the companies until the 2021 campaign comes to an end.
“We’re having amazing conversations. The market is incredibly strong — in kind of the decision phase on some really great partners that are new to the sport, so I am thrilled with where we’re at,” Keselowski said, per “Jayski.” “I don’t have anything to announce today, obviously. I think I would look for us to make one consolidated announcement with respect to our sponsors and our brand initiatives and team lineup all at one time after the season is over, so I’m really excited about it.
“I think conceptually there’s been a lot of energy around the sport on the partner side and we’re riding a wave of momentum. I’m sorry I can’t give any specifics, but as a general topic, things are looking pretty good. I wouldn’t say we have everything done yet by any means today, but a lot of good movement.”
Roush Fenway Racing Has 1 Sponsor in Place
Prior to Keselowski’s update about the sponsor discussions, RFR provided one key piece of information. The team revealed a new partner that will join during the 2021 season and then build upon the relationship in 2022 and 2023.
RFR issued a press release on Sept. 21 and announced that Violet Defense will become a partner of both the No. 17 and No. 6 teams. The germ-killing company with patented UV technology will first join Chris Buescher at Las Vegas and Talladega Superspeedway before joining forces with Ryan Newman at Texas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway.
Once Keselowski takes over the No. 6 Ford Mustang, Violet Defense will join him in 2022 and 2023. The press release did not reveal the number of races on the schedule, only saying that the sponsor would work with Keselowski for “multiple races.”
Questions Remain About Roush Fenway
When RFR’s owner Jack Roush, team president Steve Newmark, Fenway Sports Group’s Ed Weiss, and Keselowski met with media members on July 20, they provided several key updates about the NASCAR Cup Series team. The group confirmed that Keselowski will take over the No. 6 Ford Mustang for Ryan Newman and that he will hold a leadership role.
However, the group did not provide updates about a long-rumored name change. “Motorsport.com” writer Jim Utter reported on May 18 that the team would switch to RFK (Roush-Fenway-Keselowski) Racing, but the ownership group did not address this report during the initial press conference.
Instead of discussing the potential name change, RFR issued a press release and confirmed that more announcements would take place at a later date. The team specifically mentioned that they would provide updates about the driver lineup, assets, and partner opportunities.
The mention of a driver lineup update is intriguing. Buescher was set to become a free agent at the end of the 2021 season after spending two years with Roush Fenway Racing. The “Associated Press” reported in May that the team had signed Buescher to a contract extension as part of a deal with sponsor Fastenal, but Spotrac still lists him as a pending free agent. Hopefully, Roush Fenway Racing will provide further clarification about the driver during the massive postseason update.