Races  that Alliance Truck Parts is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2014:
Phoenix - 3/2
Sonoma - 6/22
Daytona - 7/5
Pocono - 8/3
Atlanta - 8/31
Martinsville - 10/26
Races  that Wurth is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2014:
Auto Club Speedway - 3/23
Kansas - 5/10
Bristol - 8/23
Dover - 9/28
Races  that Detroit Genuine Parts is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2014:
Richmond - 4/26
Charlotte - 10/11
Contract Status: Driver: 2017; Sponsor: 2017; Crew Chief 2017; Manufacturer: 2013+
Wurth renews sponsorship with Penske: Team Penske has reached a multi-year extension agreement with the Wurth Group to continue as a key partner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Under the terms of the new agreement, Wurth will be a primary sponsor of the #2 Team Penske Ford Fusion for three 2015 NSCS races and Wurth will once again serve as an associate sponsor for the balance of the season on the #2 Ford. After initially joining forces for the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, Wurth and Team Penske took their partnership to a new level this year with Wurth stepping up as a primary sponsor of the #2 Ford driven by 2012 NSCS champion Brad Keselowski for select races. A leading supplier of high-quality automotive and industrial parts, cabinet supplies and fasteners that includes more than 40,000 customers across the nation, The Wurth Group will continue to support Keselowski and the #2 Team Penske Ford team moving forward.(Team PenskeM)(10-23-2014)
Keselowski wins at Talladega: #2-Brad Keselowski won the GEICO 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway for his 6th win of the season, 3rd at Talladega and his 16th career win.
#20-Kenseth finished 2nd followed by #15-Bowyer, #40-Cassill, #31-Newman, #33-Kvapil, #41-Busch, #9-Ambrose, #4-Harvick and #13-Mears.
The win allows Keselowski to advance to the 3rd round of the Chase.
Polesitter #55-Vickers finished 20th.
#32-Terry Labonte, driving what is expected to be the final race of his career, qualified 9th but had to fall to the back for the start of the race for unapproved adjustments. He was invovled a wreck just past halfway and finished 33rd.
The four drivers eliminated from the Chase after the race were #5-Kahne, #18-Busch, #48-Johnson, and #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
There were 38 lead changes among 19 drivers. There were 6 cautions for 25 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 160.302mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
See UNOFFICIAL drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf).
See the UNOFFICIAL owner points standings on the Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(10-19-2014)
Redd's returns to the #2: This weekend the #2 Team Penske Ford will be back in black' white and red as it features the Redd's Wicked Apple Ale colors and branding. In its two previous outings this season' the Redd's Apple Ale machine has a 1.5-average finishing position with a second-place result at Pocono and a victory at Loudon.(Team Penske), see an image of the car on the #2 team paint schemes page.(10-17-2014)
Tempers flare after race UPDATE: After the race, #2-Brad Keselowski and ninth-place finisher #11-Denny Hamlin traded insults on pit road, as NASCAR officials and their crews kept them apart in the wake of a late race incident between their two cars. Keselowski clipped Hamlin's rear bumper on the cool-down lap, then hit Kenseth's Toyota with his Ford on pit road after the race. After sustaining collateral damage on pit road during the melee, #14-Tony Stewart backed into Keselowski's Ford, crumpling the nose of the car. Keselowski insisted it was Kenseth's car and not his #2 Ford that bumped Stewart's Chevy. "I rubbed into the #20 (Kenseth), and I think he gassed up and ran into Tony, and I don't think Tony knew what was going on," Keselowski said. "He's upset, and he has every right to be. His car was tore up. There was a whole lot of other stuff going on. I'm sure when he sees the whole situation, he'll understand."
Kenseth, whose #20 Toyota had been damaged by contact from Keselowski's car on a restart with 63 laps left, jumped Keselowski as he was walking between haulers in the garage, and the drivers scuffled before being separated. "I had my HANS (head and neck restraint) off and my seat belts off and everything," Kenseth said of the hit from Keselowski on pit road. "He clobbered me at 50 (mph). And the access we have around here... the race is over, trying to come back to pit road... If you want to talk about it as a man, do that, but to try and wreck someone on the race track, come down pit road with other cars and people standing around with seat belts off and drive in the side of me-it's inexcusable. There is no excuse for that. He's a champion. He's supposed to know better than that."
Hamlin also had some harsh words for the 2012 champion. "There's a corner there, so you have to back off, and he just plowed into us," Hamlin said. "He's just out of control. He's desperate, obviously, and it's either four or five of us are wrong or he's wrong, because he's pissed off everyone. Just disappointing -- but we're trying to get in this deal. We're sitting in a decent spot, but we've lost six spots or so with the last restart when he ran into us and knocked us up the track. That was unfortunate. Matt (Kenseth) was nearly out of his car and he just plowed into Matt and then ran into Tony (Stewart) and then went in through the garage and cleared out transmissions and did burnouts in the garage."(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-12-2014)
UPDATE #2-Brad Keselowski met with NASCAR after a cooling-off period. #20-Matt Kenseth crew chief Jason Ratcliff went voluntarily to talk to NASCAR, and Kenseth crew member Jesse Sanders was summoned by officials. It's not clear if Keselowski - or Hamlin or Kenseth - will be punished by NASCAR on Tuesday, the day penalties are traditionally issued. NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said the sanctioning body will review the final on-track laps, and everything that occurred on pit road and in the garage. NASCAR in May fined Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears for fighting in the garage after a race at Richmond. Harvick was fined in 2011 for a pit-road confrontation with Kyle Busch in which NASCAR cited safety concerns of Busch using his car to push Harvick's car away. The next year, Kurt Busch was fined $50,000 for dangerous driving on pit road when he hit Ryan Newman's car during a confrontation. But in the case of Saturday, with so much focus on the new Chase and the attention for the post-race skirmishes, it's not clear if NASCAR will punish those involved or pat them on the back. Harvick said there was no way NASCAR takes any action. "They love it. They were fighting afterwards, that's what it's all about," Harvick said.(Associated Press)(10-13-2014)
Detroit Genuine Parts returns to the #2: This weekend the #2 Team Penske Ford Fusion will feature blue Detroit Genuine Parts colors. This marks the second race that the #2 Ford Fusion is appearing in the livery this season (Richmond). A key Alliance Truck Parts partner, Detroit Genuine Parts is a premiere brand in the transportation aftermarket that supplies remanufactured parts to commercial on- and off-highway customers around the world. After a tough result at Kansas last weekend, Keselowski is now ranked 10th in the Chase standings. This marks just the third time through 30 races this season that he has been that low in the standings. Keselowski was ranked 11th for races 10 and 11 (Talladega and Kansas). He had not been outside the top-five since the first Pocono race and had held the No. 1 spot for the four weeks heading into Kansas. Keselowski enters the Bank of America 500 race as the defending race winner after he notched his lone victory of 2013 during the annual Charlotte fall classic, leading just 11 laps en route to the win.(Team Penske), see an image of the car on the #2 team paint schemes page.(10-8-2014)
Keselowski wins at Chicago: #2-Brad Keselowski won the MyAFibStory.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway for his 5th win of the season, 2nd at Chicago and 15th career win. He took the lead with 16 laps to go when he passed #4-Harvick and #42-Larson who had been battling the lead. His win automatically moves him into the second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
#24-Gordon finished 2nd followed by #42-Larson, #22-Logano, #4-Harvick, #11-Hamlin, polesitter #18-Busch, #41-Busch, #1-McMurray, and #20 Kenseth.
8 Chase drivers finished in the top 10 and 12 of them in the top 15. The worst finish by a Chase driver was #43-Almirola. He finished 40th after losing an engine while running in 6th place with 36 laps to go.
There were 18 lead changes among 7 drivers. There were 6 cautions for 28 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 142.330mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
See UNOFFICIAL drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf).
See the UNOFFICIAL owner points standings on the Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(9-14-2014)
Brad Keselowski wins at Richmond: #2-Brad Keselowski won the Federated Auto Parts 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 4th win of the season, 1st at Richmond and 14th career win. The win is Roger Penske's 400th races win in major motorsports (NASCAR, Indy, etc)
#24-Gordon finished 2nd followed by #15-Bowyer, #1-McMurray, #4-Harvick, #22-Logano, #41-Busch, #48-Johnson, #31-Newman and #43-Almirola.
Pole winner #2-Keselowski led 383 of 400 laps, winning his 4th race of the season.
Points leader #24-Gordon (3 wins) finished 2nd, increasing the points lead to 31 #88-Earnhardt Jr. who finished 12th.
#2-Keselowski takes the Chase Grid lead with 4 wins over #24-Gordon, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #48-Johnson and #22-Logano, all with 3 wins.
#31-Newman (+36pts) and #16-Biffle (+7) were the final two drivers to get in the Chase over #15-Bowyer (-7_ and #42-Larson (-16).
There were only 4 lead changes among 2 drivers. There were 4 cautions for 27 yellow flag laps, none for accidents or engine failures but one was a competition caution, then two debris cautions and one for a spectator who had climbed to the top of the turn four catchfence.
The average speed was 104.702mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(9-6-2014)
Team Penske and Snap-On Extend Partnership: Team Penske announced that it has extended its long-time partnership with Snap-on Incorporated. The multi-year extension between the two organizations adds to Team Penske's longest active sponsorship as it celebrates a 33-year bond with Snap-on in 2014. "Team Penske has been proud to call Snap-on a trusted partner for over 33 years and we are happy to announce that we will continue to work together for years to come," said Roger Penske. "Our teams know that they are using the very best with Snap-on tools and equipment and we appreciate all that their reliability, quality and partnership has meant to our success together over the years." Under the terms of the renewed relationship, Snap-on will continue to be featured as an associate sponsor of all Team Penske cars competing in NASCAR and INDYCAR. Snap-on will also serve as a primary sponsor of a Team Penske car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with the specific races to be announced at a later time.
"We've enjoyed a tremendous relationship with the Penske organization for more than 30 years, driven and strengthened by our shared beliefs in extraordinary customer service, solving critical problems and a respect for the unique challenges of vehicle performance," said Nick Pinchuk, chairman and CEO of Snap-on Incorporated. "Whether in the pits or in the service bay, we feel like we're a part of their team, and we have benefited from working with them over the years. Our customers and franchisees like knowing that Snap-on is connected with a winning organization and we're pleased to continue our partnership."(Team Penske)(8-28-2014)
Keselwoski 25th driver to win in all three series: with Brad Keselowski's Camping World Truck win at Bristol Motor Speedway on Thursday morning (see details on the race on Jayski's Camping World Truck Series site), he becomes the 25th driver to have at least one win in all three National Series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck). Keselowski has 13 wins in Sprint Cup, 30 wins in Nationwide and one in the Truck Series.
Keselowski becomes just the sixth driver to have a win in each of the series at one track [2 Cup wins at Bristol, 1 in Nationwide and now 1 in Trucks], joining Kyle Busch (10 tracks), Kevin Harvick (5), Mark Martin (4), Carl Edwards (Dover) and Bobby Labonte (Martinsville).
Keselowski also is the fifth driver to score a win in the same season across NASCAR's three national series having won 3 Cup races in 2014, 3 Nationwide races and one Truck Series race.
For the lists and more stats, see my NASCAR Wins in all three National Series page.(8-21-2014)
Wurth returns to sponsor Keselowski: This weekend, the #2 Team Penske Ford of Brad Keselowski will feature the red and white Wurth paint scheme. This marks the third race of the season for the Wurth Ford and its first time racing under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway (Team Penske). Wurth is scheduled to be the sponsor at one more race in 2014, Dover in September. See images car/scheme on the #2 Team Schemes page.(8-21-2014)
Alliance Truck Parts renews with Penske: Team Penske announced that it has extended its partnership with Alliance Truck Parts (ATP), building on the relationship between the two transportation-based organizations that began in 2010. Under the new multi-year agreement, Alliance Truck Parts will continue to be a primary sponsor of the #2 Team Penske Ford Fusion driven by 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski. The 2015 season will mark the second consecutive year that ATP, an industry-leading provider of heavy duty truck parts for the commercial transportation industry, will be featured in the Sprint Cup Series. Enhancing its allegiance with Team Penske, Alliance Truck Parts will proudly race with its distinctive bright yellow colors adorning the No. #2 Ford driven by Keselowski during eight races as the primary sponsor throughout the agreement and as an associate sponsor for the balance of the NSCS schedule. Alliance Truck Parts made its debut with Team Penske at the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The partnership expanded in the 2011 Nationwide Series when Alliance Truck Parts was a partial season primary sponsor and the following two seasons the bond with ATP grew to include a full-season Nationwide Series primary sponsorship with Team Penske. Alliance Truck Parts made its debut in the Sprint Cup Series this year and 2015 will mark its second consecutive year as an NSCS sponsor with Team Penske.(Team Penske)(8-15-2014)
Penske close to Australian Super-V8 deal? Ambrose part of deal? UPDATE: Dick Johnson is closing on a deal with Roger Penske. The Johnson-Penske deal could be finalized before the end of the month and could even include the signing of Marcos Ambrose as lead driver for the 2015 V8 Supercar season. Ambrose, a two-time champion in Falcons with Stone Brothers Racing, is strongly rumored to have plans to return to Australia with his family after battling to make the top grade in NASCAR racing in America despite several big road-course wins. No one on either side of the Pacific is giving any confirmation yet but there are strong pointers to a Penske-Johnson super team as Penske expands his giant motoring empire into Australia with a string of new-car dealerships and local ownership of the Western Star truck brand. Johnson is not prepared to comment on the Penske negotiations but admitted he would welcome a buy-in. Penske's interest in V8 Supercar racing became public at the Bathurst 1000 last year when his motorsport boss, Tim Cindric, visited the race and spent time with Johnson. The trip included senior Ford Motorsport figures and Penske has also flown to Australia, with a recent rumored sighting at the Dick Johnson Racing race base at Yatala on the Gold Coast. "There is nothing to report at the present time," a DJR spokesman said.(Courier-Mail:)(7-24-2014)
UPDATE: Marcos Ambrose on Friday declined to discuss a report that he's considering returning to Australia to run the V8 Supercar Series for Roger Penske. "If I had something to say, I'd already say it," an irritated Ambrose said. "You'll have to ask him," Petty said of Ambrose's return to the #9 Ford. "It's probably up to him as much as anything. He's been good for Richard Petty Motorsports, we admire what he's been doing for us. It's going to be basically a decision of what does he want to do? Does he want to run all the races, just part of the races, does he want to go home? That's going to be up to him."(Associated Press)(7-26-2014)
Earnhardt Jr. and Keselowski clinch Chase spot: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #2-Brad Keselowski have clinched a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, assuming they attempt to qualify for the remaining seven races in the regular season. Both Earnhardt and Keselowski have fulfilled two of the three requirements to guarantee their spot in the Chase - multiple wins and locking in to the top 30 in points. With Keselowski's third win of the season this past weekend he could be seeded first in the Chase - each win is worth three Chase bonus points. A number of other drivers can join Earnhardt and Keselowski as Chase clinchers. #24-Jeff Gordon has already clinched a top 30 spot, but with a single win has yet to clinch the "wins" portion of the criteria. A win at Indy would clinch him a spot. To clinch a top 30 spot, the clinching driver must be 289 points ahead of 31st place after Indianapolis.(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-15-2014)
Drivers on guest on TV shows (Tonight & Tuesday): Current and former NASCAR drivers make guest appearances on popular BBC America, USA Network and TBS television shows this week.
Jamie McMurray, Rusty Wallace and Junior Johnson are scheduled to appear on Idris Elba: King of Speed on BBC America, July 14th at 10:00pm/et. NASCAR drivers help actor Idris Elba uncover the world of NASCAR racing in an episode of the BBC America original docu-series, Idris Elba: King of Speed. Carl Edwards is scheduled to make a cameo appearance on USA Network's Royal Pains, Tuesday, July 15 at 9:00pm/et. In the episode the character Divya (Reshma Shetty) treats a NASCAR crew chief (guest star Michael O'Keefe) who suffers from anxiety. Edwards gives the crew chief's daughter Ashley (guest-star Spencer Grammer), who is an up-and-coming race car driver, tips about excelling on the track.
Brad Keselowski makes second guest appearance on TBS' Sullivan & Son, July 15th at 10:00pm/et. In the new episode entitled "Luck of The Half-Irish," Keselowski plays himself and finally breaks his losing streak. Keselowski credits his big win to visiting his favorite bar, Sullivan & Son, and the establishment declares the bar stool he sat on before the race "lucky." Keselowski first appeared on Sullivan & Son last season. He played himself and got into a fender bender with character Ok Cha (Jodi Long) when attempting to parallel park.(7-14-2014)
Keselowski on TBS Show - Tuesday: On Tuesday, following the NHMS race, Keselowski will appear on the TBS sit-com Sullivan & Son. This will be the second year in a row that he has appeared on the popular show. The episode will air Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 10:00pm/et on TBS.
Keselowski hoping to keep up 'double' performance UPDATE: To date this season #2-Brad Keselowski has raced five double duty weekends (competing in both NSCS and NASCAR Nationwide Series races). In those five Cup Series races he has produced two victories (Las Vegas and Kentucky) and two third-place finishes (Daytona and Phoenix). He has not finished outside of the top three in any of the five Nationwide Series races.(Team Penske)(7-10-2014)
UPDATE: Keselowski won both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races at New Hampshire Motorsports, the first to sweep the Cup and Nationwide races.(7-14-2014)
Keselowski wins at New Hampshire: #2-Brad Keselowski won the Camping World RV Sales 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in a green-white-checkered finish. It is his 13th career win, first at New Hampshire and 3rd of the season. Keselowski led the most laps at 138. The win is the 4th in a row for Ford, the first time since 2001 that Ford has won 4 races in a row. The last time Ford won five races in a row was in 1998.
#18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #42-Larson(best rookie), #20-Kenseth, #31-Newman, #15-Bowyer, #14-Stewart, #11-Hamlin, #17-Stenhouse Jr and #88-Earnhardt Jr.
Pole winner #18-Busch led 62 laps and finished 2nd (the third NHMS race in a row Busch finished 2nd).
A few Chase contenders had bad days with #48-Johnson losing a tire on lap lap 11 and wrecking, finishing 42nd. #22-Logano led 72 laps, but tangled with #33-Shepherd on lap 211 and crashed, finishing 40th. #24-Gordon ran out of fuel during the 7th caution while running 2nd and finished 26th. #4-Harvick ran out of fuel on the final restart, finishing 30th.
#24-Gordon (1 win) keeps the points lead after finishing 26th and loses some of his points lead, down to 12 points over #88-Earnhardt Jr..
#2-Keselowski now leads the Chase Grid with 3 wins and 3rd in points. #48-Johnson drops to 2nd in the grid with 3 wins, 5th in points.
There were 18 lead changes among 9 drivers. There were 7 cautions for 35 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 108.741mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial New Hampshire Race Results page (pdf) and check out the New Hampshire Penalty Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official New Hampshire Race & Points Report (pdf).(7-13-2014)
Sprint Cup teams form Race Team Alliance UPDATE: A group of nine multi-car teams participating in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) announced today they have formed a collaborative business association called the Race Team Alliance (RTA). The purpose of the organization is to create an open forum for the teams to explore areas of common interest and to work collaboratively on initiatives to help preserve, promote, and grow the sport of stock car racing. The organization intends to open up its membership to all full time NSCS teams in the very near future. In providing a vehicle for the teams to work together, the organization creates for the first time a single entity to engage with stakeholders on creative ways to market and experience the power of the sport's teams and drivers. As part of its focus, the RTA also plans to explore innovative ways to harness the combined purchasing power and scale of the teams' operations to drive efficiencies in costs. Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has been elected the first chair of the RTA.
"With the encouragement of NASCAR and the manufacturers, the teams have met in various forms and forums over the years to explore areas of common interest. This simply formalizes what was an informal group." said Kauffman. "The key word is 'Collaboration'. We all have vested interests in the success and popularity of stock car racing. By working together and speaking with a single voice, it should be a simpler and smoother process to work with current and potential groups involved with the sport. Whether it be looking for industry-wide travel partners or collaborating on technical issues - the idea is to work together to increase revenue, spend more efficiently, and deliver more value to our partners."
The following teams are the executive members of the RTA: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Hendrick Motor Sports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motor Sports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske.(RTA)(7-7-2014)
UPDATE: Statement from NASCAR: "We are aware of the alliance concept the team owners have announced, but have very few specifics on its structure or purpose. It is apparently still in development and we're still learning about the details so it would be inappropriate to comment right now. NASCAR's mission, as it has always been, is to create a fair playing field where anyone can come and compete. Our job is to support and strengthen all of the teams, large and small, across all of our series and we'll continue to do that. NASCAR is a unique community with hundreds of stakeholders. They all have a voice and always will."(NASCAR)(7-7-2014)
Keselowski cuts hand in victory lane UPDATES: #2-Brad Keselowski cut his hand while in victory lane at Kentucky and had to go to the infield care center for treatment on his right hand:
WHAT HAPPENED IN VICTORY LANE? "We were playing around with some champagne bottles and as I told my good friend, 'We should have stuck with beer.' We were having too much fun with champagne and one of the bottles broke and I cut my hand open. It's no big deal."
HOW MANY STITCHES? "Four, but it's all fixed now, so we're good."
EVERYTHING IS AN ADVENTURE WITH YOU. "Yeah, welcome to the party. It's all good. I'm just glad we won. It's a lot better story when you win and get hurt."(Ford Racing)(6-29-2014)
UPDATE: What comes next are the questions about what Keselowski will still be able to do with his stitched and bandaged hand, appropriately adorned with his most recent "Winner" sticker, considering two of the things he's most known for heavily involve his digital extremities: driving and tweeting. No stranger to injury, Keselowski once tweeted a gruesome image of a broken ankle sustained during a test session at Road Atlanta in 2011. He said he's trying to rely less on his phone lately and didn't get a chance to tweet a picture of his most recent injury because he didn't have it on him in Victory Lane, but also -- and more importantly -- the laceration won't be an issue when the series heads to Daytona International Speedway next week for the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola. "Do I anticipate (any problems holding the steering wheel)? No, last time I had stitches, it was just seven days or so and we're going to Daytona, which is probably the easiest track you could ask for. I didn't break any bones or any of that stuff. I just put a big gash, so I don't think it'll be an issue."(NASCAR.com)(6-30-2014)
UPDATE 2: After injuring his right hand on a broken champagne bottle in last week's victory celebration, Keselowski will be re-examined in Daytona to determine if the stitches he received at Kentucky can be removed. The injury has not slowed him down as Keselowski did participate in testing this week.(Team Penske)(7-2-2014)
UPDATE 3: Keselowski tweeted Friday afternoon that his stitches have been removed.(7-4-2014)
Perfect driver rating for Keselowski at Kentucky: NASCAR Number: 150.0: That's a perfect driver rating, which #2-Brad Keselowski scored last Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway. It's only the 14th perfect driver rating scored in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since the inception of loop data in 2005.(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-1-2014)
Keselowski wins at Kentucky: #2-Brad Keselowski won the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway for his 2nd win of 2014, his 2nd win at Kentucky, and his 12th career win. Keselowski started from the pole and dominated most of the race, leading 199 of the 267 laps.
#18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #31-Newman, #20-Kenseth, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #24-Gordon, #4-Harvick, #5-Kahne, #22-Logano, and #48-Johnson.
#24-Gordon (1 win) keeps the points lead after finishing 6th and extends his points lead over to 24 points over #48-Johnson & #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
#48-Johnson leads the Chase Grid with three wins, 2nd in points. #88-Earnhardt Jr. is second with 2 wins, 3rd in points then #2-Keselowski 2 & 3rd, #99-Edwards 2 & 6th; #22-Logano 2 & 7th and #4-Harvick 2 and 9th.
There were 12 lead changes among 3 drivers. There were 6 cautions for 34 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 139.723mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Kentucky Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Kentucky Penalty Report (pdf).(6-28-2014)
Alliance Truck Parts to sponsor #2 at Sonoma: The #2 Team Penske Ford of Brad Keselowski will feature the bright yellow paint scheme of Alliance Truck Parts this weekend at Sonoma. In its first season as a sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Alliance Truck Parts will compete in the second of eight scheduled races as a primary sponsor this weekend (Team Penske), see images of the scheme on the #2 Team Schemes page.(6-20-2014)
Keselowski says US not producing quality race engineers: #2-Brad Keselowski says when it comes to race engineers, he wants to work with the best in the business, if not the world. And, according to Keselowski, that means looking outside the United States. That's what Team Penske is doing, anyway, and the team currently lists three vehicle dynamic engineers on staff from Canada. "It's probably a larger story in itself that the American engineering pool is very shallow right now," said Keselowski after he qualified sixth at Michigan International Speedway on Friday for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. "Penske is moving to any other country [to find them]. We've hired multiple engineers from Europe over the last three or four years and we're pilfering everyone we can in the great country of Canada, so if you know any of them, send them our way. It's just very hard to get engineers with the educational background and commitment that we need to be successful at this level from the United States. There's certainly a shortage, not just at Penske, but throughout the garage."(AutoWeek)(6-14-2014)
SKF extends with Team Penske: Team Penske announced that SKF has agreed to a multi-year extension with the team that will expand SKF's technical alliance and continue its associate sponsorship of the team's entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) and Verizon IndyCar Series. A Team Penske sponsor since the beginning of the 2012 season, SKF will continue to be a featured partner on the #2 Miller Lite Ford and the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford in the Sprint Cup Series, the #22 Discount Tire Ford in the Nationwide Series and the #3 Hitachi Chevrolet in the Verizon IndyCar Series. SKF will also serve as a primary sponsor [on the #12 Fored] for both drivers Juan Pablo Montoya at Michigan in June and Ryan Blaney at Talladega in October in the Sprint Cup Series in 2014 [was the sponsor for Blaney's Cup debut at Kansas in May]. In addition, SKF will expand its technical support to the team as it provides both product and advanced engineering consulting and services. As speeds and downforce levels have continued to rise in racing so have the demands on critical components. Through the relationship with SKF, Team Penske has been able to push the limits of vital driveline components to reduce friction without sacrificing durability.
"SKF has proven to be an important partner of our organization since they first came on board in 2012," said Roger Penske. "That was evident during our Sprint Cup Series championship run in 2012 and again during our transition to Ford Racing in 2013. We were able to maintain the high level of performance that we expect and a big part of that is because of companies like SKF and what they bring to the table. With the improvement in our qualifying performances this season, it only increases the value of our partnership with SKF and expanding our development projects means even more opportunities down the road for Team Penske."
SKF has also been able to establish meaningful relationships with other Team Penske partners that have opened the lines of communication towards generating significant business-to-business opportunities. "The focus on technology, teamwork and business excellence principles is fully aligned between our groups. We share a culture of winning which is why our partnership works so well together, both on the track and in our business-to-business relationships," said SKF Group CEO, Tom Johnstone. "Our expanded Penske technical partnership is part of a greater commitment to providing more in-depth, localized technical support and development to our North American partners."
SKF and Team Penske have over 25 different application and development projects, drawing from all five of SKF's technology competence areas: bearings, seals, lubrication, mechatronics and services.(Team Penske)(6-11-2014)
Penske denies interest in Edwards: Team Penske owner Roger Penske was adamant that he has "no interest" in Carl Edwards. Penske, who is at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for the NASCAR / IndyCar double-header told Catchfence.com that Team Penske is currently not in a position to field a third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in 2015, despite the chatter. "There's no interest," he said. "We don't have the sponsorship to do a third full-time team and he's under contract with Roush Fenway Racing. It doesn't make sense."(Catchfence), see past news/rumors about Edwards on the #99 Team News and Links page.(6-8-2014)
Redd's scheme for Keselowski at Pocono: This weekend at Pocono the #2 Team Penske Ford Fusion will feature the red color scheme of Redd's Apple Ale. The unique red machine will make its second consecutive start at Pocono after it ran at the second race at the venue last season (Team Penske), see an image of the scheme on the #2 Team Schemes page.(6-4-2014)
Changes to Keselowski's pit crew: After major changes to the #2 Team Penske pit crew in the off-season, the squad was tweaked again before this weekend's race at Dover International Speedway. The result? Brad Keselowski finished second, his fifth top-five finish of the season and his first since Richmond five races ago. Hunter Masling replaced Nick Krizmanich as the front tire changer this weekend. Krizmanich joined the squad at the start of the year along with rear tire changer Travis Johnson and rear tire carrier Tyler Mitchell. Masling also changes tires for Team Penske's #22 Discount Tire Mustang in the Nationwide Series. "Yeah, we're just not where we want to be," said Keselowski, who started from the pole for the Fed Ex 400 Sunday. "We haven't been where we want to be for probably the last year and a half, and it's keeping us from winning races. "You know, I think that's the bottom line. We're making adjustments and we're going to continue to make adjustments until we get it right. I feel really good about the last one we made, and the guy who stepped in did an excellent job in his position, but we still weren't where we needed to be in others. We have to keep working."(Motorsport)(6-2-2014)
Miller Lite Stars & Stripes scheme: The #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion of Brad Keselowski will be decked out in patriotic splendor this weekend in recognition of Miller Time in America and the NASCAR "An American Salute" platform beginning with Memorial Day Weekend's Coca-Cola 600.(Team Penske), see an image on the #2 Team Schemes page.(5-21-2014)
Keselowski comments on Talladega wrecks: #2-Keselowski, six laps down on lap 136, was in the middle of a big pack when the car appeared to get loose and spun in front of #21-Trevor Bayne, which started a wreck that involved over a dozen cars. Keselowski commented on the wreck and and incident on lap 145 with #10-Patrick:
Q) WHAT HAPPENED?
Keselowski: "I just spun out in front of the whole field. I don't know why, if I just busted my butt on my own or lost a tire, but I feel bad for everyone that got torn up. We had a really fast Team Penske Ford, but I just feel bad for the whole Miller Lite team."
Q) WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST INCIDENT? Keselowski: "We took the lead there and made a really aggressive move to take the lead and then it all just kind of bottlenecked from there. I don't know if I cut somebody off or got ran over, but just enough to get spun out and tear the car up."
Q) WHAT HAPPENED?
Keselowski: "We were just racing really hard towards the front half of the field. I was trying to get my lap back and those guys are trying to lead laps. There's obviously a long way to go and I just had to get to the front and try to stay up there to try and get my lap back. I was racing really hard for that, but for some reason the car took off on me and I spun out. I don't know why, but I feel bad that we tore up a bunch of cars."
Q) WHAT HAPPENED WITH DANICA?
Keselowski: "I'm not really sure what happened. I made an aggressive move to take the lead and the next thing I knew I was spinning, so I'm not really sure. Obviously, there was some kind of contact but I don't know what happened."
Q) A BYPRODUCT OF TALLADEGA?
Keselowski: "Every wreck is a byproduct of Talladega. That's just the track we're on, but racing hard - everybody wants to lead laps, everybody wants to run up front and certainly I wanted to get my laps back and have a shot to win at the end and the only way I was gonna do that was by being really aggressive at the front half of the field."
STILL 41 CARS ON THE LEAD LAP.
Keselowski: "Yeah, and that's even more the reason why I had to race hard to get my lap back because I was at the back half of that."
Q) HOW AGGRESSIVE WAS THIS RACE BY COMPARISON TO THE LAST COUPLE YEARS?
Keselowski: "The cars are handling a lot worse than I thought they would and I think everybody is kind of fighting that. Everybody still has the same level of aggression as when the cars handled a little better and sometimes we learn the hard way."
Q) THERE'S A FINE LINE BETWEEN FRUSTRATION AND SUCCESS.
Keselowski: "Yeah, we had a lot of close calls and I guess most of them were my fault, but I'm just being real aggressive. That's what it's gonna take to win here and whoever wins here will be really aggressive, too."
Q) WAS IT A CASE WHERE DANICA DIDN'T GIVE YOU ENOUGH ROOM?
Keselowski: "I don't know. I'd have to go back and look at it."
Q) WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND AT THE END? IS THERE A FEELING SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN?
Keselowski: "You assume something is gonna happen, but you don't know. That's why I had to race so hard. I was one or two debris yellows from being back in the race and I wasn't gonna give up."(Ford Racing)(5-5-2014)
Montoya expected to drive third Penske car in some races UPDATE: Team Penske is expected to announce on Wednesday that Juan Pablo Montoya will return to Sprint Cup competition in the Brickyard 400 on July 27. However, Montoya's NASCAR homecoming could come sooner than that. Don't be surprised if Montoya runs a third Penske Racing car (likely the #12 Ford) at Sonoma Raceway on June 22. Montoya's first career Cup win was earned at the track in 2007. He could also compete at Watkins Glen on August 10, the site of his second Cup win in 2010. Both dates are open on the IndyCar calendar. Sources say Montoya tested a Team Penske NASCAR Ford last week at Nashville Speedway. Veteran Greg Erwin, who was retained after serving as Sam Hornish's crew chief last year, would likely fill that role with the third Cup car.(Motorsport)(4-29-2014)
UPDATE: Team Penske announced that Juan Pablo Montoya will make two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts for the team in 2014. Montoya will pilot the #12 SKF Ford Fusion at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) on June 15 and he will also compete for Team Penske in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) on July 27. The #12 car sponsor for the Brickyard 400 will be announced at a later date. NASCAR veteran Greg Erwin will work with Montoya as crew chief of the #12 Ford entry.
"Juan is a proven winner in multiple racing disciplines and he is one of the most versatile racecar drivers competing today," said Roger Penske. "Michigan and Indianapolis are two important races for Team Penske. We know Juan has the ability to race for wins in both of those events while still focusing on his full-time program in the Verizon IndyCar Series."
A former full-time NASCAR competitor from 2007-2013, Montoya has recorded two wins, 24 top-five finishes and nine pole awards in his Cup Series career. He owns career-best finishes of sixth at MIS and a top result of second at IMS. Montoya will join the winning Team Penske duo of #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano, both of whom have already visited Victory Lane in 2014.
"It has been a good start to the season with Team Penske in the Verizon IndyCar Series and it will be fun to get back behind the wheel of the Cup car," said Montoya. "It's hard to believe, but Roger Penske has never won the Brickyard 400. I think that Brad, Joey and I will give Roger and Team Penske a great opportunity to check that off the list and we should be strong at Michigan as well."
Since joining Team Penske in 2012, an SKF-sponsored entry has made three NASCAR Cup Series starts. SKF earned its first NASCAR victory with Team Penske and Keselowski in the Nationwide Series last season. In addition to the race at MIS with Montoya, the #12 SKF Ford will also compete at Kansas on May 10 and at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19 with Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney.
"Our partnership with Team Penske continues to grow year after year, and adding another dynamic driver like Juan Pablo Montoya to the SKF Racing team is exciting for both our employees and customers worldwide," said Poul Jeppesen, President and CEO, SKF USA Inc. "Like Team Penske, SKF is committed to the sport of auto racing and the Detroit area, and we look forward to cheering Montoya to Victory Lane at Michigan in June."(Team Penske)(4-30-2014)
New sponsor for Keseloswki? UPDATE at Richmond: an image of the #2 Team Penske Ford has been found on https://twitter.com/keselowski that show Brad Keselowski will drive a light blue car sponsored by Detroit Genuine Parts in a future race. A few readers also saw the same car in the Team Penske shop and sent images. See images of the scheme on the #2 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2014)
UPDATE: Keselowski #2 Ford sponsor is listed on the Richmond Entry list as Detroit Genuine Parts.(4-22-2014)
UPDATE 2: This weekend's race marks the debut of the #2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford Fusion. Driven by Brad Keselowski, the car features a distinctive blue-grey color that will stand out under the lights at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night. A key Alliance Truck Parts partner, Detroit Genuine Parts is a premiere brand in the transportation aftermarket that supplies remanufactured parts to commercial on- and off-highway customers around the world.(Team Penske).
Detroit Genuine Parts is also scheduled to be the primary sponsor in the October race at Charlotte.(4-23-2014)
Keselowski recalls how Rick Hendrick left him heartbroken: In a just-released video interview, #2-Brad Keselowski [2012 Sprint Cup Champion] - looking perhaps as somber as we've ever seen him, at times seemingly ready to break into tears - discusses how heartbroken, if not potentially betrayed he felt in 2009 when team owner Rick Hendrick picked Mark Martin to drive the #5 Chevrolet instead of giving Keselowski the opportunity, even though Bad Brad insists Hendrick had previously promised him that ride in 2010. Appearing on the syndicated "In Depth With Graham Bensinger," Keselowski also talks prominently about how Roger Penske approached him back in 2008, inquiring if the young talent would be interested in joining Team Penske. See full article at NBC Sports, with a link to the video interview there)(4-20-2014)
Keselowski part of "Watch Dogs": #2-Brad Keselowski's secret life will be exposed - at least as a character in the new video game, "Watch Dogs." The 2012 Sprint Cup champion has partnered with game-maker Ubisoft for "Watch Dogs," which will be released next month. Keselowski is described in the game as one of many people in the virtual city of Chicago that players can interact with. It promises that players will find what "secrets lurk deep within a NASCAR champ's history." The description says players can use main character Aiden Pearce's ability to hack into Keselowski's profile to unlock what is there.(Associated Press)(4-13-2014)
Penske joins Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame: Roger Penske couldn't be in Fort Worth to accept credit for his induction to the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. Instead, he sent word that his place belongs to the employees of Team Penske, the racing operation that has won 23 national championships. "I know what Roger would say," said right-hand man Walt Czarneck, executive vice president of Penske Corporation. "He'd say, 'I'm the face of our company, but it's really the people of our organization who deserve this. They're the ones who have the desire, who have the commitment, who are proud of the organization. That's why we've been able to achieve what we have.' " Penske became the 16th member of the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame and the third car owner inducted in the past five years, joining fellow NASCAR owners Jack Roush (2012) and Joe Gibbs (2009). Also honored Thursday night was Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was presented the Major Gen. Thomas Sadler Award for humanitarianism. His appearance in Roanoke last fall helped raise more than $30,000 for Speedway Children's Charities, the charity arm of Texas Motor Speedway. Others receiving awards were Kyle Busch, who was named the TMS racer of the year; three-time Indianapolis 500 champ Dario Franchitti, who received the O. Bruton Smith Legend Award to recognize a career cut short by injury; and James Buescher, who earned the Sportsmanship Award for his work in recovery efforts in Moore, Okla.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(4-4-2014)
Penske says team still interested in expansion into V8 Supercars, Ambrose?: Roger Penske has reiterated his interest in a future V8 Supercars involvement, and says that sports cars could also be on his team's horizon. Penske has been linked to a possible V8 team since late last year, when both he and Team Penske president Tim Cindric made a number of trips to Australia to meet with V8 Supercars officials and representatives of teams including Dick Johnson Racing and Ford Performance Racing. The team is already heavily invested in stock cars (NASCAR) and IndyCar, and Penske said that he has very clear ideas about what forms any future expansion would take. "I think that if we did anything [new] at some point, we'd like to get into the sports car side," he said. "Once we understand the rules that would be something we'd like to do. But with supporting Brad [Keselowski] on the Truck side, with Nationwide, and with IndyCar, I think we're full. We're potentially looking at Australia. As soon as you talk to them that's the first thing they want to know: 'Are you interested in V8 Supercars?' So that might be something we do at some point." While it has been reported that a Penske V8 entry could be up and running as early as next year, Penske stopped short of nominating a timeframe. "We're just looking at it," he said. "Tim went to a couple of races, and I've talked to people. It's early." Penske said that one of his current concerns were the changes taking place in the Australian automotive landscape, where all three of the major manufacturers that currently build cars there have announced plans to close or reduce their operations. Those closures, coupled with the Australian market's growing preference for smaller-engined vehicles, could have future ramifications for the V8 Supercars series. Penske is hoping that it could also create an opportunity that he can capitalize upon. "The issue that you have is that the manufacturers are pulling out of manufacturing in Australia - Holden is coming out, Ford is coming out, Toyota is coming out," Penske said. "And now, V8s aren't what people are buying - people are buying turbocharged, direct-injected 1.8 liters or 2.0 liters. And you've got Mercedes in [V8 Supercars] now, Volvo is in, Nissan is in, so it's starting to open up. So it will be interesting to see whether there is an opportunity for us with some manufacturer." Marcos Ambrose, who won two V8 titles with Stone Brothers Racing before switching to NASCAR, has been linked to Penske's V8 plans.(Racer)(4-4-2014)
Penske to join Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame: No owner in the history of open-wheel racing has displayed such dominance over the sport than Roger Penske. Penske, the owner of Team Penske, has established himself as one of the premier owners in all of motorsports and his proficiency for finding Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway has earned him another accolade as he will become the 16th member inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. Penske will be honored Thursday, April 3, at the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala benefiting Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter held in The Speedway Club's Grand Ballroom at Texas Motor Speedway during the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR weekend. His induction is all part of an evening that recognizes some of the most outstanding individuals in motorsports. Along with Penske, other honorees include four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti; 2014 Daytona 500 champion and NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.; defending Duck Commander 500 and O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 winner Kyle Busch; and 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher from Plano, Texas. A winner of a combined 12 races at Texas Motor Speedway as a team owner - including a record seven in the Verizon IndyCar Series - Penske remains the only owner with victories in both NASCAR and INDYCAR at "The Great American Speedway!" His success at Texas Motor Speedway is all part of his illustrious 48-year career as team owner of Team Penske that has produced 23 motorsports national championships, including 12 in Indy-car racing.(TMS)(2-25-2014)
Some teams having tire problems: A Goodyear official said there were 10 incidents with tires during practice at Auto Club Speedway the past two days as some Sprint Cup teams struggled to adapt setups. With new suspension rules leading to increased speeds and downforce, tires were facing more stress than ever on a 2-mile oval whose abrasive surface already causes as much wear as any track in NASCAR's premier series. "I think everyone is trying to be aggressive and get as much grip as possible," Goodyear's director of race tire sales Greg Stucker said after the final session Saturday afternoon for the Auto Club 400. "A couple of guys had more problems than others."
Team Penske was most affected with five tire problems between the Fords of #22-Joey Logano and #2-Brad Keselowski. Logano will start from the rear of Sunday's race in a backup car after hitting the wall, as will Furniture Row's Martin Truex Jr., who suffered a left-rear flat in his # 78 Chevrolet when entering turn 1.
Stucker said teams' problems predominantly stemmed from left-rear tires that were run under the minimum recommended air pressure of 20 pounds. Teams push the limits on air pressure for better handling and speed, and Stucker said there were other teams that were below the minimum pressure that didn't have problems. Stucker said the same tire was used the past two seasons at Fontana, and Goodyear believed it was structurally sound for use after teams adjusted to this season's changes to the Gen 6 car. "It's not just air pressure, it's what else is under the car, and that's what everyone is trying to get a handle on," Stucker said. "Let's face it: We have a different race car than last year. I'm confident everyone will adjust."(USA Today)(3-23-2014)
Wurth debuts on #2 at Auto Club: The #2 Wurth Ford Fusion will make its competition debut this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Wurth is entering its third year as a partner with Team Penske. The leading supplier of top-quality automotive chemicals, fasteners, hand tools and electrical supplies will be a primary sponsor at a total of four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events this season. (Team Penske), see an image of the car on the #2 team paint schemes page.(3-20-2014)
Keselowski wins at Las Vegas: #22-Brad Keselowski won the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2014, his 1st at Las Vegas and his 11th career win.
#88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was leading on the final lap, but ran out of gas on the backstretch to finish 2nd. He now has a win and two 2nd place finishes in the first 3 races of the season. They were followed by #27-Menard, polesitter #22-Logano, #99-Edwards, #48-Johnson, #31-Newman, #5-Kahne, #24-Gordon, and #20-Kenseth.
After running near the front through much of the race, Phoenix race winner #4-Harvick lost a front left hub and finished 41st.
The top rookie of the race was #3-Dillon, who finished 16th.
#88-Earnhardt, Jr. continues to hold the points lead, 1 point ahead of #2-Keselowski.
There were 20 lead changes among 10 drivers and there were 4 cautions for 18 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 15.633mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Las Vegas Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Las Vegas Penalty Report (pdf).(3-9-2014)
See UNOFFICIAL drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf).
See the UNOFFICIAL owner points standings on the Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(3-9-2014)
Keselowski's crew chief to miss Phoenix UPDATE: One day after helping his driver, #2-Brad Keselowski, earn the pole for Sunday's The Profit on CNBC 500 with a record-setting performance, crew chief Paul Wolfe will not be atop Keselowski's pit box for the race itself. Wolfe flew back on Keselowski's jet to his North Carolina home early Saturday to be with wife Aleia for the birth of the couple's first child. Keselowski tweeted Saturday morning, "Gonna miss having my crew chief Paul Wolfe this Sunday. Best wishes to him and his wife Aleah on the pending birth of their first child." It's expected that Brian Wilson, team engineer for Keselowski's #2 Ford Fusion, will split crew chief duties with Greg Erwin in Sunday's race.(NBC Sports)(3-1-2014)
UPDATE: Congrats to Paul and Aleia Wolfe on the birth of Caden Paul Wolfe, 7 pounds, 10 ounces. Caden was born early Sunday morning.(3-2-2014)
Keselowski partners with Paralyzed Veterans of America for National Program: Paralyzed Veterans of America announced that Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion and 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, will be partnering with Paralyzed Veterans to help raise awareness about the organization's vehicle donation program - Wheels Helping Warriors. Keselowski will serve as an honorary spokesperson and be featured in two public service announcements about the program. Keselowski has long supported veterans through the work of his Checkered Flag Foundation, whose mission is to support veterans and those who have served and sacrificed. Officially launched in November 2013, Wheels Helping Warriors marks Paralyzed Veterans' first nationwide vehicle donation program. Paralyzed Veterans has partnered with the Donation Division of Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. (IAA), the leading live and live-online salvage auto auction company, to help with the donation process. IAA's Donation Division provides nonprofit organizations with complete donation processing services - a key differentiator in the marketplace that creates a simplified approach for participants. IAA assists with title issues, vehicle pickup, auction services and receipts all donors following the auction. Wheels Helping Warriors accepts all types of vehicles for donation including motorcycles, motorhomes, cars, trucks, boats, etc. - regardless of the condition. To learn more about the program or to donate a vehicle, please visit www.wheelshelpingwarriors.org or call 855-744-0782.(Team Penske)(3-2-2014)
Alliance Truck Parts debuts as Keselowski's sponsor: Team Penske will debut another new look for the #2 Ford Fusion this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway as Alliance Truck Parts will make its inaugural run as a Sprint Cup Series primary sponsor in Sunday's race.(Team Penske), see an image of the car on the #2 team paint schemes page.(2-27-2014)
Brad Keselowski surprises Veterans with Phoenix race tickets: 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion #2-Brad Keselowski visited military veterans at the Phoenix VA Health Care System on Monday [Feb 3rd] and surprised several vets with tickets to the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 2. Keselowski joined a group of veterans at the facility for lunch and visited with several others as he toured the hospital. The 29-year-old thanked each of the veterans for their service, and as a token of gratitude, offered them complimentary race tickets on behalf of his charitable foundation. Founded in 2010, Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit which supports those who have sacrificed greatly, including military personnel, veterans, first-responders and their families. Keselowski also tested out a driving simulator which is used in the rehabilitation process for veterans who suffered severe injuries. The simulator allows a driver to control the gas and brake pedals through hand controls; and it recreates the feeling of driving a car, from the sights and sounds of the highway to the feeling of hitting bumps in the road.(PIR)(2-10-2014)
#2 crew chief Wolfe extends contract: Paul Wolfe signed a four-year contract extension with Penske Racing earlier this month. The crew chief, who has honed his skills in that role since 2006, joined forces with #2-Brad Keselowski in 2010. Together, the pair won the Nationwide Series title that season and went on to win the first Sprint Cup championship for Roger Penske in 2012. "I'm excited -- and committed," said Wolfe during the Sprint Media Tour on Wednesday. Penske Racing signed Wolfe's deal to run concurrent with Keselowski, who re-signed in October.(FoxSports)(1-30-2014)
Changes to Keselowski's team brings hope: Brad Keselowski hopes a change in the culture of his pit crew will help propel his #2 Team Penske Ford back into championship contention. After winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in 2012, Keselowski missed the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup last year, for a variety of reasons. But the most readily identifiable weakness of the #2 team showed up during pit stops. During the offseason, Team Penske took measures to correct the deficiency. Keselowski's Ford will have two new tire changers and a new tire carrier this year. In addition, owner Roger Penske has hired former University at Buffalo wrestling coach Jim Beichner to oversee the training and conditioning of the pit crews.(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-30-2014)
Wurth to sponsor Keselowski: Wurth will serve as a primary sponsor of the #2 Team Penske Ford Fusion for four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2014. Team Penske announced that the #2 Wurth Ford, with former series champion Brad Keselowski behind the wheel, will make its debut on March 23 at the Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana, Calif. Wurth will also be an associate sponsor on the #2 Team Penske Ford for the balance of the 2014 season. The Wurth Group first partnered with Team Penske in 2012 and the leading automotive, industrial and woodworking supply company has served as a primary sponsor for the team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and an associate partner on the #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion over the last two seasons.(Team Penske)(1-22-2014)
Alliance Truck Parts to sponsor Keselowski: Team Penske announced that Alliance Truck Parts will join the #2 Ford Fusion team for the 2014 Sprint Cup Series. After successfully partnering with Team Penske in the Nationwide Series for the last several seasons, Alliance Truck Parts will transition to become a primary sponsor for the #2 Ford Fusion, driven by 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski. The distinctive bright yellow Alliance Truck Parts colors will adorn the Team Penske Ford for eight races in 2014 beginning with the race at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2. An industry-leading provider of heavy duty truck parts for the commercial transportation industry, Alliance Truck Parts will also be a prominent associate sponsor on the #2 Ford throughout the 2014 season.(Team Penske), see an image of the car on the #2 team paint schemes page.(1-21-2014)
Keselowski Gets Wallace Back In The #2 For Test: NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, turned laps in his old ride, the #2 Ford for most of the day at Daytona Testing Friday. Wallace and Brad Keselowski talked about putting the legend back on the track.
RUSTY WALLACE, NASCAR Hall of Fame Driver - "I gotta tell you. I just want to thank everyone back at the shop that made this happen. Everyone in the Penske organization, Tim Cindric, Roger Penske. I really wanted to get back into the car and get a good feel of this Gen-6 car here at Daytona. Not only did they let me run a couple of times, but they let me run most of the day today and the car is fantastic. It is real smooth and nice and the crew was so kind. I hope I helped them out some. I gave them a lot of feedback. This guy here next to me has been really good to me all week long and I really appreciate it."
BRAD KESELOWSKI, #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion -- WHAT KIND OF FEEDBACK AND WHAT DID IT MEAN TO YOU TO SEE ALL THE SMILES ON EVERYBODY'S FACES. EVEN DOUG YATES CAME OVER TO TAKE SOME PICTURES. "It is really cool to me. Rusty is probably the reason why Miller Lite and Penske stayed together and got to the point where I have this opportunity. I like to think that I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for guys like Rusty and what he has done for the 2 team. It is our way of showing respect back. That is so important. There are a lot of people that make this program possible and Rusty is certainly one that was a large part of it. We want to show respect back to them and we wanted to do that today with Rusty and it was my pleasure."
ANY CHANCE YOU MIGHT HAVE RUSTY GO TEST SOME MORE FOR YOU? "That is up to him. He did a great job today. If Rusty wants to drive my car he can drive it any time. Just don't take my paycheck."
RUSTY WALLACE CONTINUED - I THINK THAT SOUNDS LIKE AN OFFER. "Yeah, we need to go to Talladega and Daytona, that is no problem. Trying to hold this Blue Deuce wide open at Charlotte or Vegas might be above my pay grade at the moment. I need more reps to get that courage back up. What a great day this was. I had so much fun. It capped off a really good week and now it is go home, reload and head to Barrett Jackson to sell that beautiful car out there. Today was a special day for me. I broke a sweat, figured out how to lose a little weight. I figured it out, you just sit in that hot car. We got a pretty good lap out of the Miller Lite car today, I am proud of that."(Ford Racing)(1-12-2014)
Penske Racing changes to Team Penske: Beginning in 2014, all Penske Racing teams will compete under the "Team Penske" brand. This includes all teams racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, as well as the IndyCar Series. You will notice that the Team's website - TeamPenske.com - and all of its social media and online properties now reflect this transition.(Team Penske)(1-10-2014)
Rusty Wallace to drive #2 'Retro' Ford in Daytona test: Team Penske and Miller Lite announced that Rusty Wallace, NASCAR Hall of Famer and the 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, will drive the #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion this Thursday, January 9 during a NASCAR test at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). The occasion coincides with the 25th anniversary of Wallace's 1989 championship and the approaching 40th anniversary of the original Miller Lite beer. The Hall of Fame driver and current ESPN analyst will be wearing a firesuit with the original Miller Lite logo during the test. This retro firesuit will also be worn by Brad Keselowski and the #2 Miller Lite Ford team crew members at the upcoming Daytona 500 as well. The Miller Lite Ford Fusion will also feature a commemorative white Miller Lite paint scheme for the "Great American Race". "I am pretty pumped up about this," said Wallace. "This is a big deal, and I can't wait to get the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford up to speed - especially at Daytona. This will be my first time driving the new Gen-6 car, and I think it will give me a better perspective on how I cover the races for ESPN as an analyst. This is going to be a lot of fun, yet there is also a business component too. I can't thank Miller Lite, ESPN and Team Penske enough for giving me this opportunity. Man, what a fantastic way to start the year." The last time Wallace piloted the storied #2 Penske machine was at the season ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway November 20, 2005. "This is a terrific way to pay homage to the heritage and prestige of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford," said Keselowski. "To have Rusty Wallace, a NASCAR champion and a NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, assist Miller Lite in recognizing the long association they have had with Team Penske and NASCAR is something special. I feel privileged to be a part of it." Miller Lite and Team Penske began their over two decade long relationship with Rusty Wallace driving the storied No. 2 car. During his time behind the wheel of the Miller Lite machine, Wallace earned 39 victories. "Miller Lite is proud of our heritage and partnership with Team Penske," said Ryan Reis, senior director of marketing for Miller Lite. "Having Rusty Wallace on board to celebrate the original light beer and our rich tradition with NASCAR is something our fans are excited about."(Team Penske), see an image of the #2 Miller Lite Retro scheme on my#2 Team Schemes page.(1-8-2014)
New scheme for Keselowski in 2014: supposedly Miller will bring back the retro white Miller Lite can and run a promotion over the winter and as part of that promotion, Brad Keselowski will drive a white #2 Miller Lite Ford sometime in 2014, possibly at the 2014 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona. See images of the scheme on the 2014 #2 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2013)
Penske Racing partners with Jergens Workholding Solutions: Jergens Inc. is proud to announce it has been named the Preferred Workholding Solutions Supplier of Penske Racing. Working together with Penske Manufacturing, Jergens Workholding Solutions is bringing advanced quick-change fixturing to Penske machine shop operations. In the fast-paced world of NASCAR Racing, speed behind the scenes is critical to success on the track. Jergens Quick-Change Fixturing provides Penske Racing the ability to accelerate production and prototyping to improve their "Speed to Track." Penske Racing also named Jergens Tooling Components Division the Preferred Supplier of Kwik-Lok quick release pins, hoist rings and lifting hardware.(Penske / Jergens PR)(11-3-2013)
Keselowski asks NASCAR about 100% effort: Defending Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski asked NASCAR to clarify its definition of "100%" effort at the drivers' meeting prior to Sunday's NASCAR Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Keselowski, who was sent in to the wall by Kyle Busch during Saturday's Nationwide series, wanted to know if intentional wrecking fell under the guidelines established after the controversy at the end of the race at Richmond last month.
The answer is whatever NASCAR decides. "It's still on us to decide whether it's aggressive, hard, NASCAR-type racing," NASCAR president Mike Helton told Keselowski, "and when that racing turns out to be something other than that. That's a subjective call, but NASCAR-style racing is expected to be close, aggressive and hard. "It is possible to cross that line, and if that happens, we will step into it. It's a subjective line for us to decide when it happens, what the difference is between NASCAR-style racing and something that's intentional."(Kansas City Star)(10-7-2013)
Penske renews with Keselowski, Miller Lite UPDATE: It took 22 years for Miller Lite to make it to the top of NASCAR, and Brad Keselowski made it worth the wait when he cheerfully chugged the beer from on oversized glass during a live televised interview while celebrating his first Sprint Cup championship last November. It was an iconic moment in the relationship between Penske Racing and MillerCoors, one that spans more than 30 years and ranks among the longest in sports. Now it's guaranteed to continue at least another four years as Penske on Wednesday revealed multiyear extensions with both Keselowski and Miller Lite through the 2017 season. "This puts us in great shape because we've got continuity with a sponsor and an elite driver," team owner Roger Penske told The Associated Press. It's the second contract extension for the defending Sprint Cup champion in less than two years. Keselowski signed an extension after the 2011 season that ran through next year, and the contract was redone to put the driver and sponsor in concurrent deals.
Miller Lite has been the primary sponsor of Penske's flagship #2 since 1991. MillerCoors first partnered with Penske as a sponsor at race tracks he owned, and was sponsor of Danny Sullivan's 1985 Indianapolis 500 winning car, building a personal relationship with Penske that survived up-and-down seasons in NASCAR. The new MillerCoors contract covers just 24 races on the #2 Ford instead of the full 36-race schedule Miller Lite had always sponsored. But both Penske and England said the 12-race giveback was at Penske's request. The cost of sponsorship fluctuates with the economy, and MillerCoors was one of the few companies still sponsoring a full schedule. Race teams set their own fees for inventory based on supply and demand, and top teams can pull in anywhere from $20 million to almost $30 million in a season. The Penske organization believes it can sell those 12 races elsewhere to generate new revenue.(Associated Press)(10-2-2013)
UPDATE: Penske Racing announced multi-year extensions of its partnerships with driver Brad Keselowski and long-time sponsor MillerCoors, two key elements of the organization's 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. "The extensions of our agreements with both Brad Keselowski and MillerCoors put our team in a real position of strength moving forward," said Roger Penske. "This is an important day as these agreements will allow Penske Racing to invest significantly in our people and our technology, two critical areas to a successful race team." Keselowski, the 2012 NSCS champion, has agreed to an extension that will keep him behind the wheel of the #2 Ford Fusion for many seasons to come. In 2014, Miller Lite will continue to adorn the side of the #2 Ford Fusion for 24 NSCS points-paying races. Miller Lite will maintain a position as a major associate sponsor for the remaining 12 races of the 2014 season. This new agreement extends a partnership between Penske Racing and MillerCoors that spans more than 30 years, one of the longest and strongest sponsor-team relationships in all of sports.(Penske Racing)(10-2-2013)
Ryan Blaney talks about 2014: from a transcript: NASCAR Teleconference with Ryan Blaney:
THE MODERATOR: Welcome to today's press conference with Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Blaney won his first NASCAR Nationwide Series race last weekend at Kentucky Speedway, driving the #22 Discount Tire Ford for Penske Racing. He's the first NASCAR Next graduate to win in two different NASCAR national series.
Q). And then also, there's been a lot of talk about you about next year. There's a lot of rumors that Furniture Row is interested, and Roger Penske said on Sunday that he kind of expects you to be in the Trucks next year and do some Nationwide. I'm curious if you kind of have a feeling of what you're going to do next year, and I guess, if you don't, what would be your preference.
RYAN BLANEY: Well, there has been very, very little talks with other teams, but right now my loyalty is to Penske Racing and finishing out this 2013 season very strong, either in that Nationwide car, if I get another race, or finishing out the Truck season very strong for Brad Keselowski Racing. Just really focused on that right now, and then in the offseason, we'll see what doors open up or if we progress here with Penske like planned. So we'll find out here in the coming months, but right now my loyalty is to Penske and finishing out this 2013 season very strong.
Q). Hey, Ryan, hope you're doing well and congratulations. One quick question. Wanted to know if you'd tested a Cup car yet.
RYAN BLANEY: Yeah. First of all, thank you, and I have. I've done a decent amount of testing with Penske last offseason, I mean, their Cup cars. They had me do a bunch of that stuff, whether it's in a Cup car or a Nationwide car. I have a fair amount of experience in the Gen-6 cars. So, yeah, it's pretty nice that I can go out there and test Penske stuff and kind of get a feel for those.(NASCAR/FastScripts by ASAP Sports)(9-27-2013)
Keselowski car sells for $500,000: As was the case Thursday, charity cars continued to dominate the Friday action at the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Collector-Car Auction. The big seller was a 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Penske Racing No. 2 Dodge Charger driven by Brad Keselowski last year as he drove to his first Cup championship. Donated by team owner Roger Penske, the car sold for $500,000 with all proceeds going to benefit the NASCAR Foundation, which involves itself in a variety of charitable efforts for children in need.(FoxSports)(9-28-2013)
NASCAR to test following Charlotte: NASCAR will have a test the Monday after the Charlotte race to try some things for 2014. Each manufacturer will be represented. Ford will be represented by The Wood Brothers and Penske Racing.(Fire in the Hole)(9-23-2013)
Penske says no deals made at Richmond: Roger Penske was set to surrender his usual spot on the spotter stand for a seat in a suite. It's one concession from the fallout of the Richmond scandal. But Penske, back at a NASCAR track for the first time since the sport's big embarrassment, insisted his team was in the clear and knew nothing about a deal with Front Row Motorsports to get #22-Joey Logano into the Chase. "We didn't do anything, quite obviously," Penske said Sunday at New Hampshire. "When I heard the crew chief on whatever car it was made all this big noise, we didn't have any deal at all. That's how people role play stuff in NASCAR. I think at the end of the day, it worked out for everybody and we're moving on." Penske said he had only watched one race at a NASCAR track from a spot other than the spotter stand. "I'm going to find a nice spot in the suite," he said, "or maybe I'll stay home and watch on TV."
Penske has plenty on his plate besides dealing with NASCAR's penalties and hoping Logano can rebound from his 12th-place spot in the Chase to work his way into contention. His IndyCar Series team signed former Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya to mark an open-wheel return and he's trying to find a Cup ride in 2014 for Sam Hornish Jr. Hornish is closing in on a championship in the Nationwide Series but his status for next season is up in the air. With Logano and defending champion Brad Keselowski locked into the two Penske Cup seats, there's no room at Penske in the top series for Hornish, who has made 93 career Nationwide starts for Penske and has run 130 Cup races for him since 2007. Penske said he's yet to make a decision on Hornish's future. "There have been other teams that have contacted him," he said. "I just told him, `Hey, take a good look and see what's out there.' That's what we're doing right now." Penske ruled out any interest in Martin Truex Jr. or expanding his Cup team or Nationwide teams beyond two cars each.(Associated Press)(9-22-2013)
Forbes 400 Richest includes some NASCAR-affiliated names: The richest person in or around NASCAR? It isn't even close, in the Forbes 400 Richest Americans released Monday.
John Menard, 73, father and primary sponsor of driver Paul Menard, is 57th on the list with a net worth estimated at $7.5 billion.
Next came Tony Stewart's fishing buddy and primary sponsor, John Morris, 65, of Bass Pro Shops, 110th wealthiest at $4 billion.
Then, if you count the NASCAR association loosely, Frederick Smith, 69, chairman of FedEx, Denny Hamlin's primary sponsor, comes in 243rd at $2.3 billion.
Not until James C. "Jim" France, 68, chairman of International Speedway Corp. and vice chairman of NASCAR, does the Forbes list get to an everyday player in the NASCAR realm. The silent, background power of NASCAR, uncle of chairman Brian France, is worth an estimated $2 billion, ranking him 273rd.
John Henry, 64, owner of the Boston Red Sox and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing, is 327th at $1.7 billion.
Only one NASCAR team owner, Roger Penske, made the list, and barely squeaked in at that, in a multiple tie for 386th and last. Penske, 76, is worth an estimated $1.3 billion.
Former 400 club member Bruton Smith, chairman of track conglomerate Speedway Motorsports, didn't make the cut this time.
Drivers react to adding Gordon to Chase: After NASCAR stunned the garage by installing #24-Jeff Gordon as the 13th playoff driver in the Chase for the Sprint Cup - a position which did not exist before Friday - drivers reacted with a mix of shock and confusion. "I'm very happy that Jeff is in the Chase," Hendrick Motorsports teammate #48-Jimmie Johnson said. "But in my opinion, there should be 12 cars. One in, one out should be the deal. It's not."
When NASCAR Chairman Brian France awarded Gordon an extra spot - he said Friday he believed Gordon was the victim of foul play and was at a disadvantage during Saturday night's Chase-setting race at Richmond International Raceway - no one was quite sure how to take it. Except #56-Martin Truex Jr.
"I'm not even sure what to say at this point," he said. "I'm kind of at a loss for words. They kick me out to make a spot for somebody and then they don't do the same for the other guys. It's just unfair and (there's) nothing I can do about it."
Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammate #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. seemed confused. "I was probably just as surprised as anybody that anything happened, because we're so far into the week," Earnhardt Jr. said. "It's just really extraordinary and unprecedented. I don't know what's fair anymore, you know what I mean?" he said.
Johnson wondered why the penalties to MWR were "far different" than the probation given to Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing for what he believed were similar actions. "Through all of this, we're all just looking for consistency," he said.
Defending Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski said the decision "hasn't sunk in yet," but added he was "not shocked." "I don't know if that's good or bad that I'm not shocked," he said. "But at some point, you expect the unexpected."(USA Today)(9-14-2013)
Keselowski picks Logano to win Championship: from a Wild Card Contenders Press Conference at Richmond on Thursday nights, on of the interviews was with defending NASCAR champion #2-Brad Keselowski, one comment was about teammate #22-Joey Logano:
Q) What have you learned about Joey Logano over the last two-thirds of the season?
BRAD KESELOWSKI: I've been impressed watching him build confidence. I don't know if that's really a learning question, but that's what I've seen in him. I've definitely seen him build a lot of confidence and help lead his group to be in a pretty strong position. Quite honestly, as it stands right now with how he's ran over the last I think six weeks, he would be my favorite to win the championship. He's definitely got the momentum. His team has got things going for them in so many different directions. There's a lot of confidence that comes with that. He's been catching the breaks, too. That stuff seems to be a little perpetual. When it's good for you it's perpetual, when it's bad for you it's perpetual.(NASCAR Transcript)(9-6-2013)
150 starts for Keselowski: This weekend, #2-Brad Keselowski will make the 150th NSCS start of his young, championship career. So far the Rochester Hills, MI native has recorded nine wins, 31 top-five finishes and 54 top-10 results since making his debut at Texas Motor Speedway in November of 2008.(Penske Racing)(9-1-2013)
Country singer Luke Bryan featured on the #2: The Academy of Country Music "Entertainer of the Year," Luke Bryan, will be a guest of the #2 Miller Lite Ford team this weekend at Michigan International Speedway as he prepares to debut his new CD, Crash My Party. Bryan's likeness will be featured on the hood of Brad Keselowski's Ford this weekend. In addition, Bryan will take control of the @MillerLite Twitter handle for live tweets during Sunday's Pure Michigan 400. There will be a lot of star power at Comerica Park on Friday night when the American League Central Division-leading Detroit Tigers host the second-place Kansas City Royals. Keselowski, the first Michigan-born Cup Series champion, will present the game ball at home plate prior to the start of the 7:05 pm/et contest (Penske Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #2 Team Schemes page.(8-14-2013)
Redd's back on the #2; Keselowski doing double duty: This weekend, the #2 Ford will branch out with a different paint scheme. REDD'S Apple Ale, a new product from MillerCoors, will adorn Keselowski's ride for this weekend's race at Pocono Raceway. For just the eighth time this season, Brad Keselowski will pull double duty by running in both the NSCS race and the Nationwide Series race on the same weekend. However, this is the first - and only - weekend where he will run non-companion races as the NNS will compete at Iowa Speedway on Saturday night.(Penske Racing), see an image of the car on the #2 team paint schemes page.(8-1-2013)
Brad Keselowski Stars in new ESPN "This is SportsCenter" Commercial: To celebrate the return of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing to ESPN with this Sunday's Brickyard 400, ESPN introduced "Windows," the latest addition to the iconic "This is SportsCenter" franchise, starring NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski and Western Kentucky University mascot Big Red. In the 30-second spot, the burly Hilltopper is spotted in the parking lot of ESPN's Bristol, Conn. headquarters, relentlessly trying to get a ride home in Keslowski's race car instead of anchor Kevin Negandhi's minivan. Big Red finds the traditional way NASCAR drivers enter their cars to be a bit of a challenge. For Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford for Penske Racing, being in a "This is SportsCenter" spot is a checkmark on a bucket list. "I've been a fan of 'This is SportsCenter' commercials since I was a kid, never thinking that I would be able to do my own one day," he said. "Every athlete wants their own SportsCenter commercial. It gives you a sense that you have finally arrived because they are a big deal. I love the one about whether Brett Favre is coming back or not. It has the UMass Minuteman putting two lanterns in the window to mean he is coming back, playing off the Paul Revere story. The bar has been set high so there is a little pressure when doing one," he said. "This spot is really funny and something that I am very proud of. I hope fans of our sport, along with sports fans in general, will get a kick out of it." Wieden + Kennedy New York is the creative agency for the commercial along with the This is SportsCenter campaign, launched in 1995.(ESPN)(7-27-2013)
Keselowski Nominated For Two ESPY Awards by ESPN UPDATE: Penske Racing driver Brad Keselowski continues to be recognized for his remarkable run to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) championship. On Thursday, ESPN announced that Keselowski has been nominated for two awards during this year's ESPY Awards Presentation that will be held on Wednesday, July 17 at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles. After a five-win season in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge that concluded with the first NSCS championship for Penske Racing, it comes as no surprise that Keselowski received a nomination for Best Driver. In an impressive, late-season push over the last 20 weeks of the 2012 NSCS season, Keselowski scored 17 top-10 finishes - including three wins - to secure the title. Over the 20-year history of the ESPY's Best Driver category, 14 of the 20 winners have come from NASCAR competition. Following a toe-to-toe battle with five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson for the title, Keselowski and the #2 Miller Lite team will also be in the running for the Best Championship Performance award. With the two nominations, Keselowski could become the first Penske Racing driver to win an ESPY. "When you think of the ESPYs, you think of the 'Who's Who' in the world of sports," said Keselowski. "Just to receive a nomination along with some of the biggest athletes in the world is one of the biggest honors I have received. If we are able to take home just one of the trophies it would be quite an accomplishment for the team, our sponsors and Penske Racing." The 2013 ESPY Awards will air live on ESPN on Wednesday, July 17 at 9 pm/et. Fans can visit espn.go.com/espys/2013/ to cast their votes. Voting will end at 7 pm/et on July 17.(Penske Racing)
Other drivers up for the Best Driver award: Ryan Hunter-Reay of IndyCar; Tony Kanaan of IndyCar and Sebastian Vettel of Formula One Others nominated for Best Championship Performance: Joe Flacco (Super Bowl MVP), LeBron James (NBA Finals MVP) and Pablo Sandoval (World Series MVP).(6-30-2013)
UPDATE Ryan Hunter-Reay was selected as Best Driver and LeBron James as Best Championship performance.(7-18-2013)
Keselowski and Logano making TV appearances:#2-Brad Keselowski and Penske teammate #22-Joey Logano are set to showcase their acting skills on the small screen. Keselowski will appear in the comedy series "Sullivan & Son" (Thursday, July 18, 10pm/et/pt, TBS) while Logano plays a role in an all-new episode of the hit comedy "Lab Rats" (Monday, July 22, 9pm/et/pt, Disney XD).
On Thursday, July 18, Keselowski joins the cast of "Sullivan & Son," appearing as himself, the defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. In the episode "Rumspringa," Keselowski gets into a minor fender bender with Ok Cha (Jodi Long) when he's unable to successfully parallel park his car. The incident occurs right outside Sullivan & Son (the family bar for which the show is named), so the comical skirmish is briefly brought inside.
Then on Monday, July 22, Logano will be a part of Disney XD's sports-themed "Monday Night Overdrive" when he guest stars on the hit comedy series "Lab Rats." In the episode, which is entitled "The Bionic 500," Logano will appear as himself and do what he does best: drive a race car. When Donald Davenport (Hal Sparks) and his new obnoxious neighbor Pierce agree to settle their differences with a stock car race, Davenport is shocked to learn that Pierce has enlisted Logano to race for him.(NASCAR)(7-17-2013)
Sixteen Cup teams found with modified roof flap spacers UPDATE: Sixteen teams found to have modified roof flap spacers (lighter) during NASCAR inspection. Teams listed: #1-McMurray, #2-Keselowski, #9-Ambrose, #11-Hamlin, #13-Mears, #15-Bowyer, #16-Biffle, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #18-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #21-Bayne, #22-Logano, #43-Almirola, #55-Waltrip, #56-Truex Jr. and #99-Edwards. The modified/confiscated roof-flap spacers are on display at Daytona in the NASCAR hauler. NASCAR's Kerry Tharp addressed media on confiscated roof-flap spacers - "Spacers not in compliance with those kits." The roof-flap kits are supplied to teams for #NASCAR by one company (a Roush company) and are not to be changed.(SPEED's, Dustin Long Fox/NASCAR on Twitter)
AND Thirty-one cars, including 16 in the Sprint Cup Series, failed inspection before Thursday's practices at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR confiscated the teams' roof flaps, which are designed to keep cars on the ground during spins and wrecks at high speeds, for further inspection. Penalties could be possible. The roof-flap spacers had been illegally machined down to reduce weight. NASCAR inspectors made those Cup teams install new, unaltered roof flaps before drivers were allowed on the track for the first of two practices. Inspectors then went to the Nationwide garage and found similar issues on 15 cars. "When you find something in one garage, you communicate to the other garage," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "We looked into it and this is what we found."(Associated Press)(7-4-2013)
UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup teams expect widespread penalties after 16 cars were found with illegal roof-flap spacers at Daytona Thursday, but they don't know how severe those penalties might be. The teams caught scrambled Thursday to make compliant spacers, which are used to attach the hinge of the roof flaps. Teams and manufacturers get roof flaps from Roush Composites and, according to the NASCAR rulebook, "the hinged air deflectors must be installed as specified in the instruction sheet supplied with the hinged air deflector kit." But it was apparent that many teams had lightened the spacers or changed them. It wasn't clear what tipped off NASCAR inspectors to the violations, but after a sweep of the Sprint Cup garage Thursday, NASCAR went through the Nationwide garage and took pieces from 15 Nationwide teams Thursday night. A non-compliant part might just be a monetary penalty but because it dealt with a safety piece - the roof flaps pop up during a spin to try to keep the car on the ground - a points penalty is definitely possible, as well as crew suspensions. NASCAR traditionally issues penalties the Tuesday after a race weekend. NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said the widespread use of the illegal spacers most likely indicates that those pieces had gotten through inspection previously. "It's probably not something that was on a normal inspection routine," Pemberton said. "The teams are told that they must assemble all that stuff using all the parts that's in the kit. Once in a while you'll find things like that and it's probably something that teams have probably done a little bit in the past." Whether the number of teams involved will impact the penalties and whether crew chiefs who are on probation will face more severe penalties will be determined Monday and Tuesday, Pemberton said. Because teams didn't have extra kits at Daytona, NASCAR allowed the teams to make spacers that were compliant.(Sporting News)(7-5-2013)
Keselowski in rare territory for defending NASCAR champ: #2-Brad Keselowski's 21st-place showing at Sonoma marked the seventh time in the past eight races that he has failed to crack the top 10. This comes after a blistering start to the season in which he had four top-5 finishes and seven top 10s in his first eight starts. Since then, he's dropped from third to ninth in the point standings and is only 10 points away from falling out of the top 10 entirely. In fact, the standings are so crowded that Keselowski is a mere 29 points ahead of 17th place #78-Kurt Busch. He's also only one early crash or mechanical failure away from dipping into territory rarely seen by a defending Cup champion.
Over the past 40 years, since NASCAR consolidated its schedule, no defending Cup champion has finished worse than 12th in the standings (not including 1992 champ Alan Kulwicki, who died in a plane crash in April of 1993). In fact, only five drivers have finished worse than seventh. The average finishing position for the defending champion over the past four decades has been fourth place.(Sports Illustrated)(6-26-2013)
Jack Roush reveals Ford Racing alliance with Penske Racing: Jack Roush had been around long enough to know that something had to change for his Roush Fenway Racing program to be successful. Roush explained how the team had doubled its engineering efforts. After the race, Roush elaborated more on what had transpired to make the Ford Fusion Gen 6 car more competitive. "We had a summit meeting with the Penske guys last week, and talked about some of the strategies,'' Roush said of the launch of two Ford Racing teams working together. "We have had one cooperative wind tunnel test. We just scratched the surface. It will be great to have someone to share information with.'' Penske Racing, with drivers #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano, switched over to Fords this season. Roush identified aerodynamics and front suspensions as the areas the Ford Fusion needs to make up ground. "We have to find that last tweak in the front suspension or aerodynamics,'' Roush said. "When we started on Gen 6 (car development), it was a jump ball, and the car changed during its development to have more downforce than was anticipated to start with. We are on the path, and we have nice, light cars that I'm not the least bit unhappy about.''(Michigan Live)(6-17-2013)
Carlisle extends with Penske Racing: Penske Racing announced Friday that it has extended its partnership with Carlisle Companies Incorporated through the 2016 season. In addition to Carlisle's continued support of the #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion driven by 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, the new agreement will also include associate branding for the company on a Team Penske IZOD IndyCar Series car beginning in 2014. Carlisle Companies joined the #2 Miller Lite Ford team prior to the 2011 NASCAR season - the same year that Keselowski began competing in the iconic race car.(Penske Racing)(6-16-2013)
Keselowski says rivals stole Ford employees, information: #2-Brad Keselowski met with Ford Motor Co. employees in Dearborn on Thursday and signed autographs and answered questions. The defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion also found time to chat with reporters and take a sharp jab at Chevrolet-backed Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing, which runs Toyotas. Keselowski criticized Hendrick and Gibbs for "stealing away" employees and information from Ford Cup teams, including his own Penske Racing outfit and Roush Fenway Racing. Keselowski didn't mince words about Hendrick and Gibbs' recruitment techniques when he was asked by the media about the recent efforts of Ford teams like Penske and Roush coming together and sharing information. "There are little things you can do," Keselowski said of Ford-backed teams opening up lines of communication in an effort to improve performances on the track. "What keeps it from going too far is the fact that Hendrick and Gibbs have this nasty little habit of going to other teams and outbidding other people and taking those employees and stealing our information, and, when that happens, that puts walls up between the camps because you are giving up more than one piece of information - you are giving up two companies' information and trying to protect yourself against that, it forces you to put up walls.It doesn't necessarily lend itself to working together. But still, we are going to put in a valiant effort where we can and where it makes sense to put Ford in a position to have the best results possible."Keselowski cited two incidents where he claimed Hendrick and Gibbs - who between them run the likes of series points leader and five-time Cup champ Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. - lured away Ford team employees with big offers."Gibbs stole the Roush aero director and took all the information," said Keselowski. "And Hendricks took three employees from our Chase-winning team last year."(USA Today)(6-14-2013)
GIBBS STATEMENT: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) released the following statement from Owner Joe Gibbs in response to the recent comments made by driver Brad Keselowski: "We were surprised to read the recent comments and accusations made by Brad Keselowski. Clearly those comments are misguided and irresponsible. Brad's candor is well documented, but he would do well to only speak to subjects on which he is properly informed. Obviously NASCAR is a very competitive environment and we take our hiring processes seriously at JGR. The individual he referenced in his comments was working outside of the sport of NASCAR at the time we hired him. We have a great deal of respect for Roger Penske and his organization and I feel like I have always had a good personal relationship with Roger. We look forward to competing with Brad on the racetrack, but hope that he will use better judgment in the future before making such misinformed claims and accusations."(JGR)
HENDRICK STATEMENT: HMS owner Rick Hendrick also took offense to what Keselowski said. "The comments Brad reportedly made were misinformed,'' Hendrick said. "The truth is that we hired one tire changer, who was a backup for Penske and whose contract was up. We also brought over one mechanic from their Nationwide program and, when the Penske engine shop was closing, added a few of those people. What Brad left out was that his organization also hired one of our tire changers. All of this was above board and is part of doing business in a competitive environment. I take no issue with any of it, and I expect Roger [Penske] would say the same. Brad misrepresents the facts and spends a lot of time making insinuations and accusations about other teams when he should be focused on his own program and competing at a high level. I hope he figures that out and begins representing himself and the sport with more class."(ESPN)(6-15-2013)
A blue bridge honors Keselowski: The Mackinac Bridge in northern Michigan was lit in blue on May 29th as part of a celebration of #2-Brad Keselowski's 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Cup title. It will remain lit through the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. The bridge is the third-longest in the world in total suspension.(Penske Racing)(6-14-2013)
Two drivers to run the 'triple' at Kentucky: Kentucky Speedway's only two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race winners, #18-Kyle Busch (2011) and #2-Brad Keselowski (2012), will race head-to-head three times during the track's June 27-29 tripleheader weekend as they compete for the checkered flags in the NSCS Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts, NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Feed The Children 300 and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) UNOH 225. Both drivers will race a full Kentucky NASCAR tripleheader for the second time in their career. Busch completed the feat in 2011 and Keselowski in 2012.
Busch's sterling record at the track features four victories in four different series. He nailed down the track's inaugural NSCS Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts crown along with a NCWTS UNOH 225 victory in 2011. He reeled in a 300-mile NNS victory in 2004 and made his track debut with a 206-mile ARCA Racing Series victory in 2003 as an emerging 18-year-old talent. Overall, the 28-year-old has collected a combined six top-five and nine top-10 finishes while leading 762 of the 2,086 Kentucky Speedway laps he's raced through 11 career starts in four series.
Keselowski, the reigning NSCS champion, will defend his 2012 Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts title. He claimed a 2011 Feed The Children 300 victory and earned his NCWTS track-best second-place finish in last season's UNOH 225.
Race tickets, infield Fan Zone passes, driver introductions and more - season and weekend ticket packages along with campsites can be purchased at kentuckyspeedway.com.(859) 578-2300 and the speedway ticket offices.(Kentucky Speedway)(6-14-2013)
Keselowski to be honored: #2-Brad Keselowski will be honored by the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame during the 40th Anniversary Induction Banquet on June 13 in Troy, MI. The awards will be presented to the recipients at the 40th Anniversary Induction Banquet on June 13 at the American Polish-Cultural Center in Troy, with Detroit Pistons play by play announcer George Blaha serving as Master of Ceremonies.()(6-8-2013)
#2 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team Penalized For Violation: Penalties have been handed down to the #2 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team following last Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway. The #2 car was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B (the car failed to meet the minimum front car heights during post-race inspection) of the 2013 rule book. As a result of this violation, crew chief Paul Wolfe has been fined $25,000 and will remain on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. The team has also been docked six championship driver (Brad Keselowski) and six championship car owner (Roger Penske) points.(NASCAR)(6-4-2013)
Keselowski fails post-race inspection UPDATE2: According to media members at Dover, #2-Keselowski failed post-race inspection because his Ford was too low in the front. The car will be further examined at the NASCAR Research & Development Center. Penalties are typically announced on Tuesdays. Earlier this year #56-Truex, Jr. was penalized 6 points when his car was too low after the Texas race.(6-2-2013)
UPDATE: Brad Keselowski and Penske Racing face potential penalties after the front end of the #2 Ford was found to be too low in inspection following Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. Keselowski finished fifth in the race to move up two spots to eighth in the standings. If penalized, it would be the second time this season. Keselowski was docked 25 points after NASCAR discovered an unapproved rear end housing before the April race at Texas.(ESPN)(6-3-2013)
UPDATE 2: As Penske Racing awaits potential penalties for Brad Keselowski's Ford failing postrace inspection at Dover International Speedway, the team blamed a broken part for the car not meeting minimum height. Team spokesman Jonathan Gibson [said] the part failure caused the front of the car to be too low. In a text message, Roger Penske called the Dover infraction "unfortunate," and said the team wouldn't appeal any possible penalty. #56-Martin Truex Jr.'s Toyota was too low in postrace inspection at Texas, resulting in a six-point deduction, a $25,000 fine and probation for crew chief Chad Johnston. Michael Waltrip Racing didn't appeal the punishment and said the car didn't meet minimum height because of debris in the shock that didn't allow it to rebound.(USA Today)(6-4-2013)
Penske crew chiefs back at the track: After serving their two-race penalties for a rules violation at Texas in April, crew chiefs Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon are back this weekend, ready to help #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano stop backsliding in Sprint Cup points. They originally were suspended six races and fined $200,000 for cheating, but their suspensions were reduced to only Darlington on May 11 and Charlotte last weekend. Wolfe, last year's championship-winning crew chief with Keselowski and the #2 Ford team, said being gone was tougher than he expected. "I'm a hands-on kind of guy and for me to be able to watch the car in practice and see how it runs around other cars is important," he said Friday at Dover. "It's important to see all that and make decisions on what changes to make. Everyone who stepped up and helped out did a great job and did all that we could ask, but obviously, it's just not the same." Wolfe and Gordon were busted by NASCAR for having "unapproved" rear suspension parts on their Ford Fusions. While NASCAR never said the parts were illegal, they said the parts were "unapproved" and thus by unspoken definition, illegal. Wolfe is convinced that other teams were working in the same "unapproved" area, but is reluctant to say he and his Penske Racing teammates were unfairly targeted. "There were probably cars working in that (gray) area," he said. "We feel we got behind on that area last year leading up to the Chase...with other teams working in that area. We didn't want to fall behind this year. But I don't think NASCAR was necessarily picking on us. They just happened to find where we were working and didn't agree with it."(Autoweek)(6-1-2013)
Carlisle Companies to Honor U.S. Marine Corps at Coke 600: Carlisle Companies Incorporated will once again host a group of active duty U.S. Marines and their guests at a NASCAR event at this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Carlisle is a sponsor of Penske Racing and #2-Brad Keselowski. Keselowski is the current Sprint Cup Series champion and he currently sits seventh in the 2013 Sprint Cup Series standings. Carlisle supplies components for the wiring harnesses and clutch friction material for the #2 Ford. The Carlisle logo, which is prominently displayed on Keselowski's car, will be replaced this weekend with the Marine logo to honor Marines worldwide. Carlisle has arranged for the Marines to arrive on Saturday May 25th and spend two nights in the Charlotte area as they enjoy the Memorial Day weekend experience. Race day activities include a private meet and greet with Keselowski, attendance at the drivers' meeting and driver introductions as Carlisle's guests of honor during the weekend.(Penske Racing)(5-25-2013)
Penske engine tuner injured in accident: Virginia State Police have identified the two bicyclists seriously injured in a hit-and-run involving a tractor-trailer Saturday as Jonathan S. Clark [who works as an engine tuner at Penske Racing], 42, of Mooresville, N.C. and Will T. Bagby, 55, of Richmond. The men and two others were riding together on state Route 106 in Charles City County for the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation's eighth Cap2Cap Ride from Richmond to Williamsburg on Saturday morning, a relative of one of the men said. They were headed northbound when the tractor-trailer attempted to pass them, said Sgt. Thomas J. Molnar of the Virginia State Police. After the rig crossed a double solid line into the southbound lane, Molnar said, it swerved back into the north lane to avoid a head-on collision with a Ford pickup truck and hit the bicyclists. The pickup driver ran off the right side of the road to avoid colliding with the tractor-trailer, which did not stop, Molnar said. The men were flown to VCU Medical Center for injuries that were serious but not believed to be life-threatening, Molnar said. Catherine Benson, Clark's cousin, said in an email that she and another bicyclist followed shortly behind the injured pair. She said she attended to her cousin and her brother-in-law assisted his injured friend for 45 minutes to an hour before EMS help arrived. "Both men were very seriously wounded, and (Clark) was in surgery for approximately eight hours," she said. Witnesses described the rig as having a red cab and white trailer. Anyone with information is asked to contact state police at (804) 553-3445.(Richmond Times-Dispatch)(5-14-2013)
Penske announces personnel changes for Darlington and Charlotte: Due to the recent penalties announced by NASCAR regarding the #2 and 22 Penske Racing teams, Penske Racing has made the following roster adjustments for the Darlington and Charlotte races.
Team Manager: Mike Nelson, currently Vice President of Operations, will fulfill this role
#2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion:
Crew Chief: Kevin Buskirk. Buskirk, a former driver and crew chief, joined Penske racing prior to the 2012 season. He currently manages the test teams for Penske Racing.
Race Engineer: Jonathan Hassler. Hassler, served as the lead engineer for the #22 Sprint Cup Series team last season and helped the #22 Nationwide Series team earn six victories in 2011.
Car Chief: Nick Hensley. Hensley, has worked with Penske Racing since 2007 and has worked with the No. 2 team since the 2011 season.
#22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion:
Crew Chief: Steve Reis. Reis, who normally serves as one of the team's engineers, has been with Penske Racing since 2009 and has been with the #22 team since 2011. Before, he served as the race engineer on the #77 Penske Racing Sprint Cup team
Race Engineer: Ben Atkins. Atkins is an engineer with Penske Racing and worked with Todd Gordon during the 2011 season.
Car Chief: Jeffery Thousand. Thousand, who has been with Penske Racing for close to twenty years, served as the car chief for the #22 through last season.
Greg Erwin, Sam Hornish Jr.'s crew chief in the Nationwide Series, will sit atop the pit box on race day for the Shell-Pennzoil team and serve as a race strategist. Erwin will continue in his role as Sam Hornish' s crew chief in the Nationwide Series.(Penske Racing)(5-8-2013)
Keselowski apologizes to Regan for post race allegation: Reigning Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski apologized publicly Tuesday for his Twitter rant following David Ragan's victory at Talladega Superspeedway. Keselowski accused Ragan on Twitter of getting an unfair advantage by switching to an outside lane before the green-white-checkered restart in Sunday's race. He tweeted it was "blatantly wrong" and that he was "mad as hell about the finish." As Keselowski later discovered, Ragan was told by NASCAR to switch lanes prior to the restart after the governing body realized there was a mistake in the order. NASCAR also radioed the switch to Keselowski and his spotter, but neither heard it and both were unaware the change was being made until about a half-lap before the restart. After the race, Keselowski responded with a series of tweets that included: "I'm happy as hell a small team won. Doesn't change the fact that the restart was blatantly wrong. mad as hell about that finish. We were suppose to line up 10th when the 34 switched lanes entering 3 before green. That lane won. BS." But Keselowski changed his tone Tuesday in a written apology posted on his website. "I finally had a chance to digest what happened at the end of the Cup race at Talladega on Sunday," Keselowski said in the apology. "I owe David Ragan and his fans an apology. I placed blame on David Ragan for the restart lineup confusion when it wasn't his fault. Keselowski emphasized that he did not mean to "detract" from Ragan's victory and attempted to explain his confusion regarding the restart. "With the multicar wreck, the rain and the impending darkness, it is easy to see how NASCAR could have made that mistake. It was a confusing time for all of us. I want to send a sincere congratulation out to David Ragan and everyone at Front Row Motorsports. It was a very cool win for our sport."(ESPN)(5-8-2013)
Penske fines and points penalties upheld; suspensions reduced UPDATE: According to media at the NASCAR Research & Development Center, Chief Appeallate Officer John Middlebrook has upheld the fines and penalties to the Penske Racing #2 & #22 teams, but has reduced the suspensions from 6 races to 2 races (plus the All-Star race) for the crew chiefs, car chiefs, and team engineers on both teams, as well as #2 team manager Travis Geisler. See complete information on the original penalties on the NASCAR Penalties, Fines & Suspensions page. (5-7-2013)
UPDATE: Penske Racing won a partial victory Tuesday in its final appeal to have penalties against the Sprint Cup teams of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano overturned or reduced. NASCAR chief appellate officer John Middlebrook upheld all the fines and point penalties, but he reduced the suspensions of seven crew members from six races to two races. The crew members still will be suspended for the May 18 All-Star race. A week ago, the National Stock Car Racing panel unanimously upheld NASCAR's penalties, sending the final decision to Middlebrook. As a result, the 25-point deductions for Keselowski and Logano in the driver and owner standings stand. So do the $100,000 fines for crew chiefs Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon. But the suspensions for Wolfe, Gordon, chiefs Jerry Kelley and Raymond Fox, engineers Brian Wilson and Samuel Stanley and competition director Travis Geisler were reduced by four, which team owner Roger Penske considered a victory. The suspensions will begin this weekend at Darlington Raceway and include the May 26 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Those suspended will return for the June 2 race at Dover.(ESPN.com)(5-7-2013)
UPDATE 2: On May 7, 2013 the Chief Appellate Officer heard and considered the appeal of the penalties from the #2 and #22 Penske Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. These penalties stemmed from pre-race inspection for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway April 13. The penalties concern Sections 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; 12-4J: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to the NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event; and 20-12: All suspension systems and components must be approved by NASCAR. Prior to being used in competition, all suspension systems and components must be submitted in a completed form/assembly to the office of the NASCAR competition administrator for consideration of approval and approved by NASCAR. Each such part may thereafter be used until NASCAR determines that such part is no longer eligible. All suspension fasteners and mounting hardware must be made of solid magnetic steel. All front end and rear end suspension mounts with mounting hardware assembled must have single round mounting holes that are the correct size for the fastener being used. All front end and rear end suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension component beyond component normal rotation or suspension travel.
The results of the Chief Appellate Officer hearing were:
- Upholding the fines and points penalties that were originally assessed.
- Reducing the suspensions of the seven team members from six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (plus the non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race) to two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (plus the non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race).
The seven team members in question will be suspended for the next three upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends at Darlington Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. They will return for the race weekend at Dover International Speedway. They remain on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
"After looking at all the facts and data and interpretations from the rule book, I have decided to uphold the original fines and points penalties," said John Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Officer. "However, I have decided to reduce the suspensions of the seven team members involved from six points races and the all-star race to two points races and the all-star race."(NASCAR)(5-7-2013)
Penalties against Penske Racing have been upheld by appeals panel: many reports on Twitter say the penalties against Penske Racing have been upheld by appeals panel. Penske will appeal to highest level, Chief Appellate Officer. John Middlebrook. Penske crew members will be able to work at Talladega pending approval of Middlebrook.(5-1-2013)
AND: The National Car Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel upheld the penalties Wednesday to the Penske Racing teams of #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano. Team owner Roger Penske said he would appeal the ruling to National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook. "I can't make any comments, it's clear we have a process and I'm better off to wait to see that conclude," Penske said. "All I can say about the process is it's fair and equitable. We had an opportunity to explain our case in detail. We will move onto the next step."
The appeals panel of Pocono Raceway president Brandon Igdalsky, former NASCAR senior vice president Paul Brooks and Bowman-Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis took about five hours to hear arguments from both sides and deliberate on the decision. The three-person panel was chosen from a list of 49 eligible members.
"We take our inspection process very seriously," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "We believe we do a strong and credible job with it. The level playing field in the garage we believe is the best it's ever been. As the sanctioning body, we have to uphold the rules and regulations in the rulebook. The inspection process we believe in very strongly." Sprint Cup director John Darby presented NASCAR's side.
Team owner Roger Penske attended the hearing with chief lieutenants Walt Czarnecki (vice president of Penske Corp.) and Tim Cindric (Penske Racing president). Team manager Travis Geisler and crew chiefs Paul Wolfe (Keselowski) and Todd Gordon (Logano) also were present.(USA Today)(5-1-2013)
NASCAR Statement: On May 1, 2013, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of the #2 and #22 Penske Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. The penalties stemmed from a pre-race inspection at Texas Motor Speedway April 13. See full rundown of the peanlties, fines and suspensions on my 2013 NASCAR Penalties page. The Appellants appealed all penalties listed. The Appellants also requested and were granted a deferral of the suspensions until such time as the hearing could be convened. Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer. The National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel overseeing the appeal: Brandon Igdalsky, Paul Brooks, Dale Pinilis and Shawn Rogers - Appellate Administrator and non-voting member.(NASCAR)(5-1-2013)
Final Appeal Date: Team owner Roger Penske will utilize the final step in the appeal process, in which NASCAR chief appellate officer John Middlebrook will hear from both sides. The hearing will take place next Tuesday [May 7] at 10:00 am/et, meaning all of the suspended crew members will be at Talladega this weekend. "Obviously, we're disappointed with the outcome,'' Penske said. "We met with the panel for over four or five hours. It was a good process. I feel we have a good case, and as we are allowed to under the NASCAR rules we will appeal to the next level. I can't make any [further] comment. It's clear we have a process. That's why I'm better off to wait and see that conclude, and at that point I can make any other personal comments.''(ESPN)(5-1-2013)
Blue Deuce turns red at Richmond: This weekend, the #2 Ford will branch out with a different paint scheme. REDD'S Apple Ale, a new product from MillerCoors, will adorn Brad Keselowski's ride for this weekend's race at Richmond International Raceway. Crisp like an apple. Brewed like an ale. REDD's is different to the core - the perfect ale for the curious drinker looking for a fresh, new kind of beer.(Penske Racing), see an image of the car on the #2 team paint schemes page.(4-24-2013)
Penske appeal to be heard May 1: Penske Racing's appeal of penalties issued to reigning Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano will be held on May 1. The appeal will be heard by three members selected from the National Stock Car Racing Commission. If the panel stands by NASCAR's ruling, Penske Racing has the option to go to the final appeal stage in which chief appellate officer John Middlebrook makes the ruling after hearing from both sides. NASCAR has referred to the confiscated parts as unapproved because they were altered to move in a way that officials have told teams was off limits. Logano said during a Tuesday during a press event promoting the May 18 All-Star race and May 26 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway the teams are in the preliminary stages for preparing for what will happen if the suspensions stand. "We need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best,'' he said. "We'll bring in some extra people [at Richmond] to have some overlap on our team to prepare if the appeal doesn't go the way we expect it to. We need to always do that.(ESPN)(4-23-2013)
Penske: team was working in the gray area: Roger Penske maintained Saturday his team was working in a gray area of the rule book when NASCAR confiscated parts from the cars of defending Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski and teammate #22-Joey Logano. "I certainly don't think it's cheating," Penske told The Associated Press on Saturday at the IndyCar race in Long Beach. "You are looking at the rules and you are working in a gray area. We all work in the gray areas. We're trying to be as competitive as we can be, we've got very creative minds and it takes a lot of creative minds to be competitive. There are many different areas we are all working on. We just looked at a particular rule that maybe NASCAR has a different view of. Now we'll get a chance to have an unbiased panel look at it."(full story at the Associated Press)(4-21-2013)
Keselowski says parts were approved: #2-Brad Keselowski says the parts that NASCAR confiscated from his car and Penske Racing teammate #22-Joey Logano's last week at Texas Motor Speedway were approved. NASCAR says the parts from the rear end housing were not approved. That will be at issue when the National Stock Car Racing Commission hears Penske Racing's appeal to the fines, suspensions and point deductions issued on Tuesday. "Obviously, we're in an agree-to-disagree stage between Penske Racing and NASCAR," Keselowski said on Friday at Kansas Speedway. "And, thankfully, there's a third group to settle those disagreements." Keselowski and Logano were docked 25 points each. Their crew chiefs, car chiefs and lead engineers -- as well as Keselowski team manager Travis Geisler -- were suspended for six point races and the All-Star race. Those suspensions won't begin until after the appeal, and then only if they are upheld. No date has been given. But Keselowski believes Penske Racing has a case just as Hendrick Motorsports had one last year when it appealed penalties against Jimmie Johnson's team for an illegal C-post. Most of those penalties were reversed on the second and final level of appeal. "Yeah, there's definitely some similarities," Keselowski said. "I'm not going to say it's an identical situation, but there definitely are some similarities." The difference, according to NASCAR, is it was emphatic no changes could be made to the rear-end housings late last season. That, according to many in the garage, was re-emphasized repeatedly during the offseason.(ESPN)(4-20-2013)
Johnson says Hendrick Motorsports didn't 'rat out' Penske Racing: #48-Jimmie Johnson met with members of the media at Kansas Speedway and discussed many things, including the Penske Pentalties, the transcript in part:
Q) DID YOU GUYS TURN IN PENSKE LAST WEEK? I'M ASSUMING YOU HAVE HEARD BRAD'S (KESELOWSKI) COMMENTS AS FAR AS, THEY FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE BEEN TARGETED AND UNDER THE MICROSCOPE THE LAST WEEK OR SO. YOU AND CHAD (KNAUS) OBVIOUSLY KNOW HOW THAT FEELS. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHEN YOU DO HAVE SUCCESS HOW MUCH CLOSER NASCAR DOES SCRUTINIZE EVERYTHING THAT YOU GUYS DO:
Johnson: "When you have success on your side the magnifying glass the viewpoint for everybody, NASCAR, other teams, it gets a lot more intense. The best officiating in the garage area has always been your neighbor. That has just been part of NASCAR for years and years. That is why NASCAR has the procedures in place that they do in the garage area and why even in F1 today they are not allowed to cover their stuff anymore. It's just part of it. With all that being said, no, the Hendrick group and the #48 team did not rat out the Penske cars. There are two decisions teams are faced with in the garage area. Everybody has people watching. We have been very impressed with the #2 cars staff and their ability to have somebody just stand and watch other teams."
"So this environment does take place in the garage area. Yeah, there are eyes open, but when a team sees something they have two options. One, they go home and try to adapt it to their car and understand it and see if they can make it work or they go in the truck and say something. We don't say something. We are a company built on performance. We are a company that tries to understand the rulebook as close as we can to the law. Sure, we have had our issues with it, but that is racing it has been that way since day one of racing. We go in there and we try to be as smart as we can and conform to the rules and put the best race car on the track. With all that being said, no, sure there was a lot of activity around the Penske cars during the test day, just like all the other cars and everybody is watching, everybody is looking, but in no way shape or form did anybody from the #48 car walk into that truck and say anything."
Q) WAS THERE ANY PART OF YOU THAT THOUGHT THE PENSKE PENALTY WAS SOMEWHAT JUST IN THE SENSE THAT BRAD KESELOWSKI WAS COMPLAINING OR AT LEAST TALKING ABOUT YOUR REAR END SUSPENSION LAST YEAR?
Johnson: "I've said this before. Brad is a huge talent. But as we all know, Brad will say things. And when you're in the sport long enough, you learn when you need to be careful. And no team is immune to the issues. I don't want the crew chief's job. Those guys live on the ragged edge and they have to. If not, they're going to run 20th every week. So, I think over time, I've learned and have also clearly experienced some issues where man, you just do your thing and there's no need to spout off what other people are up to. I think there have been a few lessons that Brad has learned along the way this year as to when to say something. With all that being said, it doesn't take away from the fact that with the penalties and with what Penske is going through right now, doesn't take away the fact that they are champions and they did an awesome job last year. And I still think Brad is an awesome driver and that team has awesome equipment and we're going to deal with them week-in and week-out. Again, I've lived through it and good teams survive. Good teams and drivers will always survive. But it's going to put a lot of stress in their world the next six, eight, or ten weeks, depending on how long the appeals last and all that. And we'll all see how they respond to it. But once they get some normalcy back in their lives at-track, they're going to be right there at the front of the pack each week like we've seen so far."(Team Chevy)(4-19-2013)
Penske Racing to appeal penalties: "Penske Racing received communication today from NASCAR regarding penalties they have issued against the #2 and #22 teams. Penske Racing will appeal utilizing the appropriate NASCAR process. We have no further comment at this time."(Penske Racing Facebook)(4-17-2013)
NASCAR Penalties announced for three teams: Penalties have been handed down to three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams following last Saturday's race at Texas Motor Speedway. The #56 car was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B (the car failed to meet the minimum front car heights during post-race inspection) of the 2013 rule book.
As a result of this violation, crew chief Chad Johnston has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until June 5. The team has also been docked six championship driver (Martin Truex Jr.) and six championship owner (Michael Waltrip) points.
The #2 and #22 cars have also been penalized. Both cars were found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4J and 20-12 (all suspension systems and components must be approved by NASCAR. Prior to being used in competition, all suspension systems and components must be submitted, in a completed form/assembly, to the office of the NASCAR Competition Administrator for consideration of approval and approved by NASCAR. Each such part may thereafter be used until NASCAR determines that such part is no longer eligible. All suspension fasteners and mounting hardware must be made of solid magnetic steel. All front end and rear end suspension mounts with mounting hardware assembled must have single round mounting holes that are the correct size for the fastener being used. All front end and rear end suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension component beyond normal rotation or suspension travel.)
As a result of this violation and as it pertains to the #2 car the following penalties have been assessed:
· Crew chief Paul Wolfe has been fined $100,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
· Car chief Jerry Kelley, team engineer Brian Wilson and team manager Travis Geisler (serves as team manager for both the #2 and #22 cars) have been suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
· The loss of 25 championship driver (Brad Keselowski) and 25 championship owner (Roger Penske) points.
As it pertains to the #22 car the following penalties have been assessed:
· Crew chief Todd Gordon has been fined $100,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
· Car chief Raymond Fox and team engineer Samuel Stanley have been suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
· The loss of 25 championship driver (Joey Logano) and 25 championship owner (Walt Czarnecki) points.(NASCAR)(4-17-2013)
(Photo Credit: Mark Wilson of Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) stands with Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski (2nd-L)
as Owner Roger Penske (L) and Crew Chief Paul Wolfe stand nearby during an event at the White House,
April 16, 2013 in Washington, DC.
President Obama hosted the event to honor Keselowski, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion.
NASCAR takes parts from both Penske cars UPDATES: Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski, teammate #22-Joey Logano and their Penske Racing teams face potential penalties as NASCAR confiscated rear-end housing parts and pieces from their cars during prerace inspection Saturday at Texas Motor Speedways. The teams frantically worked to replace the pieces an hour prior to the scheduled start of the NRA 500. "We're taking (rear-end) housing and some other things. ... It's a group of pieces that surrounds the rear suspension area," NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said. "It's just something that is not in the spirit of the rules." Pemberton said the sanctioning body would not eject the crew chiefs from the speedways and the drivers would keep their starting positions for the race Saturday night. Any penalties could be announced as early as Monday, although NASCAR typically waits until Tuesday to announce penalties. Possible penalties typically could include points penalties, fines and crew suspensions. (Sporting News)(4-13-2013)
UPDATE: Keselowski was able to keep his 16th-place starting spot. But both teams might be in for penalties due to parts that Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition, told reporters were "not in the spirit of the rule." "In pre-race inspection they felt like there was something that was a questionable item that they wanted replaced," said Travis Geisler, Penske's director of competition. "We replaced all the parts in question. They have them all. We're working through the process here as it goes to get through inspection. Unfortunately a little tighter timeline here than we'd like to be on, but I certainly understand their position and don't disagree with where they are." The Penske vehicles were the last two vehicles in the garage area, and Keselowski's car successfully cleared the laser inspection platform as driver introductions wound down. Crewmen continued to scramble under the rear of the #22 car, which needed three passes to get though the laser platform, and passed the final stages of inspection just as the command to start engines was given. "That's what these guys do for a living, so it's not really a crisis," Geisler said of the 11th-hour changeover. "We do those kinds of things during practice at times. Everybody's set up for it. It's obviously not expected at this point in the day, but that's racing. You have to expect the unexpected, and that's the way it goes." Having gotten the cars on track in time for the start of the race, the Penske team now faces the prospect of penalties from NASCAR. "We always have a good, open dialogue with them. They'll keep us in the loop about how they feel about what's going on there," Geisler said. "I'm sure well all discuss that in the upcoming days."(NASCAR.com)(4-14-2013)
UPDATE 2: If garage gossip is to be believed, somebody dropped a dime on NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski and his Penske Racing team at Texas Motor Speedway. The story blowing like wildfire Monday through NASCAR goes like this: Keselowski was parked at Texas next to Jimmie Johnson, while teammate Joey Logano was further down the garage parked next to Jeff Gordon. The assigned spots gave Hendrick Motorsports crews crystal clear views of the Penske cars all weekend As the story goes, there may have been eavesdropping on team chatter over the scanner during practice runs. Did someone from Hendrick ask NASCAR to take a closer look at the Penske cars? On race day, NASCAR inspectors were indeed sniffing around looking for an infraction. What they found in the rear-end housings on the #2 and #22 Fords were confiscated - Logano barely made the start of the race - though NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton curiously avoided a very important word in explaining the problem with the Penske cars. Pemberton never said the cars were illegal.
When the dust settles, crew chiefs Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon will likely be sidelined for several weeks while Keselowski and Logano are stripped of critical points in the standings. Remember, it will be for something that hasn't been deemed illegal, at least not yet. It's more likely this is a case of something in development that the Penske crew was trying and NASCAR decided was too close to the edge. And there's the rub in all of this. NASCAR gets to decide when a team has crept too close to a non-existent line in the rule book.
Should the Penske organization get hit with stiff penalties this week, then NASCAR needs to answer the what, why and how to help everyone understand exactly what is and isn't "in the spirit of the rule."(Associated Press)(4-16-2013)
Keselowski lashes out at NASCAR UPDATE - no fine: #2-Brad Keselowski lashed out at NASCAR officials after Saturday's race at Texas Motor Speedway because of NASCAR inspectors forcing his team to change the rear-end housing in the #2 Ford before the race. Both cars for Penske Racing, including teammate #22-Joey Logano, had to make the change moments before the race. Logano barely made it out in time for the green flag. Logano started in the back, but finished fifth. Keselowski finished ninth. "I have one good thing to say," Keselowski said. "That's my team and effort they put in today in fighting back with the absolute bull that's been the last seven days in this garage area. The things I've seen over the last seven days have me questioning everything that I believe in, and I'm not happy about it. I don't have anything positive to say and I probably should just leave it at that."
But he didn't. Knowing major penalties are likely for his team, the defending Sprint Cup champion made his feelings clear. "There's so much stuff going on ... you have no f------ idea what's going on,'' he said. "And that's not your fault and that's not a slam on you. I could tell you there's nobody, no team in this garage with the integrity of the 2 team. And the way we've been treated over the last seven days is absolutely shameful. I feel like we've been targeted over the last seven days more than I've ever seen a team targeted. But my guys kept their heads on straight and they showcased why they are a winning team and championship team. We're not going to take it. We're not going to be treated this way."(see more at ESPN.com)(4-14-2013)
UPDATE: Interviewed Monday morning on Fox Business, NASCAR Chairman Brian France said Keselowski would not be fined for his comments Saturday night. France said he disagrees with everything Keselowski said, but understands that he was blowing off steam. France also defended NASCAR's fine of Denny Hamlin earlier in the year.(4-15-2013)
Penske penalties will set precedent for Gen-6 cars: It might not have been all that tough a decision for NASCAR to confiscate rear-end housing and pieces from the Penske Racing cars Saturday afternoon. If the parts are illegal, they're illegal and must be removed. Now comes the hard part. The penalties. NASCAR has not taken a rear-end housing in Cup in nearly five years, with Kyle Busch having rear-end housing taken postrace in 2008 but then having it determined legal. With NASCAR having made several rules this year to reduce the amount of chicanery being done to the rear-ends the car, it is likely they're not going to treat Penske teams with kid gloves. The only question is how many points and if a suspension is involved. Because it is a new car, NASCAR doesn't really have precedent for what the penalties are. Whatever they do sets the bar for future "Gen-6" car penalties.
This will be an interesting week no doubt. Keselowski and team owner Roger Penske will be alongside NASCAR brass in meeting with President Barack Obama on Tuesday. So expect no penalties to be announced that day. Maybe Monday. More likely Wednesday.(Sporting News)(4-15-2013)
Keselowski going to the White House: #2-Brad Keselowski will visit The White House and meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday for the annual NASCAR celebration with the Sprint Cup champion. Keselowski, car owner Roger Penske and other members of the #2 team will visit with the president. Keselowski, whose foundation focuses on events for wounded veterans, will also meet with wounded warriors. While NASCAR in the past has brought all of its Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers to Washington, it opted to just bring the champion this year. NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said the decision was made to bring NASCAR in line with other sports, which bring their championship team and not multiple teams to the White House.(Sporting News)(4-12-2013)
Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation Announces 2013 R2R Program for Vets: Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation (CFF) will once again bring its exciting Race to Recovery program to benefit wounded service members and their loved ones to five race tracks in 2013. This year marks the third year for the Race to Recovery (R2R) program, as well as the third full year for CFF, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, whose mission is to support those who have sacrificed greatly, to include military personnel, veterans, first-responders and their families, among others. The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and foundation President Brad Keselowski loves to spend time with the R2R honorees and looks forward to each event, as he says it keeps his life balanced.
"I am a firm believer in showing someone my appreciation for his or her sacrifices and the Race to Recovery program allows me to do that," Keselowski said. "I feel like life is about balance--I couldn't do what I do on the racetrack without these men and women making the sacrifices they do for me. It means a lot for me to have the opportunity to bring them out and show them a good time the best way I know how."
Keselowski and his foundation will bring its innovative R2R program to Richmond International Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, and Bristol Motor Speedway in 2013. Guests at the track this season will strap in beside Brad and another Penske Racing driver in either a brand-new Cup-spec Ford Fusion or a Nationwide-Spec Ford Mustang with a new, exciting patriotic paint scheme that includes a custom mural representing the military services.
In 2013, leading Kimberly-Clark brand, SCOTT Car Care has become a major partner with the CFF to help the program continue to meet its number one metric -- to put smiles back on the faces of those heroes who have sacrificed so much for our country-allowing them to enjoy a VIP NASCAR race experience with the people closest to them and surrounded by fellow veterans. As a part of the Worth the Work, Pass it on campaign, SCOTT® Car Care has joined forces with CFF and its R2R program to provide unique experiences for the veterans.
"SCOTT Car Care is thrilled to partner with Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation to help provide this unique group of car enthusiasts with an experience of a lifetime," said Charlotte Ciccone, Associate Customer Marketing Manager for Kimberly- Clark Professional. "The mission of the CFF strongly aligns with our emotionally-rooted Worth the Work, Pass it on campaign, where we strive to recognize the hard work and great reward our loyal end users deserve."
Working with the Veterans Administration and other military hospitals to select candidates, CFF identifies wounded veterans around the country who have worked hard to persevere beyond their injuries. The idea is to inspire and incentivize those who are working hard to meet milestones in their treatment with a three-day VIP Race Experience, capped off with a ride along in a custom-built two-seat Ford Fusion race car with foundation President Brad Keselowski. Typically, six veterans along with one "crew chief," an individual who has had significant impact upon the veteran in his or her recovery process, per market are invited for the three-day experience. In addition, another large group of veterans and their guests are invited to watch either the Saturday or Sunday race in the CFF suite at the race track. VA case managers determine the individuals who receive suite tickets, with an emphasis on rewarding those who have met certain milestones in their treatment.(CFF)(4-6-2013)
NASCAR meets with Keselowski about article: NASCAR executives met Friday with Brad Keselowski after the defending Sprint Cup Series champion outlined the challenges facing the sport in a Sports cover story in Friday's USA TODAY. NASCAR Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes said Keselowski wasn't penalized. Jewkes said the meeting wasn't directly a result of the USA TODAY story, but it was discussed. NASCAR generally had been seeking more dialogue with its champion, according to Jewkes, and Friday provided the opportunity.(USA Today)(2-23-2013)
No Cup Champs as winner of Daytona 500 in a while: If #2-Brad Keselowski wins the Daytona 500 on Sunday, he'll be the first defending Cup champion in 13 years to accomplish the feat. The last man to do it was Dale Jarrett in 2000, three months after winning the 1999 title.(ESPN)(2-21-2013)
Brad Keselowski Joins FOX for the Sprint Unlimited: the NASCAR season gets underway Saturday, Feb. 16 with The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. The network continues coverage Sunday, Feb. 17 with Daytona 500 Qualifying. The Sprint Unlimited marks the racing debut of the much-anticipated Gen-6 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car - the Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry. Special guest and 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion #2-Brad Keselowski joins NASCAR on FOX host Chris Myers and Michael Waltrip during Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited from the Hollywood Hotel studio. Keselowski offers in-race analysis throughout the duration of Saturday's race giving viewers direct insight into what drivers on the track are experiencing. FOX Sports' Jeff Hammond serves as the network's roving analyst, taking fans from the garages to pit road and everywhere in between. Once the green flag drops, race announcer Mike Joy is alongside analysts Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds to call all the action on the track, while Steve Byrnes, Krista Voda and Matt Yocum patrol the pits for reports on teams and pit stops. FOX Sports' coverage of The Sprint Unlimited begins Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8:00pm/et.(FOX)(2-15-2013)
PPG Industries extends partnership with Penske Racing: Continuing to build on one of the longest partnerships in racing, PPG Industries and Penske Racing today announced a multi-year extension of their relationship. Pittsburgh-based PPG's automotive refinish business, a leading worldwide supplier of high-performance coatings for passenger vehicles, motorcycles, heavy-duty trucks and many commercial applications, returns as a Penske Racing sponsor this season and beyond. The 2013 season marks the 29th year of the successful partnership between Penske Racing and PPG. The relationship continues to blossom, as PPG will once again serve as a sponsor of Penske Racing teams competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series.
This season, PPG Automotive Refinish will be the primary sponsor of the #12 Ford Mustang driven by Sam Hornish Jr. in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on July 5. In the IZOD IndyCar Series, the #3 PPG Automotive Refinish Dallara/Chevrolet will compete at three events in 2013 with three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves behind the wheel. The PPG IndyCar will race at Milwaukee on June 15, at Mid-Ohio on August 4 and at Baltimore on September 1. "PPG has been a trusted partner of Penske Racing for nearly 30 years," said Roger Penske. "We are proud of all we have accomplished together over the years and we look forward to another successful season racing with PPG in both NASCAR and INDYCAR in 2013."
Penske Racing and PPG established their partnership in 1984 through PPG's participation in motorsports and sponsorship of the PPG Cup from 1979 to 1999 in the CART Series, where Penske Racing teams competed. The opportunities between the two companies started with PPG providing paint for Penske's race cars. Over the years, the relationship has grown and PPG has become Penske Corporation's largest supplier of refinish coatings for its racing, truck leasing and automotive collision repair subsidiaries. "Being part of the winning Penske Racing teams has been a special experience for PPG," said John Outcalt, Vice President, Global Automotive Refinish, for PPG. "It's been exciting to see this partnership that started at the race track continue to expand its success to other areas of business. We believe that 2013 will be another great year for Penske Racing, and we're happy to continue the winning tradition with the team." Through the extended partnership PPG will also be an associate sponsor throughout the season on all Penske Racing NASCAR and INDYCAR teams.(Penske Racing)(2-12-2013)
Brad Keselowski Day in Michigan: On Tuesday, Brad Keselowski met Detroit Pistons players in the locker room at the Palace in Auburn Hills. Thursday morning, the 2012 Sprint Cup champion from Rochester Hills stood at the rostrum above the Senate floor at the State Capitol building in Lansing and received a standing ovation from the packed chamber. Beside him was a replica of the Sprint Cup trophy he won for team owner Roger Penske in November. The Senate honored Keselowski with a resolution -- the second time the Penske racing driver has been recognized in the Senate. In 2010, he was honored in Lansing for his Nationwide Series championship. The governor's office will proclaim Saturday Brad Keselowski Day throughout the state in a salute to his historic Cup championship, when he became the first Michigan-born driver to win NASCAR's premier series.(Detroit Free Press)(2-2-2013)
Mario Andretti trophy awarded: Motor sports icon Mario Andretti presented his namesake trophy to 2012 Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel as this year's SPEED Performer of the Year on the Sunday night edition of SPEED Center. "You are going up against the best of the best for this award," said Andretti, the only driver to ever win the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500 and the Formula One World Championship. "We're considering every major discipline in motor sports. That's what you are up against ... that's the grandeur of this award." Vettel, who captured his third consecutive Formula One title in dramatic fashion to become the youngest triple champion in series history, came out atop five SPEED Performer of the Year finalists, including NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski, versatile youngster Kyle Larson, IndyCar champ Ryan Hunter-Reay and WRC legend Sebastien Loeb. Ten of this year's 16 nominees earned at least one first-place vote in the balloting.
Racer Alex Zanardi, who continues to personify the heart of a racer despite an accident that robbed the Italian of both his legs in 2001, was recognized on SPEED Center with the Dan Gurney Spirit of Racing award for his success last year as a paracyclist. The two-time CART champion won two gold medals and a silver medal in the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.(SPEED)(1-28-2013)
Penske and Shell, Pennzoil Extend Alliance: Penske Corporation and Shell confirmed a multi-year extension [thru at least 2015] of their ongoing alliance in North America. As part of the agreement, Shell and Pennzoil will continue sponsoring Penske Racing entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the IZOD IndyCar Series as well as continue to be the preferred supplier of fuels, lubricants and related products to the Penske organization. As part of the agreement, Pennzoil will continue to be the "Official Motor Oil" of Penske Racing. Shell and Pennzoil will continue to be the primary sponsor of the Penske Racing #22 car for 33 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Proven race-winning driver Joey Logano joins the team this season racing the distinctive Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion beginning in 2013.(Penske Racing)(1-24-2013)
Penske Racing Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: the final stop on the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour Wednesday, was Penske Racing in Mooresville, NC. Some notes:
Shell/Pennzoil extends sponsorship with Penske Racing.
Hertz to be a co-primary sponsor on the #22 in fall Charlotte Cup race.
Greg Erwin will be Sam Hornish Jr.'s crew chief in the Nationwide Series.
Penske executive Walt Czarnecki says the transition to Ford has been seamless.
Joey Logano says move to Penske Racing has been a great experience already.
Roger Penske says he talked with Ryan Newman but enough sponsorship wasn't there for 3rd car,
says Newman could return in 2014 but Hornish first option for 3 teams.
Penske says they've eatablished a relationship with Roush Fenway Racing's, says sharing notes will be beneficial.
Penske said if James Finch (#51) is talking to a sponsor for AJ Allmendinger, Penske would meet with sponsor to try to help seal the deal.(1-23-2013)
Keselowski named NMPA Driver Of Year: Brad Keselowski, NASCAR's surprise Sprint Cup champion for 2012, picked up another award Sunday night. Keselowski was named the Richard Petty Driver of the Year by the National Motorsports Press Association and received the award Sunday night at the group's annual awards dinner. The NMPA is an organization of writers, broadcasters and photographers.(SPEED)(1-21-2013)
Brad Keselowski Racing Inks Hausler for NASCAR K&N Program: Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) announced that it has secured the driving services of Zak Hausler, a talented 17 year-old race car driver from Tomball, Texas. BKR is owned and operated by 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Brad Keselowski. Hausler will compete in up to 20 Super Late Model races in 2013 for BKR in addition to six NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts. Hausler will debut in a BKR Super Late Model at Speedfest in Cordele, Georgia on January 27th. The team is targeting their first K&N Series start at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida on April 13th.
Hausler's goal is to expand to the entire K&N Pro Series East schedule in 2014 targeting the Rookie of the Year award as well as the coveted NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship for BKR. Hausler was the National Points Champion in the Legends Pro Division in 2010 and was the NASCAR Whelen All-American State of Texas Champion and Rookie of the Year in 2011. Haulser also won track championships at Thunderhill Speedway in Kyle, Texas as well as Houston Motorsports Park in Houston, Texas.
"It has been my dream since I was six years old to race stock cars in a regional NASCAR sanctioned series. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is a fantastic and exciting starting point. I am so happy to be with such a talented group of people at BKR," said Hausler. "The mission of Brad Keselowski Racing is to give back to the sport by providing opportunities to talented development drivers. Zak Hausler is a talented young man, and we are excited to have him driving for BKR on this journey up the NASCAR ladder," said Keselowski.(Brad Keselowski Racing)(1-20-2013)
Keselowsk to DJ on Charlotte radio station: On Friday, January 25, Keselowski will slide into the deejay chair at WEND 106.5 FM The End, an alternative rock station in Charlotte, NC, to fulfill a lifelong fantasy of becoming one of the voices he often hears on the local radio station. DZL, the afternoon drive host for the station, will turn over his seat to Keselowski. "This is something I've wanted to do since I was a kid," said Keselowski. "I always thought that radio deejays, along with racecar drivers, had one of the coolest jobs around. Why wouldn't you like fast cars and rock and roll?"
"It all started during the 2012 NASCAR Season," stated DZL. "Brad and I were backstage at Food Lion Speed Street (a race festival in uptown Charlotte during All-Star week.) He suggested I play more of 'this band or that band' on my afternoon drive radio show here in Charlotte. I told him to worry about winning the Sprint Cup championship. If he did that I'd let him come in and play whatever he wanted! He obviously held up his END of the bargain so I guess I'll have to hold up mine. On Friday, January 25th, I'm handing Brad the keys to my race car and letting him turn a few laps during the equivalent to my Bristol race... a Friday DRIVETIME (5p-6p!) Who knows what will happen. I just hope he doesn't hit the wall with my race car!" In addition, fans can partake in an online auction to meet Keselowski at the WEND station that day. The money raised from the auction will benefit the Checkered Flag Foundation.(Penske Racing)(1-16-2013)
Chastain to BKR? UPDATE Keselowski to field two Truck teams: hearing that Ross Chastain will drive for Brad Keselowski Racing in the Camping World Truck Series. Supposedly Ryan Blaney will also driver for BKR in 2013. So looks like it will be a two-truck team.(1-15-2013)
UPDATE: Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) announced today that the team owned by the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) champion will field two full-time entries in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) for the 2013 season. The move to two full-time teams comes in the organization's sixth season in the Series. Similar to the Penske Racing team for which Keselowski drives in the NSCS and NASCAR Nationwide Series, 2013 will see BKR take to the track in the Ford camp. 2012 was a banner year for BKR, which claimed its first victory behind the skillful driving of Penske Racing development driver Ryan Blaney, who became the youngest winner in NCWTS history at Iowa Speedway in September.
Michigan-based Cooper Standard, a leading global supplier of systems and components for the automotive industry, has enhanced its 2011 and 2012 involvement with BKR and will serve as the primary partner on the #29 Ford for the entire 2013 season. Blaney will be behind the wheel for the full schedule with the team competing for both the NCWTS drivers' and owners' championships. The #29 Cooper Standard Ford team will be led once again by veteran crew chief, Doug Randolph. "We are excited to partner with Brad Keselowski and the BKR team again for the 2013 season," said Keith Stephenson, Chief Operating Officer, Cooper Standard. "Racing has proven to be a useful business tool for our company with both customers and employees and continues to help build the Cooper Standard Brand."
Cequent Consumer Products and Cequent Performance Products (Cequent Group), leading designers, manufacturers, and marketers of a broad range of vehicle and trailer products among other automotive products, have also increased their 2013 BKR program and will be the primary partner on the #19 BKR Ford for 15 races split between the two companies. The #19 entry will feature various Cequent Group brands and products throughout the season including Draw-Tite, Reese Towpower, Reese Towpower Carbon Forged, Bulldog, and Harper. The #19 BKR Ford, led by new crew chief Chad Kendrick, will have multiple drivers as it competes for the 2013 NCWTS owners' championship. Keselowski and his NSCS Penske Racing teammate, Joey Logano, are scheduled to run multiple races. Blaney's father, NSCS veteran and World of Outlaws champion Dave Blaney, will race the #19 in the NCWTS' first ever dirt race at Eldora Speedway on July 24th.
"The Cequent Performance team and its Draw-Tite, Reese, and Bulldog brands are proud to be a part of the 2013 BKR racing season and their move to Ford trucks," said Tom Benson, President, Cequent Performance Products. "It is great to be able to share in the excitement that professional motorsports brings our customers. We are looking forward to being trackside to witness the determination and positive attitude that Brad and his team show their fans in the year ahead."
"Cequent Consumer is excited to show race fans a few different logos on our trucks this year including Carbon Forged from Reese Towpower, which is a new weld-free ball mount with increased towing capacity, in addition our new cleaning tool brand, Harper and of course the Reese Towpower truck," said John Aleva, President Cequent Consumer Products. "Kicking off race season with a winner like Brad Keselowski is good for all of our brands as race fans get to know our products through this incredible sport."
BKR also welcomes Florida native Ross Chastain to its stable of drivers for 15 races in the #19 Ford. Chastain will fly the Melon 1 primary partnership colors to the #19 Truck for five (5) of his 15 races with BKR. The specific races for Keselowski, Logano, and Chastain will be announced at a later date. "Melon 1 is proud to continue our support of Ross Chastain with his new team at Brad Keselowski Racing," said John Lapide, President, Melon 1. "Ross has generated great awareness of the healthy benefits and great taste of watermelons, while promoting the whole watermelon industry. We look forward to watching the number 19 truck run for the owners' championship."
"I couldn't be more pleased with the way 2013 is shaping up for BKR," said Keselowski. "With enhanced support from our long time returning partners, Cooper Standard and Cequent Group, we are poised for a successful season. We have been able to retain and attract top notch personnel. The crew chiefs, drivers, and team members all put their hearts into this organization. Hard work equals results, and I am proud of each and every teammate's passion for excellence. Last season was a huge stepping stone for the organization as we claimed our first victory. We are looking forward to building on last year's success this season."
Blaney and Chastain will represent BKR on the track for the 2013 season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 22nd.(BKR)(1-15-2013)
Johnson favored to win 2013 title by oddsmakers: A well-known online bookmaker has spoken, and #48-Jimmie Johnson is the 2013 favorite to win the Sprint Cup. In the betting game, it's not even close. Johnson is listed at 4-1 by Bovada . Next comes a three-way tie for No. 2 with defending champ #2-Brad Keselowski, #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-Kyle Busch all at 17-2. Even though Busch failed to make the 2012 Chase, he is viewed as the second-most likely driver to win the 2013 title. Fourth on the list is #5-Kasey Kahne at 9-1, followed by three former champions at 12-1 -- #24-Jeff Gordon, #20-Matt Kenseth and #14-Tony Stewart, the 2011 champ. #99-Carl Edwards, the 2011 runner-up when he tied Stewart for the points total but had fewer wins, gets a decent betting line despite finishing 15th last season and going winless. He's 14-1 along with #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #15-Clint Bowyer and #16-Greg Biffle. #56-Martin Truex Jr. is 16-1, and #29-Kevin Harvick has the longest odds among the 2012 Chase drivers at 20-1, probably because he's a lame-duck driver at Richard Childress Racing. Harvick moves to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. If you want to pick a real long shot, #39-Ryan Newman is listed at 50-1 along with #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. #1-Jamie McMurray, Montoya's teammate at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, is substantially better at 33-1. If you like #22-Joey Logano's chances in his first year at Penske Racing, you can get him at 40-1.(ESPN)(1-9-2013)
Born in NOVEMBER:
1 Jay Adamczyk, Joshua Marco, Doug Ingerson, Eric Vance, Larry Flynt
2 Larry Pearson
3 Derrike Cope, Tony Gibson, Greg Sacks, Bryan Mullett
4 Charley Pressley, Destinee Zastrow
5 Elton Sawyer Jr., Doug George
6 Bryan Reffner, Clay Rogers. Rodney Orr
7 Judy Allison, Gilbert "Pops" Gentle, Andy Houston, Dick May, Matthew Bodine, Lindsay Czarniak
8 Jason Burdett, Ed Berrier, Jim Inglebright, Teri MacDonald, John Bisci, Donny Lia, Ingrid Vandebosch
9 Rick Carelli, Nancy Sterling, Bill Kimm, John Holman, Ed Otto
10 U.S. Marines , Britt Goodrich
11 Mike Hembree, Barry Bodine, Chris Horn, Rob Morgan, Loni Richardson
12 Ryan Buscaglio, Tom Ehret, Wally Dallenbach Sr., Larry Hedrick
13 Drew Blickensderfer, Karen Friddell, Katie Wallace, Tim Kuhn, Jeff Hallowell
15 Gene Haas, H.B. Bailey, Steve Lane
16 Terry Labonte, Bill Amick
17 Brad Bennett
18 Eddie Adamczyk, Gary Bettenhausen, Denny Hamlin, Ray Osian, Mickey Mouse
19 Tommy Morgan, Gary "Turtle" Clem
20 Sam Bass, Lisa Finley, Mike Cluka, Steve Prescott, Andy Belmont, Mark Wilkinson, Darren Jones, Chris Hall
21 Sheri Umscheid, Travis Carter, Terry Elledge, Victor Breininger, Banjo Grimm, Alexis Leras
22 Laurie Weil, Luke Kosner, Jake Elder, Rick Viers, Ryan McGlynn, Jamie Skinner, Scott Moyer
23 Ron Bouchard, Chris Spencer, Conrad Burr, Tony Roper
24 Buddy Parrott, James Ince, Nathan Haseleu
25 Skip Eyler, Joe Gibbs, Mike Joy, Carl Gansert
26 Dale Jarrett, Chip Bolin, Katie Pearson
27 Billy Standridge, Kate Dallenbach, Ricky Carmichael
28 Chase Elliott, Billy Sutphin, Mitch Way, Nelson Stacy
29 Bob Dillner, Zach Brewer
30 Danny Earnhardt, Dave Dion, Dick Hutcherson, Shawna Robinson, Chris Hussey, Andy Kirby, Brittany Glover