NOTE: many of the links in the past news will be old and may not work
decided it was not worth the time to go thru each one on all the Team Past News pages
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)
2013 silly season notes for #2-Brad Keselowski / Penske Racing:: The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion will have a new look on his Miller Lite car, plus the big change, switching manufacturers from Dodge to Ford. Dodge left the sport after the 2012 season. Penske Racing will use Roush-Yates power plants under the hood of their Ford Fusions in 2013. Crew Chief Paul Wolfe will return 2013 and is signed thru at least 2015. Keselowski said he is sticking to the contract he signed earlier in 2012 and not looking to renegotiate after winning the 2012 Championship, he is also signed thru at least 2015 as is Miller Lite. In an oddity, Keselowski is not currently eligible to run the Daytona Shootout as he didn't win a pole in 2012. Keselowski will have a new teammate, with Joey Logano taking over the #22 ride in 2013. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(12-29-2012)
AARWBA Names All America Team: The American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Ass'n has announced its annual All America Team, which the group has done every year since the conclusion of the 1970 season. A unique team of special drivers representing multiple forms of professional motorsports is elected each year by AARWBA. The association's members vote on drivers within their participating categories of racing and the top two from each discipline are elected to the first team.
Brad Keselowski led the All American First Team voting in the Stock Car category as well as all divisions across the ballot. The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion earned the most votes of any driver during the voting process. Jimmie Johnson fills out the other position with a third-place Sprint Cup standings finish, five points-paying wins and a victory in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. In the Touring Series category, James Buescher is recognized for his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.
One other tradition that AARWBA has followed is to elect a Second Team to be honored along with the All-America winners. The AARWBA Second Team for stock cars were Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Clint Bowyer.(National Speed Sport News)(12-19-2012)
Keselowski has no plans to keep his title trophy at home: #2-Brad Keselowski, the newly crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, said Tuesday he has no plans to keep his title trophy at home. "It's not at my house, it's at Penske Racing on display for the team guys," Keselowski, 28, said during a break in testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I don't keep trophies at my house," Keselowski said, according to a transcript provided by Ford Racing. "I don't believe in building a shrine to myself. It's kind of weird."(Los Angeles Times)(12-13-2012)
Keselowski, Penske Championships Voted Best Moments of 2012: #2-Brad Keselowski, no one's pre-season choice to win the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, stumped the experts. Media members, in turn, have voted Keselowski's title run for owner Roger Penske as NASCAR's top story of the past season. Keselowski's first championship prevailed in the voting over Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s drought-busting victory in June at Michigan International Speedway. Now that media members have had their say, it's the fans' turn. Fans can vote for their favorite competition stories of 2012 on the NASCAR Facebook page.
THe Top-10 Voted Best Moments of 2012 by the media
1.-Brad Keselowski's First Championship
2.-Dale Earnhardt Breaks 143-Race Winless Streak
3.-Matt Kenseth Wins Explosive Daytona 500
4.-Michael Waltrip Racing Makes Chase In Style
5.-Hendrick Motorsports Records Milestone 200th Victory
6.-Classic Rockingham Raceway Returns To NASCAR In 2012
7.-Stenhouse Goes Back To Back In The NASCAR Nationwide Series
8.-Patrick Makes History With Top-10 Championship Finish
9.-Ambrose Wins Second At The Glen In Wild Finish
10.-Jeff Gordon Claims Final Wild Card Spot At Richmond
Keselowski, Bowyer not elgible for shootout: There's a saying in racing that it's not where you start, it's where you finish. But that doesn't necessarily ring true for NASCAR's preseason exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR decided prior to the start of the 2012 season to go back to its traditional eligibility requirements for the Shootout — pole winners from the previous year and past Shootout winners. That means the top two drivers in the 2012 standings — #2-Brad Keselowski and #15-Clint Bowyer — aren't on the list of 22 drivers eligible for the 2013 event. Not since 2004, when 2003 champion Matt Kenseth did not win a pole, has the Shootout been run without the previous year's Cup champion. The event used to be sponsored by Budweiser, which originally had also sponsored NASCAR's pole award. When Coors took over the pole award sponsorship in 2009, the eligibility rules changed and continued to change annually. A new sponsor and a new format for the Feb. 16 event are expected to be announced soon.(Sporting News), see a list of all elgible drivers on the 2013 Shoutout page.(12-7-2012)
Keselowski named Driver of the Year: #2-Brad Keselowski was voted the 2012 Driver Of The Year by an elite panel of motorsports broadcasters and journalists. Keselowski was a near-unanimous choice in the annual award, after winning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship and the first as an owner for Roger Penske. "To be honored with the 2012 Driver Of The Year is a great way to cap off our championship season," said Keselowski, who also won the fourth-quarter vote. "The list is definitely a 'Who's Who' in the history of racing. It gives me great pride to see my name there with the likes of Mark Donohue and Mario Andretti, drivers who have transcended one particular discipline or series, and are considered some of the best to ever sit in a racecar. Keselowski scored 18 of the 19 votes cast by journalists and broadcasters, who voted in a secret ballot for a single driver. Ryan Hunter Reay, the 2012 IndyCar champion, received the remaining vote. In the quarterly voting, Keselowski beat the NHRA's Antron Brown and five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson by more than double the points. In its 46th year, the 2012 Driver Of The Year title is unique because it is the original award of its' type that encompasses all of the racing series and all of the drivers in the United States.(PR)(12-6-2012)
Penske's Indy 500 offer drawing interest: [Roger] Penske is crafty, and he loves IndyCar, so he managed to turn the talk to his beloved Indianapolis 500 before the [Spring Cup Awards banquet] night was over by offering three-time NASCAR champion #14-Tony Stewart the chance to drive for him next May. Although Stewart has yet to publicly respond to Penske's offer, Indianapolis Motor Speedway started an online petition where fans can encourage the two-time Brickyard 400 winner to accept the ride. Should Stewart pass, drivers were using Twitter on Monday to inform Penske they wanted the seat. Among them were Chip Ganassi Racing development driver Kyle Larson, Conor Daly, who spent this year in Formula One support series GP3, and NASCAR driver #55-Brian Vickers, who tried to put together an Indy 500 deal last May but was stymied by IndyCar's engine shortage. "I'm serious about Indy. Would do it in a heartbeat, was not just tweeting to be funny," Vickers said Monday. And broadcast partner ABC seemed amenable to discussions with IMS about moving up the start time of the 500 to accommodate Stewart (or Vickers or Casey Mears or AJ Allmendinger or Danica Patrick or Sam Hornish Jr. - because there's a list of NASCAR drivers with open-wheel experience who could theoretically now be thinking about trying to run both the IndyCar race and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600). "ABC/ESPN would enthusiastically support the opportunity for said driver(s) to participate in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600. We have strong partnerships with the league and speedway," said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, programming & acquisitions. IMS has not said if it's willing to move its start time, and the Indy 500 is a strong enough race that it doesn't need this additional buzz.(Associated Press)(12-4-2012)
Keselowski staying with long-term Penske deal: After #2-Brad Keselowski had such a strong season in 2011, he signed a contract extension with Penske Racing that was termed a multiple-year agreement. His 2012 Sprint Cup championship so far hasn't resulted in anything new or different. Keselowski said that increasing the length of his contract hasn't been discussed in the weeks following his championship run. "I've got plenty of years left on my current one," Keselowski said, while not revealing how long his current contract is for. "So there's no reason to rush into it. I think we all just want to enjoy what we've got right now." Team owner Roger Penske also said there was no urgency. It is believed that Keselowski's deal is through at least 2014 or 2015. "We have a long-term agreement," Penske said. "We have options. As long as you're successful, I don't think you need a contract." Crew chief Paul Wolfe also signed a multiyear deal after last season.(Sporting News)(12-2-2012)
Penske offers Tony Stewart Indianapolis 500 ride: If Tony Stewart wants to run the Indianapolis 500 next season, Roger Penske will give him a car. Penske twice Friday night offered Stewart the chance to enter next year's race and insisted he's serious about the opportunity. "Where's Stewart?" Penske asked during his speech accepting the Sprint Cup trophy during NASCAR's season-ending awards ceremony. "How about doing the double at Indy this year? You available?" The banquet room at Wynn Las Vegas Resort broke out into laughter, but Penske later insisted he was serious. "If he wants to do the double, I'd put him in it," Penske said. "We've talked about it before. I guess I made it official tonight." Stewart was not immediately available for comment.(in part from the Associated Press)(12-2-2012)
Brad Keselowski honored as the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champ: #2-Brad Keselowski was officially honored as the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion during Friday night's awards banquet at the Wynn Las Vegas. The evening capped a week long of festivities during Champion's Week in Las Vegas that commemorated the Sprint Cup Series season and culminated with Friday's traditional series banquet. Keselowski, owner Roger Penske, Penske Racing president, crew chief Paul Wolfe and other members of the organization were celebrated as the title winning team at the gala event where they took home over $5 million. "I feel like a lottery winner," Keselowski said. "My tickets are Paul Wolfe, Roger Penske and everyone on the #2 team. I'm a lottery winner with all of you. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about that." Each driver in the top 10 addressed the crowd leading up to Keselowski's moment in the spotlight, which was tempered a bit by an illness and a slight loss of voice. Train, Lifehouse, Natasha Bedingfield, Phillip Phillips and performers from The Beatles LOVE all took the stage during the night's program, which was hosted by comedian Howie Mandel. After the banquet the champions moved the celebration to the adjacent Encore hotel/casino. See full article at the Motor Racing Network; others at USA Today, NASCAR.com and RacinToday.(12-1-2012)
Brad's big beer glass up for auction to help charity: In honor of Brad Keselowski's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in the Miller Lite #2 car, Miller Lite is auctioning off a one-of-a-kind Miller Time Sprint Cup Championship Commemorative Glass signed by the #2 Miller Lite Racing crew, Brad Keselowski and Roger Penske. The signed Miller Time Championship Commemorative pilsner glass is the same style that Brad celebrated with in Victory Lane at Homestead. 100% of the proceeds of the eBay auction will benefit Brad's Checkered Flag Foundation which supports military members, veterans, first-responders and their families. More info on my NASCAR Racing Charity page.(12-1-2012)
Keselowski in ESPN The Magazine's "Interview" Issue: New NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski is among the sports newsmakers featured in ESPN The Magazine's "Interview" issue, which hits newsstands on Friday, November 30. Brad Keselowski was interviewed by Ryan McGee, see the article at ESPN.com.(ESPN)(12-1-2012)
Day Four: 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Keselowski Savors Success: #2-Brad Keselowski was all smiles Friday as he gathered with his Penske Racing family – tuxedo-clad – for the traditional NASCAR Sprint Cup championship photos. After a whirlwind of post-Homestead-Miami Speedway appearances stretching south to north, east to west and culminating with Champion's Week in Las Vegas, the magnitude of what Keselowski, owner Roger Penske, crew chief Paul Wolfe and the entire Penske organization had accomplished. "I've enjoyed every second of my time in Vegas," Keselowski said. "It was tough to really sit back and realize how special this opportunity is. Because of that, now I really want to come back next year and do it all again. The fans have been amazing this week. I can't believe how many came out to celebrate this week with me. It's special how passionate our fans are, and I'm proud to be a part of all of it for them."
Wolfe especially enjoyed Tuesday's tour of various Las Vegas landmarks such as the Welcome To Las Vegas sign, the set of Beatles LOVE at The Mirage and the House of Blues Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay. To view and download those photos, visit nascarmedia.com. "There was a lot to take in. It seemed like we were non-stop on the go. I tried to take it all in and enjoy it," said the championship crew chief.
The week's highlights included the champion's media tour, participation by all 12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifiers in Wednesday's game-show style "Smarter Than A Fifth Grader" at the Fremont Street Experience and Thursday's annual NASCAR/NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon during which Keselowski received the Goodyear Tires and Sunoco Diamond Performance awards.
Thursday's traditional Victory Lap during which NASCAR Sprint Cup stock cars performed burnouts on the famed Las Vegas Boulevard and the NASCAR After the Lap Sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola wrapped the lead-up to Friday night's 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards hosted by "America's Got Talent" judge Howie Mandel at Wynn Las Vegas. SPEED, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will provide live coverage of the event beginning at 8 pm/et.(NASCAR)(11-30-2012)
2012 Championship "Tire Specialist" award announced: Champion Tire & Wheel has announced the recipient of the 2012 Sprint Cup "Consistently Smooth" award is Penske Racing's, Jim Davis. The award recognizes the skill and effort of the team's tire specialist in overseeing the Miller Lite #2 teams' tire and wheel program. The tire specialist is an important piece in the performance formula for a championship effort as it requires managing a program of over 2,500 tires and wheels throughout the full Sprint Cup season. When the call for a pit stop comes, the efforts to find the right combination of tires, wheels, and air pressure is critical in the overall handling and performance of the race car. The lead crystal trophy will be presented to Davis at the team's shop in Mooresville, NC with Owner -Roger Penske, Tim Cindric - President of Penske Racing Operations, Mike Nelson - VP of Racing Operations, Jeff Swartwout - Team Manager, and Crew Chief - Paul Wolfe. In addition to the Sprint Cup series recipients, Champion Tire and Wheel will also present Roush-Fenway Racing's Curtis Tincher, the Championship tire specialists award for the Ricky Stenhouse driven Nationwide Series team, and Tyler Paxton, the tire specialist for Turner Motorsports and the James Buescher driven Camping World Truck Series Championship effort. (Champion Tire and Wheel PR) (11-29-2012)
Day Three: Gordon 'Deeply Honored' At Myers Brothers Accolade: Shock and genuine surprise. That was Jeff Gordon's emotional reaction to being named the 2012 recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association's Myers Brothers Award during Thursday's traditional NASCAR/NMPA Myers Brothers Award luncheon at the Encore in Las Vegas. "Oh boy, this is a surprise. I'm having a hard time composing myself," said Gordon, during the Champion's Week event. "Couldn't someone have warned me first?" Named for NASCAR racing pioneers Billy and Bob Myers, the award recognizes individuals and groups which have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. Past recipients are a virtual who's-who of the industry – drivers, owners, track operators, sponsors and members of the media – and include nearly every current member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Gordon's accomplishments are two-fold: his on-track success, which includes four NASCAR Sprint Cup championships and 87 victories; and his charitable activities when not competing.
"Off the track, he has raised countless funds for charity through his foundation for pediatric cancer research," said Burt Myers, grandson of Billy Myers, upon presenting the award with brother Jason Myers to Gordon. "He has traveled to Rwanda to aid with health care as well as partnering with an organization to put it on the side of his race car as a drive to end hunger." "I am deeply honored, proud of the work that I do on and off the track," said Gordon. "This is fantastic. Thank you."
NASCAR Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Office Brian France congratulated 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup champions Brad Keselowski and Roger Penske and the Miller Lite organization. France also commented on the youth movement in the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and first-time events due to take place in both national series in 2013. Also announced at Thursday's luncheon was the NASCAR NMPA Most Popular Driver Award, given to Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the 10th consecutive year. This now ties him with Bill Elliott as the only other drivers to be presented the award 10 straight years. Elliott, however, remains the all-time leader with 16 overall. Earlier Thursday, Chevrolet unveiled its next generation NASCAR Sprint Cup car – the new SS model – which, while tested extensively with Ford's Fusion and Toyota's Camry, had its configuration obscured in camouflage. The wraps officially came off today at the Wynn's Encore Theater before hundreds of media members and industry and sanctioning body officials.
Four teams and their drivers displayed their next generation Chevrolets – the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Jamie McMurray; #14 Stewart-Haas Racing and Tony Stewart; the #29 Richard Childress Racing and Kevin Harvick and the #48 Hendrick Motorsports and Jimmie Johnson. "We've both been focusing on a number of important initiatives to build a stronger connection with our fans by incorporating relevant technologies that we're using on today's high-performance Chevrolets, while also creating designs that help our fans make the link between what they see on the track, on the streets and in Chevy showrooms," said Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, comparing the SS passenger car with its competition-prepared counterpart. "The new SS won't be mistaken for any other car on the track. It bears a striking resemblance to our production car, the 2014 SS and that will be in showrooms here next fall."
"This thing looks amazing. It looks fantastic," said Gordon. NASCAR President Mike Helton thanked Chevrolet, as well as the sport's other manufacturers, for their collaborative efforts to move NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition forward. "The anticipation going into 2013 is building, it will build over the off season and it'll be, we feel, one of the milestones that we'll look back as we celebrate our history in the future; we'll look back and see 2013 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup car as a very significant milestone for us," said Helton. Thousands of fans lined The Strip – Las Vegas Boulevard – as the top 12 drivers celebrated the conclusion of the 2012 season with the Fourth Annual Victory Lap. Engines rumbled and smoke from burnouts filled the air during the popular event which started and ended at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Additional events Thursday included the NASCAR After The Lap Sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola, a "tell-all" driver-fan interaction that's quickly become one of the most sought after off-track tickets. Day Three of Champion's Week ended with the presentation of the "Stewie Awards," three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart's sometimes irreverent take on the 2012 season.
Here is the complete list of Thursday's award winners from the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon:
Myers Brothers Award: Jeff Gordon
NASCAR NMPA Most Popular Driver Award: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Buddy Shuman Award: Ken Squier
NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award: Mars Inc.
3M Lap Leader Award: Jimmie Johnson
American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award: Jimmie Johnson
Coors Light Pole Award: Jimmie Johnson
DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Year Award: Matt Puccia, crew chief for Greg Biffle #16
Freescale Wide Open Award: Matt Kenseth
Goodyear Tires Award (Champion): Brad Keselowski
MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award: Shane Parsnow, Hendrick Motorsports #48 Team
Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award: Michael Waltrip Racing #56 Team
Mobil 1 Driver of the Year Award: Denny Hamlin
MOOG Steering & Suspension Problem Solver of the Year Award: Steve Addington, crew chief for Tony Stewart #14
Sunoco Diamond Performance Award (Champion): Brad Keselowski
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award: Stephen Leicht
USG Improving the Finish Award: Tony Stewart
Champion Sponsor Award: Miller Lite
Champion Crew Chief: Paul Wolfe.
Paul Wolfe earns crew chief of the year honors: Coming off of a 2012 season that featured five wins, 13 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes and culminated with a Sprint Cup Series Championship, Paul Wolfe, crew chief for the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, has been named the Kimberly-Clark Professional Crew Chief of the Year.(Charlotte Observer)(11-29-2012)
Day Two: Drivers Share Champion's Week Laughs: Whether NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are smarter than fifth graders remains a matter of debate after Wednesday's Las Vegas Motor Speedway-sponsored Fanfest at the Fremont Street Experience. But the event, a highlight on Day Two of Champion's Week in Las Vegas, was proof that the 12 qualifiers for this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ enjoy a good laugh – especially at their own expense – and the opportunity to mingle with hundreds of NASCAR fans young and old. Only Martin Truex Jr. was willing, beforehand, to admit to being smarter than the fifth graders from Nellis Air Force Base's Lomie Heard Elementary School. That turned out to be the wrong decision as neither he nor Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Clint Bowyer were able to supply the winning answers to various math questions, the length of the regular term of a U.S. Senator and the name of the line that separates the earth's top and bottom halves.
Stump the drivers, then, might have been the most descriptive title for the hour's worth of fun, hosted by Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon and former Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year Kevin Burke, who plies his comic trade at Fremont Street Experience's Fitzgeralds Hotel and Casi#"We drive cars for a reason," observed Kevin Harvick after one wrong response, possibly speaking for each of his 11 colleagues. In the end, the winners were Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart, current and former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions. Stewart supplied the correct answer – after giving Burke the opening to comment on the driver's ample midsection. "You've still got your washboard stomach," Burke told the three-time champion. "You're just carrying a load of laundry on it."
Keselowski joined the fun by lifting the team's fifth grader overhead, trophy-style. Also honored on Wednesday were this year's finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award – Ron Eby, Michael Jackson, Ali McDonough and Lorri Shealy Unumb – at an evening reception at Wynn Las Vegas. The NASCAR Foundation will announce the Award winner during this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards on Friday, Nov. 30. Fans can cast their vote to determine the 2012 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award winner by visiting NASCAR.COM/award before 11:59 p.m. ET November 29. For more information on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas, visit NASCAR.com/ChampionsWeek.(NASCAR)(11-29-2012)
Day One: Keselowski Arrives In Las Vegas For Champion's Week: Newly crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski's whirlwind of activity continues. Different day, different city, different setting. The run-up to Champion's Week took Keselowski to the Big Apple and multiple appearances including "Late Show With David Letterman." On Tuesday he was still talking about meeting the comic host. "He was even funnier in person than on TV," said Keselowski. Little wonder then, embarking on the opening day of Champion's Week festivities in Las Vegas that Keselowski was channeling Willie Nelson, singing the opening lines of "On the Road Again." A road that began in early March in Daytona Beach, Fla. with the Daytona 500 will reach its climax on Friday when Keselowski, team owner Roger Penske and crew chief Paul Wolfe will celebrate their first NASCAR Sprint Cup championships at Wynn Las Vegas. But first things first as Champion's Week steam rolls to the main event – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET live on SPEED, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Tuesday was media day for the 28-year-old, first-time champion. "You have questions; I have answers," Keselowski said in greeting a television interviewer. At the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the subject matter turned to tanks. Keselowski, whose foundation serves military personnel and veterans, agreed a tank would make a nice addition to his collection of vehicles. "I don't want to do what everyone else does; I want to be different," he said. "It will look good parked in my driveway behind my gate." Joking aside, Keselowski spoke highly of the next generation stock car he and his NASCAR Sprint Cup rivals will drive in 2013 calling it a "game changer for the sport." He added, "It has way more growth potential than the current model." Keselowski and Wolfe surveyed the Wynn's spacious hall where workers are readying the banquet room and red carpet area. He playfully picked up Clint Bowyer's banner and placed it behind his own – just to be sure everyone knew who finished first. The champion visited a number of Las Vegas' iconic "destinations," including the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, the set of Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage and the House of Blues Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay.
Keselowski also participated in the opening day of NASCAR 2012 Motorsports Marketing Forum at the Aria, an event that continues on Wednesday. Overall, Keselowski was pleased to be back in Las Vegas – the 32nd-place finish in March's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway all but forgotten. "Vegas is a special place to be," he said. "It is a win-win situation for NASCAR and the fans. We love coming out here. It is a great week to be a race fan in Las Vegas." NASCAR's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifiers take over downtown's legendary Fremont Street Experience on Wednesday for the Fourth Annual Fanfest Presented by Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 12 drivers will walk the red carpet, interact with fans and participate in a game-show format hosted by comic Carrot Top.(NASCAR)(11-27-2012)
Keselowski Earns NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award: Members of the National Motorsports Press Association have selected NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski as the third quarter winner of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award. The award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are selected, and an overall winner is determined by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association membership. Keselowski was recognized for work through his Checkered Flag Foundation, which awarded grants to a series of entities, including Blum's Landing, a retreat that provides veterans the opportunity to enjoy serene woods, lakes and rivers surrounding the bed and breakfast while recovering from the stress of combat, Rivers of Recovery and K9s for Veterans, this quarter. Clint Bowyer won the award for the first quarter and Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg won the second quarter award. Also receiving votes were: Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jeff Gordon.(Godfather Motorsports)(11-24-2012)
Keselowski wants to buy a tank: Brad Keselowski revealed Tuesday he intended to fulfill a promise to buy himself a tank if he won the Chase for the Sprint Cup. After hearing a story from NASCAR TV analyst and former driver Wally Dallenbach Jr. about the joys of owning one, Keselowski began researching tanks over the summer. He hasn't decided on a seller yet but wants a model "from World War II to the Korean War, something in that '40s to mid-'50s era." Keselowski, who lives in a house adjacent to Earnhardt's 200-acre homestead outside Mooresville, N.C., has been trying to convince NASCAR's most popular driver to buy his own tank. "I thought, 'Wow, that'd be awesome,' " the Penske Racing driver said. "Obviously living where I do around Dale Jr., I thought it would be cool if we both got a tank and chased each other around in the woods with them. It's kind of our deal. I promised myself if I won (the title), I would buy one whether Dale does or not. It was kind of a little bit of motivation, I'd say. I'm not one to buy trophies for myself, but I think a tank would be pretty cool. I want to put one together and have some fun with it. When I'm done playing with it, I'll just park it in the driveway."(USA Today)(11-22-2012)
Keselowski's Top 10 on Letterman - Top Ten Signs You're Not Cut Out To Be A Race Car Driver:
10. You're only in it for the intensely vibrating seat
9. You've always felt that passing other cars is rude
8. Terms of your parole won't let you leave Delaware
7. All this week, you've been stockpiling Twinkies
6. Friends know you as "Mr. Motion Sickness"
5. You're existentially opposed to the starting line and finish line being the same line
4. You know what "existentially" means
3. You don't like to be rushed
2. You can't even handle high-speed Internet
1. More than ten minutes sitting? Crippling ass cramps
Keselowski talks championship on NASCAR Race Hub: It was a championship feast on SPEED's NASCAR Race Hub, as newly crowned Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski brought his unique perspectives from the 2012 season, including everything it took to claim the title. He joined host Steve Byrnes for tonight's special edition of the show. A few of the quotes:
Steve Byrnes: What was the vision you had for Penske Racing?
Brad Keselowski: To be a Sprint Cup champion. To be a championship team that produced cars and people that shared a common goal of greatness. It sounds really easy, but I can assure you, it's a lot harder than it sounds.
Byrnes: In just three Cup seasons, you've gone from 25th, to fifth, to first. Has your ascension to the top surpassed even what you dreamed of, in terms of quickness?
Keselowski: I never dreamed of, at a young age, of being a Sprint Cup champion. I thought I would be doing well just to be a guy who's winning races in the Truck Series. That was as big as my goals were. But obviously, as different opportunities came up, I had the opportunity to drive for James Finch when they raced at Talladega, with Rick Hendrick and so forth; I started to think that big. But it's amazing how those things change. I'm living beyond what I could have ever asked for in life, and I feel very, very fortunate.
Byrnes: Did you think about winning a championship heading into the season? Keselowski: Oh, absolutely, without a doubt we thought, 'what can we do to be the best team possible?' Now there's no guarantee of any result in sports, that's what makes it so great and compelling to watch and be a part of. But you have to approach it as being a competitor, as though you have the opportunity, and you have to believe in yourself to have that confidence because as the member of a team, a competitive team, if you don't believe in yourself, why should anyone else?
See full Q&A at SPEED.(11-20-2012)
Who was the woman in red on the #2 pitbox? Most of Brad Keselowski's team didn't know the woman in the red coat who appeared on the #2 pit box for the Chase for the Sprint Cup opener. "I think (crew chief) Paul Wolfe knew who she was, but the other people thought she was maybe a sponsor who maybe got the wrong seat," Roger Penske told USA TODAY Sports with a chuckle. "I think they knew at the end of the next week who she was." Everyone knows the identity of the mystery woman now. At the request of her husband, Kathy Penske has become a weekly fixture on Keselowski's pit box since his victory at Chicagoland Speedway. She was there Sunday for the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway as Keselowski took a 20-point lead over Jimmie Johnson into the season finale. "She'd been at other races before, but in the Chase this year, she wanted to support the team and support me," Roger Penske said. "(Chicagoland) was the start of it, and once she got in, she hasn't gotten off the box. It's been great. I told her she has to wear that red coat. That's her lucky charm. It's been terrific that she wants to be there."(in part from the USA Today)(11-20-2012)
Keselowski to appear on Letterman on Tuesday: 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski is scheduled to present the Top Ten List on the Late Show with David Letterman, Tuesday, Nov. 20 (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT) on CBS. Also visiting the LATE SHOW on Tuesday, Nov. 20 are actress Amy Poehler, actor Josh Hutcherson and musical guests Tegan and Sara.()(11-20-2012)
Brad Keselowski Wins 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship: #2-Brad Keselowski won the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship today at Homestead-Miami Speedway, earning owner Roger Penske's first title in NASCAR's premier series. For owner Penske, the wait that began before Keselowski was born (1984) finally is over. Penske Racing, which entered the NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 1972, ended the longest non-championship streak among current ownership. Penske's best previous finish was second in 1993 with NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Rusty Wallace. To be the best, Keselowski had to beat the best – #48-Jimmie Johnson. The pair traded the lead of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup five times, the last on Nov. 11 at Phoenix International Raceway where Keselowski finished sixth and Johnson – the victim of an accident – placed 32nd.
Keselowski's 15th-place finish in Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway was all it took to apply the finishing touches to a stellar championship season. Keselowski's championship came in his 125th start, the fewest since Jeff Gordon captured his first of four titles in 1995 in 93 starts.
At age 28, Keselowski is the eighth-youngest competitor to win a first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. Keselowski previously won the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series title, owner Penske's first in NASCAR. He joins Bobby Labonte as the only drivers to win both a NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. After experiencing mechanical problems in two of the first three regular season races, Keselowski's #2 Penske Racing Dodge won at Bristol Motor Speedway to begin a steady march toward the top 10. Backed by championship crew chief Paul Wolfe, Keselowski won three times during the regular season and entered the Chase seeded fourth. A victory at the Chase-opening Chicagoland Speedway race, followed by another at Dover International Speedway, boosted Keselowski from contender to co-favorite with Johnson. Dodge won its fifth series championship, and first since 1975 with Richard Petty.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(11-18-2012)
Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates with a burnout after winning the series championship and finishing in fifteenth place for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2012 in Homestead, Florida
Championship Fast Facts:
Brad Keselowski won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. His previous best series points finish was fifth, last season.
Keselowski is the second driver to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series championships (Bobby Labonte). Keselowski won the NASCAR Nationwide title in 2010.
Keselowski needed 125 starts to win his first championship, the fewest starts since Jeff Gordon in 1995 (93).
Keselowski posted two wins, three top fives and eight top 10s in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this season.
Keselowski finished the 2012 season with five wins, 13 top fives and 23 top 10s
This is Penske Racing's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
Owner Roger Penske's previous best points standings finish was second with NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Rusty Wallace in 1993.
Penske has been fielding cars in NASCAR in 1972.
This is Dodges fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, and first since 1975. The other Dodge champions: David Pearson (1966), Bobby Isaac (1970) and Richard Petty (1974-75).
Penske Racing won its first NASCAR title in 2010, when Keselowski won the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship.
Crew Chief Champion
This is Paul Wolfe's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and second NASCAR national series championship (NNS; 2010)
Wolfe is the first crew chief to win both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series championship
Wolfe and Keselowski have combined for eight NASCAR Sprint Cup wins – three in 2011 and five in 2012.
They also won six NASCAR Nationwide races together, all in their championship winning season of 2010.
Richard Petty: Phone rule made up: Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty says NASCAR was "hypocritical'' in fining point leader Brad Keselowski for carrying a cell phone in his car last weekend at Phoenix. "I think it's hypocritical because he [did] it at Daytona, and then NASCAR had a big meeting with everybody and said, 'Oh! Man! That's great. Everybody go out there and do it just as much as you can.' And then they say, 'Whoo! You ain't supposed to do it in a racecar,' '' NASCAR's all-time win leader said on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "I don't think that was in the rulebook. I think they made that one up as they went.''(ESPN)(11-18-2012)
Keselowski moves up to pole after Logano crashes in practice: Point leader #2-Brad Keselowski will move onto the front row of Sunday's Sprint Cup finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway thanks to a wreck during Saturday's first practice. Pole-sitter #20-Joey Logano will go to a backup car and start at the back of the field after being involved in an accident with #11-Denny Hamlin and #16-Greg Biffle. When Logano drops back just prior to the start of the race, the inside line will move up and put Keselowski essentially on the pole position. Keselowski qualified third. NASCAR has the discretion of whether to allow the pole-sitter to pick what lane he would have started. Officials opted not to give Logano, who will be Keselowski's teammate at Penske Racing next year, that choice. Keselowski enters the race with a 20-point lead over five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who will start 10th. Johnson in the outside lane will not move up.
What happened to cause the wreck? Biffle said he and Hamlin were "running a little hard'' for practice when they got into each other and collected Logano in the process. Logano said there appeared to be confusion among Biffle and Hamlin over whether they were two or three wide. "I was behind the [Biffle], Denny went to the bottom, I went to the top and the 16 was in the middle,'' Logano said. "I wasn't going to stick it three-wide so I stayed back because I figured it was practice, why are we going to do that? Just seemed like Denny was coming up like we were two-wide and the 16 stayed in the middle of the race track like he was three-wide and they ran out of room and I was the innocent bystander once again and drove into it. It's unfortunate."(ESPN)(11-17-2012)
Dodge going for first driver championship since 1975: Dodge's #2-Brad Keselowski leads the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with a 20-point advantage over Jimmie Johnson. All other Chase drivers have been mathematically eliminated. Dodge is seeking its first Sprint Cup Series championship since 1975 (Richard Petty). Dodge teams have recorded 57 victories since the manufacturer's return to NASCAR's premier series in 2001. Dodge has posted wins each season since its return in 2001 including seven wins twice (2002 and 2006). Dodge has seven NASCAR driver's championships – 7 (Cup: David Pearson (1966) Bobby Isaac (1970) Richard Petty (1974, '75) Nationwide Brad Keselowski (2010) NCWTS: Bobby Hamilton (2004) Ted Musgrave (2005).(SRT/Dodge/RAM Motorsports PR), NOTE: this week's Homestead race will signal farewell – for now anyway – for the Dodges wheeled by Keselowski. Dodge won its first race in 1953 with Lee Petty, its last driver championship in 1975 with Richard Petty and rejoined the series with manufacturer-supported teams in 2001. Keselowski's five 2012 victories bring Dodge's win total to 217.(NASCAR)(11-14-2012)
Reason why Keselowski was fined for cell phone UPDATE: #2-Brad Keselowski was fined $25,000 on Monday for tweeting during the red flag at Phoenix International Raceway. The punishment was confusing to fans who vented on Twitter, of course, wondering why Keselowski was punished for Sunday's tweets when he was celebrated by NASCAR for doing the exact same thing in February's season-opening race. Some alleged the Sprint Cup Series points leader was actually being disciplined for his profanity-laced outburst after Sunday's crash- and fight-marred race. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp on Tuesday dismissed the conspiracy theories, and said drivers had been told after the Daytona 500 that electronic devices - including cellphones - could not be carried inside the race cars going forward. "Brad's tweeting at the Daytona 500 was really our first introduction to the magnitude of the social media phenomenon at the race track, especially how we saw it unfold that evening," Tharp said. "We encourage our drivers to participate in social media. We feel we have the most liberal social media policy in all of sports, and the access we provide is the best in all of sports. But we also have rules that pertain to competition that need to be enforced and abided by. Once the 500 took place, and in the days and weeks following the 500, NASCAR communicated to the drivers and teams that while social media was encouraged and we promoted it, the language in the rule book was clear and that drivers couldn't carry onboard their cars electronic devices, like a phone." NASCAR did not issue a technical bulletin to clarify phones could no longer be inside cars, and the clarification to drivers was apparently done quietly. In fact, Keselowski tweeted from Victory Lane at Bristol in March, and from inside his car parked on pit road during a rain delay at Richmond in September. It's possible someone could have handed him his phone both times.(in part from the Associated Press)(11-14-2012)
UPDATE Don't look for Brad Keselowski to challenge NASCAR's authority and carry a cell phone in his car on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "I will say probably not," Keselowski said during Thursday's champion press conference at Homestead. Asked if he thought it was hypocritical to be fined after his Daytona phone usage got NASCAR so much publicity, Keselowski said, "It doesn't matter whether it is, it exists and I have to work around it." Asked if he had been warned by NASCAR prior to Phoenix, Keselowski said, "I'd rather stay out of that line (of questioning)." But when asked what the fine meant to the future of social media in NASCAR, Keselowski said, "It means you can still be involved in social media. NASCAR has drawn the line as what you can do in the car."(ESPN)(11-15-2012)
NASCAR Issues Penalties From Sunday's Event at Phoenix: NASCAR announced penalties to three teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rule infractions at Phoenix International Raceway.
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 car, was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) – altercation with another competitor on the race track during the race – and has been fined $100,000, docked 25 championship driver points and put on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Rick Hendrick, owner of the #24 car, has also been penalized with the loss of 25 championship owner points. Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the #24 car, also was found to be in violation of Section 9-4A (at all events, crew chief assumes responsibility of his driver, car owner and team members) and has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
Brian Pattie, crew chief of the #15 car, violated Sections 12-1 and 9-4A and has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 car, has been fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for violating Sections 12-1 and 20-6.7A (cars and drivers will not be permitted to carry onboard computers, automated electronic recording devices, electronically actuated devices, power distribution modules, power conditioners, micro-processors, recording devices, electronic digital memory chips, traction control devices, digital readout gauges and the like, even if inoperable or incomplete) – driver had a cell phone in his possession onboard the race car. All of these violations occurred during the Nov. 11 event at PIR.
Statement From Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition: "Following a thorough analysis of the actions that took place during Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway, we have issued penalties based upon our review. The decisions announced today cover NASCAR's full assessment of penalties for the incidents that occurred. There's no doubt that a unique set of circumstances combined with a championship battle on the line resulted in raw emotions coming into play. We consider the penalties appropriate and those involved understand our decision and we expect them to abide by them."(NASCAR)(11-12-2012)
New record for the #2 team: by finishing second at Texas on Sunday, Brad Keselowski recorded his 22nd top-10 finish of 2012. This represents a new record for top-10 finishes in a season by a driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge. Rusty Wallace previously scored 21 top 10s in the "Blue Deuce" during the 1993 and 1998 seasons.(Penske Racing)(11-7-2012)
Keselowski pleased with 2013 cars: Having heard about some of the aerodynamic difficulties drivers encountered in early tests of the new 2013 Sprint Cup race cars on intermediate speedways, #2-Brad Keselowski was intrigued by the prospect of testing the car himself. The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup leader was so intrigued, in fact, that he was willing to take a break from intense preparation for the final four Cup races to drive the 2013 Ford Fusion instead of his customary #2 Dodge. He had his chance on Tuesday and Wednesday in a combination new car/Goodyear tire test at Phoenix, the first test of NASCAR's 2013 models on a one-mile flat track. Keselowski, who will drive Fords next year when Penske Racing makes a manufacturer switch, liked what he saw and felt in the new car. "I thought it was a great test," Keselowski told the NASCAR Wire Service. "I had heard rumors that things weren't going so well with that car, so it felt good to kind of just do it on my own and see what was really going on. I thought the test went really well. The cars seemed to have a lot of drivability, and it's easy to work backwards from there, because certainly we have to balance that, if we make the cars too easy to drive then that's not going to be great, but they also have to be drivable. And you'd rather start with drivable and work backwards than the alternative.(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-28-2012)
Cintas and Penske extend partnership: Penske Racing and Cintas, a leader in business to business services and the world's largest corporate identity uniform provider, announced that the organizations have agreed to a multi-year extension of their current partnership. A team sponsor since 2009, Cintas will continue to provide valuable services for the Penske Racing organization under the terms of the extended partnership. Cintas provides uniform rental and sale, document management, first aid and safety services, fire protection and other facility services for Penske Racing, Penske Automotive Group and Penske Corporation. Through the benefits of the relationship with Cintas, Penske Racing is able to ensure all employees are working in a safe and clean work environment.(Penske Racing)(10-18-2012)
Keselowski wins at Dover: #2-Brad Keselowski won the AAA 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway for his 5th win of year and 9th career win.
#24-Gordon finished 2nd followed by #55-Martin, #48-Johnson, #99-Edwards, #56-Truex, Jr., #18-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #15-Bowyer, and #20-Logano.
The race came down to fuel mileage with several drivers having to pit late and others slowing down to save gas. Keselowski managed to work his way to the front and save enough gas to win.
#2-Keselowski regains the points lead with 2142, a lead of 5 points over #48-Johnson.
There were 5 cautions for 28 yellow flag laps. There were 11 lead changes among 6 drivers. The average speed was 125.076mph.
The estimated attendence was 85,000, the same as in June and up from 83,000 last September.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Dover Race Results page (pdf)
See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf)
For the owner points standings, see the Owners Points Standings (pdf).(9-30-2012)
First time Keselowski leading points - correction: For the first time in #2-Brad Keselowski's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career that has spanned 116 races, Keselowski is the new series point leader. It marks the first time Penske Racing has been at the top of the standings since Kurt Busch led after the Bristol spring race in 2011.(Penske Racing)(9-19-2012)
Penske engineer and wife looking to adopt child from Ethiopia UPDATE: When Aron Oakley met his future wife, Robyn, he quickly discovered her huge heart. The Penske Racing aerodynamics engineer also realized she had plenty of love to go around. Not long after the couple met in 2004, Robyn shared her desire to adopt a child from Africa. Two years later, the couple married. While their family has grown with three little girls, ages 1 to 4, the dream of adopting a child in need never waned. In May, the Oakleys ramped up the process. The couple narrowed their search to an Ethiopian boy "to balance our house full of girls," Robyn said, and enlisted the services of West Sands Adoptions. For the initial expense to expedite the adoption, the NASCAR community has stepped up to help the Oakley's.
The "Our Journey to Bring You Home Silent Auction Fundraiser", held July 14th helped the Oakley's get within $10,000 of their goal, They have a sale this weekend [Sept 22-23] with Suki from Stella and Dot set up and selling, Julie Fay from Thirty-One Gifts and Jenn Harrington from Scentsy. They are donating all of the proceeds and are also taking orders online. There will be an auction on Saturday, September 22nd at the Wynfield Club House, Huntersville, NC. Those who can't make it or are not in the area can bid online. Some of the items include: Danica Patrick signed crew shirt, Denny Hamlin signed firesuit, Ryan Newman signed tire, catering package, bowling birthday package, bike tune ups and other items. For all the info and link, go to ourjourneytobringyouhome.org.(some of this post is from a Fox Sports story)(9-18-2012)
Keselowski wins at Chicago: #2-Brad Keselowski won the GEICO 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway for his 4th win of year and 8th career win.
Pole sitter, #48-Johnson, dominated much of the race but was passed by Keselowski after final pit stops and finished 2nd. He was followed by #5-Kahne, #18-Busch, #39-Newman, #14-Stewart, #20-Logano, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #56-Truex, Jr., and #15-Bowyer.
The points leader coming into the race, #11-Hamlin, ran out of gas on the last lap and finished 16th.
There were 4 cautions for 23 yellow flag laps. There were 16 lead changes among 9 drivers. The average speed was 143.363mph.
The estimated attendence was 65,000. Last year's race was rain delayed to Monday and attendance was 42,000.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Chicago Race Results page (pdf) and the official race and points rundown on the Official Chicago Race & Points Report.(9-16/17-2012)
Nikon Metrology partners up with Penske Racing: Nikon Metrology Inc. and Penske Racing announced a multi-year partnership agreement that makes Nikon Metrology the Official Supplier of Dimensional Metrology Products and Services to Penske Racing. Penske Racing fields the #2 Miller Lite Dodge for Brad Keselowski and #22 Shell Pennzoil Dodge for Sam Hornish Jr in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Nikon Metrology is one of the largest global providers of metrology products and value-added services, with one of the widest range of products.(Penske Racing)(9-12-2013)
Penske teams testing at Nasvhille: The Penske Racing teams [#2-Keselowski & #22-Hornish, Jr.] are testing at the Nashville Superspeedway today (Tuesday). "It's a group effort to try several things," said Shell-Pennzoil Dodge crew chief Todd Gordon. "Many of the guys on the #2 car team will be there and several of us from the #22 team are attending. Sam will be there with us and getting seat time. The test is really not focused on preparation for a particular upcoming race; we're just using it to take a closer look at several items we've wanted to evaluate."(Tom Roberts PR)(9-11-2012)
Rusty to be honored on #2 Dodge UPDATE: The featured tag line on the rear bumper of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge of Brad Keselowski this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway will read "Inductee Rusty Wallace." This is a tribute to Wallace's 2013 induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. During his time in the #2 Miller-sponsored car, the former Penske Racing driver accumulated 37 wins, 145 top-five finishes, 252 top-10 results, while leading a total of 15,012 laps.(Penske Racing)(8-22-2012)
UPDATE: Penske Racing and Miller Lite announced they will honor Rusty Wallace's 2013 induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame with a special, throwback paint scheme on the #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in Saturday night's Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The paint scheme will be an exact replica of the scheme Rusty used to sweep both races at BMS in the 2000 NASCAR Cup Series season, including his landmark 50th career victory in the March 26 Food City 500. Brad Keselowski, current driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, will attempt to continue the tradition and pull off the same season sweep this weekend. The #2 Miller-sponsored car from Penske Racing has scored a total of 10 wins at BMS, with seven of those wins coming with Wallace in the seat. Wallace tallied 37 NSCS victories as driver of the #2 car that he made famous. Wallace is part of the five-member class that will receive induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame next May. The Hall chose BMS – site of nine of the 55 wins by Wallace during his illustrious career – as the perfect venue to honor the career of the 1989 NSCS champion. The career totals for Wallace in the Miller-sponsored car at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile" are spectacular. In 30 Bristol starts he garnered seven wins, 16 top-five finishes and 21 top-10s. In the iconic #2, Wallace led 3,404 laps at the track. His first win in the #2 came on April 14, 1991. Those stats are part of an impressive legacy of the Penske Racing #2 car at BMS. In 43 starts the #2 car has picked up 10 wins, 20 top-five finishes, 28 top-10s and has led a total of 4,075 laps. "Being elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame is such an enormous honor," said Wallace. "This sport has done so much for me and I hope that I can keep giving back to it for many years to come. I couldn't think of a better place to be honored for my induction than Bristol Motor Speedway. I'm very proud of my record there; it's such a special venue where everyone wants to win."(Penske Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #2 Team Schemes page.(8-24-2012)
Keselowski says Hendrick teams may be bending rules UPDATE: #2-Brad Keselowski believes Penske Racing's refusal to bend the rules contributed to him not being able to challenge #48-Jimmie Johnson for the lead Sunday Michigan. Johnson was leading Keselowski with six laps remaining when his Hendrick Motorsports engine blew. #16-Greg Biffle won the race and Keselowski finished second. During the race, Keselowski made reference to Hendrick's "tricks" with their cars. Hendrick's Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third and fourth, respectively. The Hendrick cars appear to have different rear suspension setups than other cars, especially at intermediate tracks such as Michigan, Indianapolis and Pocono. "There's part and pieces on the car that are moving after inspection that makes the cars more competitive," Keselowski said after the race. "Some guys have it, some don't. There's a question as to the interpretation of the rule. Penske Racing errs on the safe side because we don't want to be the guys that get the big penalty." Keselowski said Penske will need to re-evaluate its setups. "As a group at Penske Racing, we have not felt comfortable enough to risk that name and reputation that Roger has over those parts and pieces. Others have, which is their prerogative," Keselowski said. "I'm not going to slam it. But it's living in a gray area. … We have to make a re-evaluation of that internally to decide if that's the right way to go."(Sporting News)(8-20-2012)
UPDATE: #2-Brad Keselowski stressed Thursday night that he wasn't accusing Hendrick Motorsports of cheating with his comments last week at Michigan International Speedway. Keselowski said last week that the some teams were using some "tricks" with the rear suspensions on their cars and working within a gray area of the NASCAR rulebook. He said his Penske Racing team has been reluctant to push the envelope in such areas over fear of getting caught cheating. Keselowski said he took great care not to mention Hendrick Motorsports by name last week and has spent the last week on Twitter trying to clarify any misunderstandings. Other competitors in recent weeks have alluded to an advantage Hendrick teams may have with the way they are setting up the rear of their cars. Keselowski talked to the media Thursday night during an unveiling of a retro paint scheme to honor former Penske driver Rusty Wallace's 50th career victory. Keselowski insisted that he wasn't accusing anyone of cheating. "I didn't appreciate how those words were twisted into calling out a specific team," Keselowski said. "I made it a point to not call out a specific team and I think I said in a sense, 'there is a half-dozen to a dozen cars that are running those things,' and with the exception of maybe the TV broadcast I hadn't pointed out which ones they were."(Sporting News)(8-24-2012)
Keselowski hasn't talked to Busch after Watkins Glen: #18-Kyle Busch hasn't spoken to #22-Brad Keselowski since the last-lap incident that knocked Busch out of the lead last Sunday at Watkins Glen International. Kyle Busch hasn't spoken to reporters either, declining to share his views of the collision after the race and after Friday's qualifying session at Michigan International Speedway. Busch had plenty of reason to be disappointed. After taking the white flag in the lead on Sunday, his No. 18 Toyota slipped in oil in the first corner. Busch went wide, to the left of the rumble strips that define the course. Keselowski would like to see any issues he might have with Busch resolved before the Chase starts at Chicagoland on Sept. 16. "I spoke with his crew chief, Dave Rogers, and tried to get a hold of him, but every phone number that I had was bad or something," Keselowski said Friday at Michigan. "Like I said after the race, it was unfortunate, because dumping the leader on the last lap is not something that I want to be known for. It certainly wasn't something that I wanted to see happen. I wasn't something that I intended to happen, but it obviously happened, and I can't make that go away and only hope he understands as a racer that he is that things like that happen, and it's just sometimes part of the breaks."(NASCAR Wire Serivce)(8-19-2012)
Keselowski Featured in New ESPN NASCAR Ad: #22-Brad Keselowski is featured in the newest "Nothing Beats First Place" ad to promote ESPN's coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the third of four ads in the humorous campaign. In the new spot, Keselowski fights to stay awake after a gigantic turkey feast, gets (fake) pepper-sprayed while trying to decipher an autostereogram image and answers odd questions at a news conference, none of which are harder than winning. Wieden + Kennedy New York is the creative agency for the campaign. The spot debuts in ESPN's telecast of Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.(ESPN), see the video and outtakes at ESPN Front Row.(8-17-2012)S
Penske sons arrested for alleged break-in at Nantucket Yacht Club: Two sons of auto racing mogul Roger Penske [#2 & #22 Dodges in Sprint Cup Series, NNS teams and IndyCars team among others] were arrested early Thursday morning by island police for an alleged break-in at the Nantucket Yacht Club after two women claimed they had been assaulted in the club's parking lot. Jay Penske, 33, the CEO of the digital media company PMC who owns the IndyCar racing team Dragon Racing and the web site Deadline.com, along with his brother Mark Penske, 35, were arrested just before 2 a.m. Thursday on South Beach Street. According to a police report, the incident was initially reported as an assault and battery when two women approached police on Broad Street, claiming they had been assaulted by two men, later identified as the Penske brothers, at the yacht club's parking lot. Their parents, Roger and Kathy Penske, own a waterfront home on Nantucket in Pocomo. The Penske brothers were not available for comment, according to a person who answered the phone at their parents' home.(full story at the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror)(8-9-2012)
Roush says Penske will use Roush-Yates engines: UPDATES: Jack Roush says Penske has decided to run Roush-Yates Ford engines next season. Penske has said he will not be shutting down the 80-man operation he currently has, but it would seem unlikely that Ford would care for one of its star new players to also continue building Dodge engines on the side. A possible sale of that engine shop to Dodge itself has been speculated as the only logical solution.
Roush: "Roger and I will cooperate on things that are in our common interests, and we will compete on things that reflect our need to be independent and justify our space on the race track. We've done the bulk of the work on the 2013 car; we did invite them to have a look at what we've done in concert with Ford, and made sure we had their blessing, along with the other Ford teams involved. The indication are -- though I don't know if the papers have been signed yet -- that he will use our engines. He does have a few things he does different with his cars and the way the engines are mounted; so we'll respect his experience and his package preference. Whether we wind up with the same package for all Ford cars or not is yet to be determined."
Roush, asked about the possibility of Penske becoming a business partner with Roush and Doug Yates in the engine operations, said "There is no plan on the table for Roger for any ownership in the engine program. But I stop short of saying that would never be a consideration going forward."(MikeMulhern.net)(8-4-2012)
UPDATE: Roush Yates Engines announced that it will provide Ford FR9 engines to Penske Racing beginning with the 2013 NASCAR season. Penske Racing announced earlier this year that it would be returning to Ford Racing in 2013 in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. "It's truly an honor to provide Penske Racing with Roush Yates Ford engines," said Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates. "I have always admired Roger Penske as a team owner and a respected businessman in our sport and beyond. I am looking forward to many wins, championships, and other successes in supporting the Penske organization." Penske Racing fielded Ford entries from 1991 through 2002. "Ford has been consistent in its belief that we will be stronger with one engine specification rather than continuing with an independent approach," said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing. "Roush Yates has a proven record and we are looking forward to many successes together."(Roush Yates)(8-6-2012)
UPDATE 2: Penske Racing will switch to Roush Yates horsepower in its 2013 move to Ford in the Sprint Cup Series, but the team still is exploring ways to keep its 63 engine employees. Penske President Tim Cindric told USA Today Sports that still building motors for Dodge teams in NASCAR's premier series wouldn't be an option, though. "Relative to us, they said they're going in a different direction," Cindric said. "We don't see there being any more potential on the NASCAR side with Dodge." Cindric said Penske has explored sending some of its engine staff to Roush Yates, reassigning others within Penske Racing and perhaps pursuing engine projects in other series with the rest of the employees in a scaled-down engine room. "We feel our biggest asset wasn't the (horsepower) but the people," Cindric said. "That's a strong group of people we didn't want to break up."(USA Today)(8-7-2012)
Furniture Row to buy Penske engine program? Kurt Busch in second FRR car? UPDATE: Nobody is talking on the record, still, but unofficial word from the NASCAR engine building world Sunday morning is that Barney Visser [#78 Furniture Row Racing], the Denver, Col., businessman is considering buying the Dodge engine department from Roger Penske. With Penske moving to Fords for 2013, and with Penske -- according to Jack Roush -- agreeing to run Roush-Yates Ford FR9s next season, the future of Penske's huge engine department has been the subject of much debate. Now word is that some of Penske's top engine men will be moving to the Roush-Yates engine department, and that Visser will be taking many of the rest, along with Penske's engine building equipment, and Visser will thus be switching from Chevy to Dodge. And -- though again no one is talking on the record -- it appears that Visser is very interested in hiring Kurt Busch to team with Smith next season.(MikeMulhern.net)(8-5-2012)
UPDATE: Furniture Row Racing is prepared to switch from Chevy to Dodge in 2013 if the manufacturer chooses to go in that direction. Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said Sunday at Pocono Raceway that there have been initial talks with Dodge about making a switch and adding a second team, potentially with 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch. "If Dodge comes to us and says here's the right deal, we would do it," Garone said. "They're trying to figure out who they're going to do it with and how they're going to do it." Furniture Row currently gets its chassis from Richard Childress Racing and engines from Earnhardt Childress Racing. Everything else is built in the organization's Denver shop. Garone said the organization intends to keep driver Regan Smith, who won at Darlington Raceway last year, beyond this season. He said there have been talks with Busch about expanding, but that would depend on finding a sponsor or a manufacturer willing to give financial help. Garone said he has not given Dodge a deadline for making a decision, but he'd like to know sooner than later. Garone said they are waiting on a decision from Dodge before completing a deal with Smith. "It's our intention to bring him back," Garone said. "With all this other stuff pending, you don't make a commitment and find there is another avenue we should have taken."(ESPN.com)(8-5-2012)
Keselowski would like input on teammate for the #22: #2-Brad Keselowski has three Sprint Cup wins for Roger Penske this season. He also hopes he has his boss's ear when it comes to finding a replacement for recently-dismissed teammate AJ Allmendinger. "I hope that we can secure a teammate that is an elite talent that I can work with -- and certainly some of that responsibility is mine to communicate," Keselowski said. "I think that's something that Mr. Penske takes very seriously." Keselowski, currently ninth in the point standings, wants to be part of the decision-making process. Last season's pairing with Kurt Busch demonstrated to him how important positive give-and-take with a teammate can be. Both he and Busch qualified for the Chase, finishing fifth and 11th, respectively. "I told Roger from Day One, when I came to Penske Racing, I didn't want to be just a driver," Keselowski said. "I wanted to be part of a team and part of making Penske Racing as strong as possible. [A replacement for Allmendinger] is something we've discussed. But I can't say that we've come up with an answer."(NASCAR.com)(8-5-2012)
Penske still undecided about future engine program: Roger Penske, who announced in March that his Penske Racing team would move from fielding Dodges to Fords, still has not made a final decision on whether to build his own engines, lease them from Roush Yates Engines or possibly become a partner in Roush Yates Engines. The Penske engine shop is not located at its main car manufacturing facility in North Carolina and could be spun off into a Dodge engine building facility. "We're still trying to finish up the final discussion with Dodge, what they're going to do," Penske said. "We obviously have the option with Roush Yates, which we're looking at also."(Sporting News)(7-30-2012)
Dodge buying Penske's engine program? For those worried about Dodge perhaps folding its tent at the end of 2012, without any teams yet on its 2013 NASCAR roster, the good news is that Chrysler officials, according to company sources, have just ordered a full inventory of Penske's NASCAR engine operation (80-men strong), with firm indications the company will buy Penske's Dodge operation and go into the NASCAR 'customer engine' business itself, just as Toyota does with its Los Angeles-based TRD NASCAR engine building program. Such a move by Chrysler would open the door for someone like Michael Andretti to venture into NASCAR with a new Sprint Cup team (even though Penske himself has warned Andretti that running a NASCAR team requires five times as many people and three times as much money to operate as an Indy-car team). One Dodge question is whether the Richard Petty two-car team, currently fielding Fords, with factory support, would stick with Ford or move to Dodge.(MikeMulhern.net)(7-7-2012)
Penske engineer and wife looking to adopt child from Ethiopia: When Aron Oakley met his future wife, Robyn, he quickly discovered her huge heart. The Penske Racing aerodynamics engineer also realized she had plenty of love to go around. Not long after the couple met in 2004, Robyn shared her desire to adopt a child from Africa. Two years later, the couple married. While their family has grown with three little girls, ages 1 to 4, the dream of adopting a child in need never waned. In May, the Oakleys ramped up the process. The couple narrowed their search to an Ethiopian boy "to balance our house full of girls," Robyn said, and enlisted the services of West Sands Adoptions. For the initial expense to expedite the adoption, the NASCAR community has stepped up to help the Oakleys with "Our Journey to Bring You Home Silent Auction Fundraiser" to be held July 14. For those near Lake Norman, NC, the auction will be conducted at Eez Fusion from 2-5 p.m. ET, but race fans also can participate by phone. Details are at ourjourneytobringyouhome.org. Some of the items include a signed firesuit worn by Tony Stewart during his quest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title last year, signed sheet metal and tires from Ryan Newman, Richard Petty Experience ride-alongs, wind-tunnel time at AeroDyn A2 Wind Tunnel and race tickets to Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Oakleys are hoping to raise the $35,000 it will take to complete the adoption, which includes a home study, the dossier and travel.(Fox Sports)(7-6-2012)
Keselowski wins at Kentucky: #2-Brad Keselowski won the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway for his 3rd win of the year and 7th career win.
#5-Kahne finished 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson [polesitter], #17-Kenseth, #56-Truex, Jr., #22-Allmendinger, and #18-Busch.
There were 4 cautions for 24 yellow flag laps. There were 17 lead changes among 6 drivers. The average speed was 145.607mph.
The estimated attendence was 105,000, down slightly from 107,000 in 2011.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Kentucky Race Results page (pdf) and the official rundown on the Official Race Report.
See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf).
For the owner points standings, see the Owners Points Standings (pdf).(6-30-2012)
Andretti is considering forming NASCAR team: UPDATES: One of IndyCar's biggest names could branch out to the Sprint Cup Series as Michael Andretti told SI.com that he is hoping to start a NASCAR team. "We were looking at NASCAR real close last year, too, but it fell apart," Andretti said. "We were looking at it just as hard last year as this year and the year before." If Andretti is able to find the right sponsorship, he could team up with Dodge and base his team out of the old Evernham Motorsports shop at the Statesville Regional Airport in Statesville, N.C. A Dodge source told SI.com that Andretti could probably team up with the engine manufacturer for $5 million to $6 million. That's because Dodge is losing its primary team in Sprint Cup at the end of this season as Penske Racing switches to Ford. Because of that, it is looking for a flagship team and Andretti could be a good fit, especially if it were to team up with Richard Petty Motorsports -- currently a Ford team paired with Roush Fenway Racing, but has a long history with Dodge. "I'm always looking at all options," Andretti said. "I'd be stupid not to listen to Dodge or any other manufacturers. It doesn't matter that we are a Chevy IndyCar team. It might be nice if it was all under one roof but, in our contract, we're a Chevy IndyCar team."(Sports Illustrated)(6-27-2012)
UPDATE: Sources have confirmed to PitPass.net that Michael Andretti has purchased the engine program from Penske Racing and will field at least one full time Dodge in the Cup series in 2013 and beyond. No word on who the driver is, but with Matt Kenseth leaving Roush at the end of the season, the 2003 Cup series champ did confirm to the Journal Sentinel on Wednesday that he will drive for "a new cup team" in 2013 and beyond. One option on the table is for Andretti to base his team out of the old Evernham Motorsports shop at the Statesville Regional Airport in Statesville, N.C. Also hearing from this unnamed source that this new deal with Dodge is also with Richard Petty Motorsports -- currently a Ford team paired with Roush Fenway Racing, but has a long history with Dodge. (this is why we didn't get the announcement of Petty to Dodge in Michigan a few weeks ago, they were trying to get Kenseth). Hearing that an offical announcement could come as early as next weekend.(PitPass.net)(6-282012)
UPDATE 2: In response to inquiries about the company's NASCAR motorsports program, Beth Paretta, Director of Marketing and Operations - SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, offers the following statement: "While we continue to evaluate plans in NASCAR for 2013 and beyond, we have no commitments with any partners at this time. We continue to be pleased with the amount of interest from the media and fans in our motorsports program and will continue to follow our process as established in a timely manner. When decisions are finalized, we will announce them at that time. Currently what is most important is that we have not lost any focus on 2012 and our partnership with Penske Racing. Our commitment to win races and compete for championships with Penske Racing in both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series this season remains firm. We will not lose focus on that partnership as we make decisions about our future in NASCAR."(Darnell Communications for Dodge)(6-29-2012)
UPDATE 3: Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing, issued the following statement: "Contrary to recent published speculation, Penske Racing has not sold its engine company. The team's focus continues to be on successfully completing the 2012 season, competing for championships and victories in the both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series for Dodge and our other sponsor partners."(Penske Racing)(6-30-2012)
Keselowski, Montoya make contact in Friday practices: Tempers flared during Sprint Cup practice on Friday at Kentucky Speedway after there was contact between #2-Brad Keselowski and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. Keselowski went to the NASCAR hauler on his own volition following two run-ins on the track Montoya once the final practice ended. Keselowski said he would leave his discussion with NASCAR "between them and me." With that, Montoya's spotter Jeff Dickerson followed Keselowski into the side door of the Miller Lite transporter. Keselowski believed that Montoya instigated the first one, which happened before the first lap was in run practice, that resulted in the #2 Penske Racing team pulling out a back-up car in opening practice. Then, after assisting the team with setting up the second car, Keselowski sent Montoya a message in Happy Hour that he wouldn't be monkeyed with on the track by tapping the #42's left rear quarter panel between Turns 3 and 4. And that drew the caution flag from NASCAR. After the first practice, SPEED asked Montoya what happened with Keselowski, and driver replied, "I would like to know as well. I came out of the pits. They told me he had a big run. I put my hand out to wave at him. I started turning and running high. I think he thought he'd cleared me and he was probably going to run high and run straight into me. We didn't even do a lap. I wasn't even up to speed.(Fox Sports)(6-30-2012)
Could Penske buy into Roush-Yates? While drivers and crews ponder the 'new' track and strategies, one of the hottest stories in the sport is being played out behind closed doors: The Roger Penske-Jack Roush dealing for 2013 is still being kept well hidden by both sides. Penske, after 10 years with Dodge, is switching to Fords at the end of the season, and what Penske will do for engines has been a big question in the NASCAR garage. Neither man has said much about how their talks have gone. Roush has said he's willing to sell engines to Penske. But then Penske has his own engine operation, 80-men strong. The sense has been that Penske and Roush will likely be more competitors in 2013 than tight Ford teammates. And following that, it would seem unlikely that Penske would be willing to or interested in buying engines from such a powerful competitor. Now, however there is increasing speculation in the stock car garage about the Penske-Roush situation, and it goes like this:
-- Penske would indeed buy his Ford engines in 2013 from Roush-Yates;
-- that would allow Penske to sell his own in-house/in-Charlotte stock car engine operation to Dodge, to allow Dodge to attract a top operation to run its cars next season;
-- the kicker could be that Penske might want to buy a major share of the entire Roush-Yates engine operation.(MikeMulhern.net)(6-9-2012)
Keselowski wins at Talladega: #2-Brad Keselowski won the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway for his 2nd win of the year, 2nd at Talladega and his 6th career win. There was one green-white-checker attempt at the end after a couple late race cautions.
#18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #17-Kenseth, #5-Kahne, #1-Biffle, #15-Bowyer, #34-Ragan, #21-Bayne, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., and #31-Burton.
Polesitter #24-Jeff Gordon was caught in a wreck on lap 143 and finished 33rd.
There were 5 cautions for 24 yellow flag laps. There were 34 lead changes among 17 drivers. The race started about 30 minutes late after morning rain showers fell at the track.
The estimated attendence was 108,500, down from 115,000 in the Spring 2011 race.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Talladega Race Results page (pdf). (5-6-2012)
Special NASCAR Unites schemes to run UPDATES & Images: as part of the NASCAR Foundation's NASCAR Unites program, a few drivers will run special paint schemes at various races including #47-Bobby Labonte, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #55-Mark Martin, #56-Martin Truex Jr. and #99-Carl Edwards at Charlotte in May;
#2-Brad Keselowski (no image), #29-Kevin Harvick (no image) and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Charlotte in May and Daytona in July;
#16-Greg Biffle at Michigan in June. See links to the images of the schemes on the Paint Scheme Gallery page.(4-9-2012)
UPDATE: NASCAR announced the launch of "NASCAR Unites – An American Salute," a patriotic initiative uniting the NASCAR industry and fans this summer to celebrate America and support U.S. military families. NASCAR Nation will be covered from head to toe – and from splitter to spoiler – in red, white and blue to highlight the summer season, starting and ending at two traditionally patriotic summer NASCAR events held at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-27) and Daytona International Speedway (Independence Day Weekend, July 5-7). Additional activities related to the six-week initiative will take place between these "tent-pole" events, including retail programs and other sponsor promotions.
To launch the initiative, the "NASCAR Unites – An American Salute" paint scheme for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 National Guard Hendrick Motorsports Chevy was revealed today in the nation's capital for more than 30,000 children and their guests attending the 134th Annual Easter Egg Roll event at the White House.
Among those NASCAR drivers already committed to "NASCAR Unites – An American Salute" paint schemes are Earnhardt, 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #14-Tony Stewart, #16-Greg Biffle, Danica Patrick, #2-Brad Keselowski and #99-Carl Edwards. As part of the program, NASCAR and The NASCAR Foundation will work with charities to fund initiatives that support military families. A social media promotion utilizing a #NASCARUnites hashtag will highlight track activations as well as patriotic activities from teams, broadcast partners and sponsors.(NASCAR)
AND In the Nationwide Series, #88-Cole Whitt, will run in the Kentucky race in June and #7-Danica Patrick will run in the Nationwide race at the Daytona race in July. See images of the cars on the #7 NNS team paint schemes and #88 NNS paint schemes page.(4-9-2012)
New engines for Penske: There will be new power in the Penske Dodges when they hit the track for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Both the #2 Miller Lite Charger (Brad Keselowski) and the #22 Shell Pennzoil Charger (A.J. Allmendinger) will be running with SRT Motorsports newly updated R6P8 racing engine. "We are excited to launch our new "closed deck" engine block with Penske Racing Engines for the Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville this weekend," said Dave Bailey, SRT Motorsports Engineering. "We are very pleased with the performance and durability of our previous 'open deck' block, but are introducing design changes to help improve head gasket life and future capability for power increases. The post machining and processing time at Penske's engine shop will be significantly reduced. We will also take advantage of weight improvements that come along with the base block material changing to "compacted graphite iron" similar to the other manufacturers. We worked closely with NASCAR to ensure the changes are compliant and have competitive parity."(Allpar.com)(3-30-2012)
Penske may continue to build Dodge engines after 2012: Penske Racing will run Fords in NASCAR's premier series next season, but the team owner said Saturday his Sprint Cup team still could be building Dodge engines. Penske hasn't decided whether to use motors from Roush Yates, which currently supplies all of Ford's teams in Cup. But Penske said his 70-person engine staff would be unaffected if he elects to align with the motors used by Roush Fenway Racing. "We have a lot of people calling us wanting to run Dodges," Penske said as his Izod IndyCar Series teams prepared to qualify for the season opener on the streets of St. Pete. "We're going to keep our engine shop open obviously. We have a big investment there. We're certainly not going to shut the door. There's a lot of speculation, but I can assure you that engine shop will continue to operate in some mode one way or the other. Because we've got chassis dynos and things that we wouldn't have the success today without what those guys have done. If Dodge is interested, if we would go to a separate source (for engines), then our shop could be available to do Dodge work for sure." Penske said he hasn't met with Roush yet, but his team has scheduled several meetings with Ford officials.(see full article and more quotes at the USA Today)(3-25-2012)
Gargoyles signs Brad Keselowski: Gargoyles Performance Eyewear announced that #2-Brad Keselowski is joining its growing team of professional athletes and brand ambassadors. Keselowski, a contender for the 2012 Sprint Cup championship, will appear in Gargoyles advertising campaigns, in addition to working closely with the brand to advance its array of high-performance sunglasses.(Gargoyles PR)(3-22-2012)
NASCAR says Kenseth legally beat Keselowski to line on Bristol restart: Generally, there are two cardinal rules when it comes to NASCAR's double-file restarts: don't change lanes before you cross the start/finish line and if you're in second, don't beat the leader to the start/finish line. With 154 laps to go in Sunday's Food City 500, #17-Matt Kenseth restarted second. The leader, #2-Brad Keselowski, was next to him on the inside line. It was the first time the leader had taken the inside line all day. Kenseth clearly beat Keselowski to the start/finish line as you can see in the video above, and the two entered turn one side-by-side before Kenseth prevailed and cleared Keselowski a few laps later. Kenseth never conceded the position to Keselowski, nor was he black-flagged by NASCAR. Why? Because according to NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp, race officials deemed that Keselowski hadn't mashed the gas in the designated restart zone before the start/finish line, allowing the second-place driver -- Kenseth -- the right of way to accelerate on his own.(Yahoo Sports)(3-19-2012)
Keselowski wins at Bristol: #2-Brad Keselowski won the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the year, his 2nd win in a row at Bristol and 5th win of his career. Keselowski led the most laps with 215. It is the 10th win at Bristol for Penske Racing, all in the #2 car (7 by Rusty Wallace, 1 by Kurt Busch, 2 by Keselowski).
#17-Kenseth finished 2nd followed by #56-Truex Jr., #15-Bowyer, #55-Vickers [in his first start of the season, also led 125 laps], #31-Burton, #1-McMurray, #42-Montoya, #48-Johnson and #27-Menard. The pole sitter, #16-Billfe, led 41 laps and finished 13th.
Drivers caught up in wrecks included #5-Kahne, #99-Edwards, #18-Busch, #9-Ambrose and #24-Gordon, finished deep in the final results.
THere have been four different race winners in the first four races, four different pole sitters [and none have won] and a different manufacurer win in each of the first four races.
There were 5 cautions for 49 yellow flag laps. There were 13 lead changes among 7 drivers. The estimated attendence was only 102,000, down from 120,000 in 2011.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Bristol Race Results page (pdf).(3-18-2012)
Penske teams suffer fuel injection problems: Secret or not, #2-Brad Keselowski and the rest of his team have learned their lesson from last year's comments about the electronic fuel injection system and want no more fines from NASCAR. So the outspoken driver bit his proverbial tongue on Twitter Sunday afternoon after leaving Las Vegas Motor Speedway very disappointed with his 32nd-place finish. For the second consecutive week, Keselowski had some fuel pickup issues, and this time it hurt him much worse than it did in a fifth-place run at Phoenix. After Landon Cassill blew his engine on Lap 246, Keselowski couldn't get going on the restart and was well off the pace as cars passed him on both sides. After the race, Keselowski said there was still fuel in the gas tank, meaning it was an issue with the fuel system. Keselowski, however, wasn't the only Penske driver affected. AJ Allmendinger in the #22 had his troubles much earlier, but they continued throughout en route to a 37th-place finish. According to the team's Twitter feed, the fuel pressure issue first showed up on Lap 149. The team spent several laps in the garage about 40 laps later, first trying to replace one part, and then later swapping out the whole electronic fuel injection system.(NASCAR.com)(3-12-2012)
Keselowski explains having phone in car: #2-Brad Keselowski has no intention of ever using his phone while his tires are rolling. But just having it in the car could lead some young fans to think it's OK to text or tweet while they are driving, already a growing problem on the highways across America. No one wants that, including Keselowski. He told a long story Friday about why he has his cell phone in the race car, which had nothing to do with social media. Originally, it was all about calling his mom. He crashed in a 2007 Nationwide Series race at Fontana and was airlifted by helicopter to a Los Angeles hospital. He didn't have his cell phone and couldn't contact his mother, Kay, for hours. "That's why I keep the phone with me now," he said. "I had the team put a little pocket for it in the car. It has a practical purpose." The Daytona oddity was just a bonus -- a 160,000 Twitter bonus. "The phone wasn't there for a red flag at Daytona and a jet-dryer explosion," Keselowski said. "I don't have that much foresight. You can't plan moments like that. They just happen."(ESPN)(3-3-2012)
Where does Dodge go in 2013? A new manufacturer in Cup? Dodge will unveil its 2013 Sprint Cup car on March 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. However, the bigger question now is who will be driving Dodges next year? #7-Robby Gordon Motorsports would be the lone team at this point after Penske Racing announced Thursday that it was moving to manufacturer Ford in 2013. But Dodge has also reached out to other teams, including Richard Petty Motorsports [#43 & #9], according to owner Andy Murstein. "We received calls from several manufacturers today asking if they could meet with us," Murstein said. "It seems that while sponsorship is down, car manufacturer support is strong. That is probably due to the fact that the car companies are all doing significantly better these days than a few years ago. Thus Petty has been approached by several manufacturers recently. What's interesting is that while there are the usual suspects there is one new manufacturer that is trying to break into the sport. RPM's contract with Ford is up at the end of the season. Petty ran Dodges from 1972 to 1978. Petty Enterprises aligned with Dodge again when the manufacturer returned to NASCAR competition in 2001 through most of the 2009 season, then under the RPM banner. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing president Steve Lauletta said the company had not yet been approached by Dodge.(Fox Sports)
AND: Richard Petty Motorsports said: "We welcome Penske Racing to the Ford Racing Family in 2013. Additional teams mean more information for everyone and that's a very good thing from a competition standpoint. We have a partnership with Roush Fenway Racing and we are happy to be a part of the Ford Racing program. As we always do, we will evaluate all of our options and make decisions based on what is ultimately best for our race team."(RPM)(3-2-2012)
Penske switching to Ford in 2013: UPDATES: Penske Racing will in 2013 switch from Dodge to Ford in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, automotive-industry sources have informed Autoweek. An official announcement is expected midday Thursday. Penske fields Dodge Chargers for #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-A. J. Allmendinger. When Penske returned [too NASCAR] in 1991 he fielded Pontiacs through the 1994 season. He switched to Fords for the next eight seasons, 1995 through 2002, before forming his alliance with Dodge which reached nine years last season. All told, he's fielded 1,503 Cup entries, won 96 poles and 71 races. His cars have finished in the top-five 333 times and in the top-10 573 times. Penske Racing has never won a Cup championship but has been top-10 in final points 19 times. But Penske Racing has been in a mini slump of late. It has won at least one race every year since 1991 but has only 18 wins in 768 starts dating to 2004. The year before, Newman won eight races, more than half his NASCAR career total of 15. The Dodge years, beginning in 2003, are somewhat deceiving. Newman, in his second full year with Penske Racing, won eight races for Dodge in 2003, by far the brand's best NASCAR showing since its glory days with Richard Petty in the 1970s. Wallace won once in his next-to-last season of 2004, and Newman gave Dodge only three wins in his last four years with Penske. Kurt Busch won 10 times for Dodge in his six seasons with Penske Racing, and Keselowski has won three times.(AutoWeek)(3-1-2012)
UPDATE: Penske Racing is coming back to Ford. After a 10-year hiatus, Penske Racing returns its two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup operation to Ford Racing beginning with the 2013 Daytona 500, and if its latest term is anything like the most recent one, Ford fans will have plenty to cheer about. Penske Racing, recognized as one of racing's all-time great teams, most recently spent nine seasons with Ford from 1994-2002, posting 27 wins and 33 poles among three drivers. In addition, its teams finished in the Top 10 48.6 percent of the time (228-of-469 starts). The organization first raced with Ford in 1976 and 1977, before coming back in 1994. In total, through 524 NASCAR starts (509 Cup Series and 15 Nationwide Series) with Ford, Penske Racing teams earned 28 victories (27 Cup Series and one Nationwide Series) and 42 pole positions (36 Cup Series and six Nationwide Series). "This is an historic day for our racing program, and we are thrilled to see another member of the extended Ford family coming back," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "Working together with Penske Racing gives Ford another championship-level program, and we are excited to take our racing program to all-new levels." Added Roger Penske: "We look forward to joining the Ford Racing NASCAR program beginning in 2013. We appreciate the long-term commitment that Ford has made to Penske Racing and for their continued support of the sport."(Ford Racing)(3-1-2012)
Dodge Statement: In response to today's announcement by Penske Racing, Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports, offered the following statement: "Dodge has enjoyed a successful partnership with Penske Racing for 10 years. It's a partnership that has produced results for both parties on and off the track. Roger (Penske) has made a business decision to accept an offer with another manufacturer. We wish Roger and Penske Racing much success in the future. "We are committed to work with Penske Racing to compete at the highest level, win races and contend for championships this season. Our motorsports involvement isn't limited to NASCAR. We do value our NASCAR program and will be evaluating the opportunities available moving forward. As those opportunities materialize, we'll reveal our 2013 plans, not only in NASCAR but in other forms of motorsports."(Dodge PR)(3-1-2012)
NASCAR Statement on Brad Keselowski's Use of Social Media During the Daytona 500: NASCAR will not penalize #2-Brad Keselowski for his use of Twitter during last night's Daytona 500. Nothing we've seen from Keselowski violates any current rules pertaining to the use of social media during races. As such, he won't be penalized. We encourage our drivers to use social media to express themselves as long as they do so without risking their safety or that of others.(NASCAR)(2-28-2012)
Wurth Group joins #2 as associate sponsor: Penske Racing welcomes a new partner to its NASCAR Nationwide Series program in 2012 as The Wurth Group will sponsor the Dodge Challenger driven by Sam Hornish, Jr. The #12 Wurth Dodge will be featured as primary sponsor in seven races as it marks the beginning of a multi-year partnership between Wurth and Penske Racing. Wurth will also be an associate sponsor for the remaining 26 Nationwide Series races and also as an associate sponsor of #2 Miller Lite Dodge in the Sprint Cup Series. A leading supplier of high-quality automotive and industrial parts, cabinet supplies and fasteners, Wurth has more than 40,000 customers across the nation. With Wurth on board as a sponsor for 2012, Hornish and the #12 team will compete for the full Nationwide Series season, racing with Alliance Truck Parts as a partner as well.(Penske Racing)(1-29-2012)
Miller, Keselwoski & Wolfe signed thru 2015: #2-Brad Keselowski's extension with Penske Racing is for two years, with an organization option for a third year in 2015, team sources confirmed Thursday. Keselowski was entering the last year of his initial three-year deal with Penske. The team had announced Dec. 1 that an extension was signed, but no terms were disclosed. Crew chief Paul Wolfe and sponsor Miller Lite also have re-signed through 2015.(ESPN.com)
AND Miller Lite has renewed its partnership with Penske Racing. Miller Lite will continue as the season-long primary sponsor of Penske's #2 Dodge driven by Brad Keselowski, building upon an alliance that began in 1991. For Miller Lite, its sponsorship extension with Penske and Keselowski comes after an amazing 2011 season, Keselowski's second full year on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. Keselowski and his Miller Lite team surged from deep in the driver standings as late as mid-July to win three races, qualify for the Chase and finish fifth in the championship standings. Keselowski and the Blue Deuce are featured throughout the year in Miller Lite-branded point-of-sale materials displayed in on- and off-premise retail accounts across the country, as well as in advertising and digital marketing. Keselowski and members of his crew also make special appearances at retail accounts to visit Miller Lite customers throughout the season. "The #2 Miller Lite Dodge is coming off a very successful season on the racetrack - one where we reached Victory Lane for a sixth-consecutive season while qualifying for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup," said Roger Penske. "The continued support of MillerCoors will ensure that this long-standing partnership will remain one of the strongest bonds in professional motorsports. With Miller Lite, we are proud to have one of the few full-season sponsors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. That continuity is one of the many reasons Brad and the team are primed for another great season."(Penske Racing)(1-26-2012)
NASCAR and MillerCoors extend partnership: NASCAR, MillerCoors and Penske Racing jointly announced multi-year partnership extensions for the brewer's two biggest brands. For MillerCoors, the deals with the sanctioning body and one of the sport's most respected teams solidify its status among the most committed sponsors in NASCAR. In addition, MillerCoors has alliances with seven tracks that host NASCAR races. Coors Light is extending its sponsorship as the Official Beer of NASCAR.
MillerCoors Chief Marketing Officer Andy England said the renewals point to the value of NASCAR as a powerful way to connect with legal-drinking-age consumers. "We don't make investment decisions like this without having a great sense of exactly what the alliance will deliver for our brands," England said. "That's why I'm so excited about our continued partnerships with NASCAR and with Penske Racing. NASCAR fans are among the most passionate and loyal fans in all of sports, and they love nothing more than getting together with friends to watch the race while enjoying a cold, refreshing Coors Light or a great tasting, never watered down Miller Lite. Our distributors and retailers know that, which is why they're so supportive of our leadership in the sport."
The Coors Light partnership with NASCAR includes the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, which rewards the driver with the fastest qualifying time each week. It also includes the exclusive right to use NASCAR marks on retail point-of-sale and merchandising materials, in advertising and digital marketing, and through other marketing tools.
Coors Light brings special insight to race fans through its Miss Coors Light program, which began at the start of the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and continued throughout the 2011 season. Miss Coors Light, who will be back in 2012, presents the Coors Light Pole Award to the winning driver, makes appearances during race week at local bars and provides her perspective on NASCAR activities via the Miss Coors Light Facebook page.
"The return of MillerCoors to NASCAR not only ensures that the company will bring back compelling activation that continues to engage and excite our fans, but it also benefits our ecosystem as a whole, which is comprised of tracks, drivers and teams," said Steve Phelps, NASCAR chief marketing officer. "As a sanctioning body, NASCAR is proud to have Coors Light as part of our stable of Official Partners for whom we create exclusive assets and platforms to drive their respective businesses. NASCAR is the sport that works for business, and we're pleased to see it working so well for MillerCoors."(NASCAR)(1-26-2012)
Keselowski, Logano Visit Guantanamo Bay On NASCAR/USO Tour: #2-Brad Keselowski and #20-Joey Logano, brought holiday cheer, smiles and good times to troops and their families on the NASCAR-USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during their NASCAR-USO visit Dec. 12-14. The tour of Guantanamo Bay was part of an ongoing partnership between NASCAR and the USO to strengthen a connection between the military and motorsports in an effort to help boost the morale of U.S. troops and their families stationed around the world. The partnership also included NASCAR and the USO hosting a group of wounded warriors at the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas. During the visit, Keselowski and Logano visited hundreds of sailors and coast guardsmen and their families. The pair also dined with troops, visited the U.S. Navy Hospital, signed autographs and patrolled the waters with service members. This was the first USO tour for Keselowski and Logano, who are avid supporters of the military community. Both have visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center, now known as Walter Reed National Medical Center, and spent quality time with wounded warriors.
"This was a once in a lifetime experience and I am so glad to be a part of it," said Keselowski. "I hope to go back on another USO Tour. After meeting the men and women in Guantanamo Bay, I cannot imagine the sacrifices and experiences they have to go through during their time there. It was an amazing experience and I am so grateful that I was invited to go."
"It was awesome to learn more about Guantanamo Bay and what the mission is down there and how it works," said Logano. "It was great to meet and talk to the troops, and it was one heck of an experience. We get to see a lot of troops at the race track, but to see them in action and doing their jobs…I am so impressed and have such a high amount of respect for each and every one of them and what they do."
"NASCAR is honored to work with the USO and be a part of bringing this tour to our men and women in Guantanamo Bay," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. "We hope this tour has lifted the spirits of troops and their families; we are honored to have the opportunity to show our support and show how much our troops mean to NASCAR and its millions of fans around the world."
"NASCAR and its drivers bring excitement to the track week after week and we are honored to have two of NASCAR's biggest names join us on a USO tour," said USO President Sloan Gibson. "I can't think of a better, more suitable place for this tour to bring a touch of home than to NASCAR fans stationed in Guantanamo Bay."(NASCAR), see quotes on the #2 Team News page.(12-15-2011)
Logano & Brad Keselowski to Visit Troops & Families at Guantanamo Bay: #20-Joey Logano and #2-Brad Keselowski, are scheduled to be part of a NASCAR-USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Dec. 12-14. As part of the NASCAR-USO trip, Logano and Keselowski will share stories of life on the track, sign autographs, pose for photos and spread holiday cheer to hundreds of troops and military families. Logano and Keselowski have participated in charitable races benefiting America's Armed Forces and are avid supporters of the military community. Both drivers have also visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center, now known as Walter Reed National Medical Center, and spent quality time with wounded warriors. This tour of Guantanamo Bay is part of an ongoing partnership between NASCAR and the USO to strengthen a connection to the military and help boost the morale of U.S. troops and their families stationed around the world.
Joey Logano: "I jump at every chance I get to show my appreciation to our nation's Armed Forces and I look forward to my upcoming USO trip to Guantanamo Bay. Our service men and women and their families are doing an amazing job."
Brad Keselowski: "Traveling with the USO and getting the chance to spend time with our troops is something I wish everyone could do. To see what they do day-in and day-out and hear their stories is an opportunity of a lifetime and something I will never forget."(NASCAR)(12-10-2011)
Penske Racing teams up with ADP: ADP, a leading provider of human resource outsourcing, payroll services, benefits administration and integrated computing solutions for vehicle dealers, announced it has teamed up with Penske Racing to become an official sponsor of that winning organization. One of the world's largest providers of business outsourcing solutions, ADP will become the official payroll service of Penske Racing under the terms of the new agreement. With over half a million clients across the globe, ADP plans to take full advantage of its new partnership with Penske Racing to entertain its customers at both NASCAR Cup Series and Nationwide Series, as well as IZOD IndyCar Series, events beginning next season.(Penske Racing)(12-2-2011)
Keselowski and Wolfe get extensions from Penske Racing: One of the most successful combinations in NASCAR will continue for years to come at Penske Racing as the organization announced today that both driver Brad Keselowski and crew chief Paul Wolfe have agreed to multi-year contract extensions. Keselowski and Wolfe will continue to lead the #2 team as it pursues the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in 2012 and beyond. "The winning combination of Brad Keselowski and Paul Wolfe has been terrific for Penske Racing and we are excited to announce that they will continue to work together," said Roger Penske. "With one NASCAR championship and numerous wins in both the Nationwide Series and the Cup Series to their credit, this has proven to be a special pairing. Although Brad, Paul and the #2 team fell short of winning the Cup Series title this season, we know they will continue to be championship contenders for years to come."
In their first season of working together in 2010, Keselowski and Wolfe teamed up to produce six wins and five poles on their way to winning the Nationwide Series championship for Penske Racing. That team also established a new series single-season record with 26 top-five finishes and completed all but one lap of competition throughout the 2010 season.(Penske Racing)(12-1-2011)
Keselowski fined by NASCAR UPDATE France comments: #2-Brad Keselowski has been fined by NASCAR for criticizing electronic fuel injection. Multiple people familiar with the punishment told AP on Thursday about Keselowski's fine. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because NASCAR did not publicize the fine. NASCAR has been privately punishing drivers for making disparaging remarks about the series over the last two years. The fine is believed to be $25,000 (Associated Press)(11-17-2011)
UPDATE: [NASCAR CEO Brian] France was asked often by the media about the secret fines. "When you cross a line that denigrates the direction of the sport or the quality of racing, we're not going to accept that, not going to accept that,'' France said. "Happy to have any other criticism, any other complaint, happy to hear them all but if I own a restaurant and I say, "You know what? The food in my restaurant is not very good.' We're not going to accept that. It's as simple as that.'' Asked why not reveal the fines, France said: "What would be the benefit? The drivers know exactly what we're after. We have these annual meetings with them, right? And then we semi-annual meetings with them and we meet them every weekend at the track. So they know exactly what we expect out of them and when they don't handle that, the only way we can control that is, obviously, a fining system. Look, don't panic over this. We'll look at it over the offseason. If we need to change it, we'll change it. Not a big deal.''(Virginian Pilot and USA Today)(11-18-2011)
Penske Racing signs new associate sponsor for 2012: Penske Racing announced it has partnered with Shoes For Crews, an industry leader in slip-resistant footwear. Under the terms of the new agreement, Shoes for Crews will become the official safety shoe provider for Penske Racing teams competing in the NASCAR Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series. As an associate sponsor with Penske Racing, Shoes For Crews also looks forward to providing world-class experiences for their customers at NASCAR and INDYCAR events beginning in 2012.(Penske Racing)(11-18-2011)
Penske eyes Hornish return to Cup: Sam Hornish Jr. could be back in a Sprint Cup car by 2013, team owner Roger Penske said Sunday. "That would be the goal,'' Penske said of the three-time IndyCar Series champion, who won his first NASCAR event on Saturday when he took the checkered flag in the Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. "That kid is a heck of a driver." Penske admitted he made a mistake by rushing Hornish from the IndyCar into the Cup series fulltime in 2008 with little experience in NASCAR's lower series. Hornish drove only 11 Nationwide races before his first Cup season and drove only nine during his three seasons of Cup. During that stretch, Hornish had only two top 5s and eight top 10s in Cup. He lost his ride after the 2010 season, but Hornish and Penske remained committed to NASCAR by competing in a limited Nationwide program this season. Penske said on Saturday and reiterated on Sunday that he hopes to have Hornish compete for a title in the Nationwide Series in 2012 with his ultimate goal to get him back in Cup the following year.(ESPN)(11-14-2011)
SKF sponsoring Penske teams in 2012: SKF USA Inc. announced it will be a major associate sponsor of the Penske Racing teams beginning with the 2012 racing season. The SKF brand will be featured in the Sprint Cup Series as well as the Nationwide Series and the IZOD IndyCar Series next season. Entering its 15th year as a major associate sponsor of auto racing in North America, the SKF brand will be featured in 2012 on the #2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Brad Keselowski and the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driven by Kurt Busch in the Sprint Cup Series; the #12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge driven by Sam Hornish Jr. in the Nationwide Series and the #3 Team Penske IndyCar driven by three-time Indianapolis 500 Champion Helio Castroneves.(Penske Racing)(10-26-2011)
Keselowski wins 3rd quarter driver of the year award: Brad Keselowski's winning ways, overcoming a broken ankle and other injuries, helped him win the voting as the third quarter Driver of the Year 2011. In the last seven NASCAR Sprint Cup races, in the quarter ending at Richmond International Raceway, he recorded two wins, four top-fives and seven top-12 finishes. And those two wins were earned within days of recovering from a broken ankle at a test session. Adding those victories to a previous one and an 11th place overall finish in NASCAR's regular season Keselowski earned a wild card spot for his first Chase for the Sprint Cup. In the voting Keselowski took ten first-place ballots and totaled 117 points according to the Driver of the year points system. Will Power, a Penske Racing teammate in the IndyCar series, had five first place votes and garnered 108 points. This was the first time that the same team owner (Roger Penske) had two drivers from different series finishing one-two. Kyle Busch the first quarter 2011 Driver of the Year took two first place votes and was third with a total of 67 points. Greg Anderson, the 2003 Driver of the Year from the NHRA, and Kevin Harvick, from NASCAR, also received first-place votes. A total of 18 drivers scored points in the third quarter voting.(Driver of the Year Foundation)(9-21-2011)
Keselowski four straight top three's: Saturday's win at Bristol was #2-Brad Keselowski's third of the season and his fourth consecutive top-three finish [1st at Pocono, 2nd at Watkins Glen, 3rd at Michigan, 1st at Bristol]. Keselowski is the first driver to pull off that feat this season. There was only one streak of that kind in 2010, by Jimmie Johnson, and no one did it in 2009. If Keselowski gets a fifth straight top-three, he'll be the first driver to do that since Kyle Busch in 2008. Other than Busch, there were the other two drivers with streaks of four straight top-three finishes since 2000: Jimmie Johnson did it twice, and Bobby Labonte once (ESPN)(9-2-2011)
Keselowski wins at Bristol: #2-Brad Keselowski won the IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 4th career win and 3rd win of 2011. He has finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 1st in his last 4 races. #56-Truex, Jr. finished 2nd followed by #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson, #1-McMurray, #17-Kenseth, #11-Hamlin, #39-Newman (the pole sitter), #99-Edwards, and #9-Ambrose.
#18-Busch, #48-Johnson, #17-Kenseth, and #99-Edwards have now clinched spots in the chase.
Points leader going in to the race, #18-Busch, finished 14th. He is now tied with #48-Johnson with 830 points, but he has the top position because of his 4 wins.
There were 22 lead changes among 10 drivers and 6 cautions for 42 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 156,000, up from 155,000 last year.
See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Bristol Race Results/Awards page.
See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.
For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(8-28-2011)
Milestone starts at Watkins Glen: Terry Labonte will attempt to make his 875th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, Tony Stewart will make his 450th series start and Brad Keselowski will make his 75th series start.(NASCAR)(8-11-2011)
Keselowski wins at Pocono: an injured #2-Brad Keselowski won the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway for his 3rd career win and 2nd win of 2011. On Wednesday, Keselowski broke his left ankle in a practice wreck at Road Atlanta. On lap 124 there was a heavy rain shower at 3:35pm/et that brought a 1 hour, 40 minute delay of the race. The track was dried and the race restarted and finished.
#18-Busch [who spun early in the race] finished 2nd followed by #22-Busch, #48-Johnson, #39-Newman, #24-Gordon, #99-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and last weeks race winner #27-Menard. The pole sitter, #20-Logano, who would had won the race if the rain delay ended the race, had a tire go down late and had to pit, finishing 26th.
Points leader going in to the race, #99-Edwards, finished 7th and his lead drops to 9 points over #48-Johnson.
There were 23 lead changes among 10 drivers and 5 cautions for 21 yellow flag laps and a 1:40 red flag for rain. The attendance is listed as 85,000, down from 100,000 last year.
Scheduled Race Re-Air:
ESPN2, Monday, August 8 at 12:00 am/et;
SPEED, Wednesday, August 10 at 12:00pm/et
See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Pocono Race Results/Awards page.
See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(8-7-2011)
Keselowski Qualifies for Sprint Summer Showdown: With his win in Sunday's Good Sam RV Insurance 500, #2-Brad Keselowski is qualified to be a finalist for a chance to earn a $3 million payout in the Sprint Summer Showdown. If Keselowski can also win the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day weekend, he will claim the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D title and win $1 million for himself, $1 million for his designated charity, Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation, and $1 million dollars for a lucky race fan. Later this week a fan will be randomly selected from the pool of entrants who correctly picked Keselowski to win the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at sprint.com/speed. That lucky fan will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway and be there in person to see whether Keselowski can win at Atlanta. If he claims the Sprint Summer Showdown, the fan will win $1 million.(Sprint Summer Showdown PR)(8-7-2011)
Keselowski wrecks in testing at Road Atlanta UPDATEs: Statement by Penske Racing: "Brad Keselowski was involved in an accident today at Road Atlanta while testing. He was transported to an Atlanta area hospital for further evaluation. Brad was able to exit the car under his own power, but as a precautionary measure was taken to the hospital. Penske Racing will provide further communication as details become known."(Penske Racing)
UPDATE: #2-Brad Keselowski was involved in an accident on Wednesday while testing at Road Atlanta, but the Penske Racing driver expects to be ready for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. Keselowski got out of the car under his own power, but was airlifted to an Atlanta-area hospital for further evaluation as a precautionary measure. Keselowski said on Twitter that he was about to be released and X-rays on his swollen right foot were negative. He also received several abrasions, sending pictures of those and the foot on Twitter. Keselowski tweeted that engineers said he hit a wall not equipped with the SAFER barrier head-on at approximately 100 mph after the brakes failed. "Guess I needed a reminder, COT or not, this racing (stuff) is still dangerous,'' Keselowski said on Twitter. "X-rays on feet r good.''(ESPN and see an image of the car at Daly Planet)(8-3-2011)
UPDATE2: Statement from Penske Racing "Due to Brad Keselowski's accident while testing at Road Atlanta yesterday, he will not participate in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race this weekend at Iowa Speedway. Parker Kligerman will practice the #22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger on Friday, while Sam Hornish Jr. will qualify and race the car on Saturday. Penske Racing will continue to evaluate Brad's condition. Further information will be provided as it becomes known."(Penske Racing)(8-4-2011)
UPDATE 3: Penske Statement: "Following careful evaluation, Brad Keselowski has been cleared by respected neurologist Dr. Jerry Petty, M.D. for participation in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Brad is excited to get back in the car and ready to compete this weekend. Sam Hornish, Jr. will now be able to practice, qualify and race the #22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger this weekend at Iowa Speedway."(Penske Racing)
Dr. Jerry Petty Comments on Brad Keselowski: "After meeting with Brad Keselowski today it became clear that, despite an avulsion fracture of the left ankle, he would be able to compete this weekend at Pocono Raceway without any limitations. Mr. Keselowski saw an orthopedic surgeon this afternoon who indicated that he would be able to put weight on the foot as necessary and should not be inhibited in any way."(Penske Racing)
Keselowski wins at Kansas: #2-Brad Keselowski won the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway for his 1st win of 2011 and 2nd win of his career. The race came down to fuel mileage with many drivers having to pit with less than 20 laps to go. Keselowski, Earnhart, Jr. and Hamlin all stretched their mileages to make it to the end.
#88-Earnhardt, Jr. finished second followed by #11-Hamlin, #24-Gordon, #99-Edwards, #17-Kenseth, #48-Johnson, #14-Stewart, #22-Busch, and #16-Biffle. #99-Edwards' point lead is now 40 over #48-Johnson.
There were 17 lead changes among 9 drivers; 5 cautions for 22 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 80,000. Last year the only race at Kansas, held in the fall, drew 100,000.
Scheduled Race Re-Airs: SPEED, Wednesday, June 8 at 12:00pm/et
See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Kansas Race Results/Awards page.(6-5-2011)
Hendrick & Penske...in Indycar?: Spotted on the grid of the Centennial Indy 500 were Hendrick Motorsport decals on the wings of two Team Penske Racers. The decals were on the inside rear wingplate on Will Power's #6 Dallara Honda and #12 Ryan Honda. This leads to speculation of an alliance of Penske and Hendrick in IndyCar especially due to the entry of Chevrolet engines into the open wheel series in 2012. Penske officials are keen to add Simona de Silvestro to their team but are having financial issues with three cars and would not comment on the why HMS decals were on the two cars. An alliance with Hendrick, a big Chevrolet dealer, could help.(see image at Auto123)(5-30-2011)
Technical director leaving Penske Racing: The technical director of Penske Racing's NASCAR program is leaving the team at the end of the month. The team says Tom German has been accepted into the Sloan School of Management at MIT, and will begin classes in June. German was the focus of driver Kurt Busch's anger during his mid-race rant at Richmond two weeks ago. Busch alluded to behind the scenes changes at Penske last week, but declined to be more specific. Penske officials say German expressed interest in the program last fall, and the team supported him during the application process. The team says only 15 percent of applicants are accepted into the program.(Associated Press)(5-10-2011)
Dodge awards Keselowski special Dodge Challenger: In celebration of its first NASCAR Nationwide Series championship, Dodge awarded 2010 champion Brad Keselowski with "The Biggest Trophy In NASCAR – Imported From Detroit – today during ceremonies at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Dodge Motorsports' Bryan Viger handed over the keys to a 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, a BKR (Brad Keselowski Racing) Commemorative Edition high-performance street vehicle custom built by the "Mopar Underground" team at Chrysler Group LLC in Auburn Hills, Mich. During his 2010 record-breaking season, Keselowski recorded six wins, 26 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes in the No. 22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge from Penske Racing.
Custom features on the vehicle include;
• Deep Water Blue paint from the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 Inaugural Edition along with hood, roof and rear decklid finished in matte black and accented with grabber blue pin stripe.
• Custom 22-inch Forgiato wheels carry matte black powder coated paint and grabber blue pin stripes added to the outside wheel lips.
• Standard 392 HEMI fender badges have been moved to each side of the hood and replaced with 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion decals on both fenders
• Modified interior features Smooth Pearl White leather-trimmed seats and dual blue stripes accented by unique blue stitching from the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 Inaugural Edition model.
• Under the hood is the 392-cubic inch HEMI® V-8 powertrain pumping out 470 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque
o Newest HEMI engine in the SRT product lineup provides 45 more horsepower and an additional 90 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,900 rpm versus the previous 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 engine
o Fuel Saver technology (four-cylinder mode) improves fuel economy 15-percent on the highway versus the previous 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 engine
• Stock exhaust system is replaced with new Corsa-tuned system from Mopar
Forbes names most valuable NASCAR teams & highest paid drivers: The weak economy has pummeled NASCAR over the past three years, with sponsorships, merchandise sales, race winnings and subsidies from automakers falling. Fans have tuned out, sending TV ratings down 24% since 2006 and leaving more than 40,000 empty seats at some races last year. One of its longest-tenured teams, Richard Petty Motorsports, was scrambling for cash on a week-to-week basis so it could race on weekends last fall. Is NASCAR headed for a full-blown meltdown? Hardly. Yes, the value of the top 10 teams slid 5% in 2010, on average, to $136 million by [Forbes] count, as prize money dropped and sponsors dialed back their commitment, but a rebound in 2011 for the sport is a strong possibility. NASCAR's strongest and most valuable team remains Hendrick Motorsports. With a valuation of $350 million on revenues of $177 million in 2010, Hendrick is worth 56% more than the next-highest-grossing team, Roush Fenway Racing, which [Forbes] value at $224 million on revenues of $140 million last year. Hendrick earned a NASCAR-high $18 million in operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in 2010. Richard Childress Racing was third on the list, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing. Rounding out the top 10: Stewart-Haas, Michael Waltrip Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Red Bull Racing.
AND: Despite his lack of success in recent years on the track, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains NASCAR's highest-paid driver, earning $29 million in 2010 thanks to merchandise sales that are the best in the sport and reportedly account for one-third of all NASCAR licensed merchandise sales. Other income streams include a 10-figure annual salary from Hendrick and a 50% share of his $4.9 million in winnings and bonuses in 2010 from Sprint Cup races. Earnhardt also has a bevy of personal endorsements, including Chevrolet, Nationwide and Wrangler. Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon follows Earnhardt in the NASCAR money standings with earnings of $25 million last year. It is a clean sweep for Hendrick at the top with five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, the third-highest-paid driver at $24 million. The rest of the top 10: Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth.(Forbes)(2-24-2011)
Penske Racing Drivers Join Team PVA: Penske Racing announced that Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) will be an "Official Charity of Penske Racing" for the 2011 NASCAR Cup Series season. Paralyzed Veterans, through their Mission: ABLE campaign, will be featured on the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, driven by Kurt Busch, and the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, driven by Brad Keselowski. "We are honored to welcome Paralyzed Veterans of America to the Penske Racing family," said team owner Roger Penske. "They do outstanding work for our service men and women. We look forward to helping them increase their visibility within NASCAR." Paralyzed Veterans have launched Mission: ABLE, a campaign to enlist all Americans – citizens, communities and corporations – to help America's paralyzed heroes fully live the lives they deserve and to receive what they need most: care, benefits and jobs. For more information on the Mission: ABLE campaign, please visit www.mission-able.com.(Penske Racing)(2-19-2011)
Kesekowski brothers help each other: One is a young star with a fast car and beer money. The other has struggled through life and took on more debt than he should have to pursue his dream. Yes, they fought. And yes, there was jealousy. But all was right Thursday in the house of Keselowski after 26-year-old #2-Brad pulled up behind his big brother #92-Brian and pushed him to fifth place in a Gatorade Duel qualifying race. Brian, 29, will start 12th in the Daytona 500 Sunday in a 5-year-old car that he, his dad, Bob, and a couple of buddies finished assembling in the Daytona International Speedway garage. "When Brad got back there, I knew this was our chance," said Brian, who was well behind when Brad spun out on the 40th lap. "If there's anybody that's going to push me, it would be Brad. If there was anybody else, there was no way they were going to come and stay on my rear bumper the way that he did." But push Brad did, using his Roger Penske-owned Miller Lite Dodge to give speed to Brian's unsponsored machine to finish ahead of defending 500 winner Jamie McMurray among others. Starting on Sunday will be worth more than a quarter-million dollars and means Brian will be able to afford to go to Phoenix next week. Brad congratulated Brian as he sat in his car and wept with joy. But the two haven't always gotten on so well. Brian was too busy working on his family's NASCAR truck team to start driving until he was 18, and he was envious when Brad was allowed to race as a kid. Brad's first Nationwide Series ride, with Keith Coleman, was supposed to have gone to Brian. "Yeah, there's always a little bit of jealousy," Brian said. "Then you have to say, 'What if it wouldn't have worked?' We'd both be sitting home.It could go either way. We made our first Daytona 500. I guess it's not all a bad thing."(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(2-18-2011)
Roger Penske to be honored: The Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) will honor racing icon Roger Penske at its third annual West Coast banquet prior to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, on Thursday, April 14. The RRDC Evening with Roger Penske will be presented by Firestone. The "Captain" has been racing and winning in the United States since 1958 and has scored victories in every series in which he has competed. With 23 national championships, including 12 in IndyCar racing, Penske Racing has been referred to as the "New York Yankees of motorsports."(RRDC)(2-10-2011)
Michigan Sen. Marleau welcomes Brad Keselowski to Capitol: Michigan State Sen. Jim Marleau, R-Lake Orion, presented race car driver #2-Brad Keselowski with a copy of Senate Resolution 12 on Tuesday, which was adopted and recognizes the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series champ's on-track excellence, and contributions to his home community and to the state of Michigan. Keselowski, who is from Rochester Hills, will defend his championship when the 2011 race season begins at famed Daytona International Speedway on February 19.(PR)
Keselowski also made a trip back to his home state of Michigan on Tuesday in support of Michigan International Speedway and the beginning of the 2011 NASCAR race season. Keselowski paid a visit to Troppo Restaurant in Lansing, Mich. during MIS' second Season Kick Off, which featured a variety of fans, media and partners. The fans ranged from long-time MIS ticket holders to first-time buyers in 2011. MIS, and its president Roger Curtis, discussed many of its initiatives for 2011 including its Fan Appreciation Program, now in its third year, the upcoming Budweiser Shootout Viewing Party at FireKeepers Casino on Feb. 12, qualifying moving to Saturday in June and the Great Lakes Wine Fest, which will take place on May 21 at the speedway. Keselowski also talked about his new Checkered Flag Foundation, which is to support military personnel, veterans, first-responders and others who were wounded in combat or in the line of duty. The program hosted its first event, the Wounded Warrior Day, at MIS in August of 2010 and followed up with similar events later in the season.(MIS)(2-10-2011)
PPG Returns as Penske Racing Sponsor: Building on one of the longest relationships in motorsports, PPG Industries announced that it has reached a multi-year extension of its partnership with Penske Racing. Beginning its 32nd season working with the team in 2011, PPG returns as an associate sponsor on all of Penske Racing's NASCAR entries this season. This includes the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driven by Kurt Busch and the #2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Brad Keselowski in the Sprint Cup Series. In addition, PPG will be an associate sponsor on the defending champion #22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge piloted by Keselowski and the #12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge with driver Sam Hornish Jr. in the Nationwide Series. In addition to its success on the race track, Penske Racing has also teamed up with PPG to help showcase its ecologically-conscious Envirobase High Performance system that focuses on lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in refinish basecoats.(Penske Racing)(2-3-2011)
Keselowski's/Turner Motorsports shops broken in to: The Rowan County [NC] Sheriff's Department is investigating a break-in at the race shop of #2-Brad Keselowski. Keselowski owns a race shop at 380 Performance Drive in western Rowan near the Iredell line. According to the report someone broke into a 1999 Featherlite race car hauler by prying open the doors and removing tie down straps. Deputies noted that though were several other items in the trailer, only the $20 tie downs were taken. Damage to the trailer was estimated at $400. The break-in was reported on Thursday morning. The Rowan County shop is home to Keselowski's [#29] Camping World Truck Series team. The sheriff's report also indicates another break-in at the location next to Keselowski's. Turner Motorsports reported a break-in to a car trailer on the property at 306 Performance Drive. There are several race shops in the industrial park on Performance Drive.(WBTV.com)(2-1-2011)
Penske makes sponsor announcements: Penske Racing's Kurt Busch will join Coca-Cola's family of NASCAR drivers this season. Coca-Cola will sponsor the 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion as Busch pursues his second series title while driving the #22 Shell-Pennzoil machine in 2011. Busch will carry the iconic Coca-Cola name on both his uniform and his Dodge Charger as he looks to extend his Cup Series victory streak to 10 consecutive seasons. As part of the relationship, Busch and Penske Racing will be featured in Coca-Cola's in-store promotions throughout the 2011 season and Busch will also make promotional appearances on behalf of Coke.
AND: Penske Racing and Kimberly-Clark will begin a new partnership in 2011 as the Penske teams competing in NASCAR will assist in the promotion and marketing of one of the company's top products, Wypall Wipers. Kimberly-Clark will become an associate sponsor of Penske Racing's NASCAR teams beginning this season. All Penske Racing crew chiefs, in both the Cup Series and Nationwide Series, will wear the Wypall Wipers logo on their uniforms in 2011, promoting one of the toughest and most absorbent towels in the marketplace. As part of the relationship, Kimberly-Clark will utilize the Penske Racing crew chiefs to help market Wypall Wipers.
AND: After helping the #22 Dodge team and driver, Brad Keselowski, capture the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship, Ruby Tuesday, Inc. has agreed to extend and expand its partnership with Penske Racing this season. The high-quality, casual-dining restaurant chain's brand will once again adorn the sides of the # 22 Dodge Challenger. In addition to its presence in the Nationwide Series, Ruby Tuesday will have prominent placement on the rear deck lid of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger, also driven by Keselowski, in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2011.(Penske Racing)(1-25-2011)
Keselowski Launches New Website: For Brad Keselowski, the 2011 NASCAR season brings about a fresh start as the new driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge at Penske Racing. Along with a new sponsor and new car number, the Penske Racing driver will also rollout a new website. See it at Bradracing.com.(Penske Racing)(1-23-2011)
Keselowski Goes Back to School for Miller Lite: School is back in session for 26-year-old Brad Keselowski. As the second-year Penske Racing driver prepares for his first season behind the wheel of the legendary #2 Miller Lite Dodge in 2011, Keselowski recently took a trip to the MillerCoors brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a class entitled "Beer 101." Keselowski's visit began with a history lesson on Miller Lite and its history in the sport of NASCAR, as well as other motorsports entitites. He then segued into beer fundamentals with Miller brewmaster Manny Manuele. There he learned the complex brewing process that produces the great taste of Miller Lite. A beer and food pairing, led by Manuele, for dinner took place in the 19th century beer caves that Frederick Miller used to keep his beer fresh prior to refrigeration. The trip was capped off with the annual Christmas lighting ceremony on State Street, right in front of the site of the original Plank Road Brewery, which Miller purchased and transformed into the Miller Brewing Company we know today.(Penske Racing)(12-31-2010)
Geisler Named Penske Racing Competition Director: Penske Racing announced that Travis Geisler has been appointed to the position of Competition Director for the organization. Geisler, the former crew chief of the #77 Dodge driven by Sam Hornish Jr. in the NASCAR Cup Series, will be responsible for coordinating all facets of Penske Racing's NASCAR racing programs between the organization's crew chiefs and its engineering department. In his new position, Geisler will report directly to Penske Racing Vice President of Operations, Michael Nelson. A former go kart racer who earned his degree in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University, Geisler drove in both the ARCA Series and the Nationwide Series. He joined Robert Yates Racing as a race engineer in 2006 before coming on board at Penske Racing. Geisler quickly advanced from team engineer on the #12 Cup Series team to crew chief for Hornish and the #77 Dodge, beginning in 2008.(Penske Racing)(12-14-2010)
Penske Racing announces new crew chief for Keselowski: Just a few weeks after helping Penske Racing win its first NASCAR championship, Paul Wolfe has been selected to serve as crew chief for one of the most iconic teams in motorsports. Wolfe, who led Penske Racing’s #22 Dodge team to the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series title, has been named crew chief of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge team for 2011. Wolfe will continue to work with Brad Keselowski, who will take over as driver of the #2 Dodge beginning next season. In their first season working together, Keselowski and Wolfe proved to be a dynamic combination in 2010. The duo produced six wins and five poles on their way to winning the Nationwide Series championship. The No. 22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge team also established a new series single-season record with 26 top-five finishes and the team completed all but one lap of competition throughout the 2010 season.
“It’s an honor to get the opportunity to be the crew chief of the Penske Racing #2 Miller Lite Dodge team,” said Wolfe. “It’s been a fantastic 2010 season with Brad and the team and I’m excited about the challenge of moving up to the Cup Series next season and the opportunity to continue build on the legacy of the #2 car team with Brad behind the wheel.”
A former driver who accumulated six top-20 finishes in 16 career Nationwide Series starts, Wolfe first became a crew chief in 2006 with Fitz Racing. He moved on to CJM Racing in the Nationwide Series in 2009 before he joined Penske Racing as crew chief of the #22 team in November of last year.
“I’m excited for Paul and I look forward to continuing the momentum and success we had this season in the Nationwide Series,” said Keselowski. “We just seemed to click right from the beginning and we look to bring that same magic to the #2 Miller Lite Dodge team in 2011.”(Penske Racing), no word on the plans for Kesekowski's form Cup crew chief, Jay Guy.(11-30-2010)
Last race in the #2 for Busch: Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch will be making his final drive behind the wheel of the famous #2 “Blue Deuce” Penske Racing machine this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He certainly wants to end that five-year run with a bang. “It will be the final race for me behind the wheel of the Miller Lite Dodge,” said Busch. “We’ve had a great run in the ‘Blue Deuce’ over the last five seasons and would love to score another win and celebrate with some Miller Lites there in Victory Lane on Sunday.”(Tom Roberts PR), in 2011, Busch moves to Penske's #22 Pennzoil Dodge and Brad Keselwoski will take over the #2 Miller Lite ride.(11-17-2010)
Allgaier talking to RPM & JGR but: Roger Penske, who in June said there was no way JUstin Allgaier would get away from his organization, has since told his 24-year-old driver he is free to look around. Penske has told Allgaier the only way he can keep him even in the Nationwide Series is if a sponsor steps up. None have so far. Allgaier isn't holding his breath. So Allgaier is talking to Cup and Nationwide teams around the garage, but the same problem exists. No sponsor. Richard Petty Motorsports would be an ideal place for this budding star. Joe Gibbs Racing has been rumored to show interest. Allgaier admits he's had casual talks with both of them, but not to the point he would say there is strong interest unless he has a sponsor promising to come with him. "I've made a decision that I want to stay in this sport next year," Allgaier said with a smile. "Other than that it's not really up to me. It's frustrating in some aspects because there's not a whole lot available. Whatever happens at this point is going to happen."(ESPN.com)(10-16-2010)
Volkswagen to NASCAR? Penske? denied: The latest entry into America's most popular motorsports series could very well be the first ever from Germany. According to Matthias Muller, the newly appointed CEO of Porsche, Volkswagen Group -- his employer's parent company -- is considering entering NASCAR. Should it follow through, Volkswagen would be just the second foreign automaker to participate [full-time] in NASCAR. Toyota was first, entering the competition in 2007 [actually Jaguar and others have run a few races, with Jaguar winning a race. Volkswagen actually ran one race in 1953]. The German automaker will reportedly begin discussions with NASCAR officials once the current season ends in late November. One of the owners that Volkswagen is considering team up with is Roger Penske.(Motortrend)
BUT Penske Racing will not be switching from Dodges to Volkswagens in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next year, nor will the German automaker be fielding cars in America’s premier stock-car series in 2011. Beyond that, though, VW could make a play to race stock cars. The operant word there being “could,” as the automaker has not petitioned NASCAR to go racing next year. Sources at Penske Racing told SPEED.com that it is the team’s “full intent” to continue fielding Dodges next year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series. Furthermore, sources at NASCAR said that while Volkswagen officials intermittently have expressed a casual “interest in NASCAR,” the German automaker has not taken any of the steps necessary to be granted approval to race in NASCAR. In order to be approved to compete, VW or any other automaker would have to formally submit its race car and engine package to NASCAR. That has not happened, NASCAR officials told SPEED.com Thursday. And even if VW wanted to race in NASCAR, the earliest a car could be approved would be for the 2012 season.(SPEED)(10-1-2010)
Drivers visiting Walter Reed: NASCAR's annual visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center is set for Thursday, with a total of 10 drivers scheduled to attend along with NASCAR President Mike Helton. Drivers expected to visit include #43-AJ Allmendinger, #16-Greg Biffle, #2-Kurt Busch, #38-David Gilliland,#17-Matt Kenseth, #12-Brad Keselowski, #98-Paul Menard, #87-Joe Nemechek, #39-Ryan Newman and #82-Scott Speed. Show cars on display are expected to be #39 U.S. ARMY Chevy, #88 National Guard Chevy, #99 Scotts Ford, #2 Miller Lite Dodge, #11 FedEx Toyota, #24 National Guard Chevy, #10 Sprint show car and a NASCAR/Walter Reed Army Medical Center car.(NASCAR)(9-22-2010)
Allgaier out at Penske? Looking for ride?: Sources tell Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that Verizon will not return to Penske Racing as sponsors of Justin Allgaier’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Dodges in 2011 and that Allgaier has been told he is free to seek employment with other teams next season. Verizon will reportedly remain with Penske Racing next season, increasing its level of involvement with the team’s IndyCar program. “It’s true that they’re evaluating their NASCAR investment right now,” said Penske Racing Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jonathan Gibson, "and it's true that they may increase their involvement with our IndyCar program." Gibson said the team is talking with other companies about potentially replacing Verizon next season, adding, “Our intent to continue with two Nationwide Series entries next season." He declined to comment on reports that Algaier has been given permission to look elsewhere, but called him, “A great young driver who we would like to keep in our organization.” Gibson said Verizon has had "issues surrounding their ability to activate the sponsorship in light of Sprint’s involvement in the sport. Verizon has been hindered in what they can do," he said. "They can’t do much (at the tracks) and they can’t do anything with Sprint Cup Series drivers, which is difficult. They’ve been very creative in what they have done, and they would like to do more. It’s not the perfect world they’d like to play in, but Sprint obviously does a lot for the sport, so it is what it is."(Sirius Speedway) supposedly Verizon also sponsored the #12 Dodge of Brad Keselowski in the Sprint Cup Series, but only in color and design, no Verizon decals were azllowed to be displayed, with the decals saying Penske instead. AAA, Dodge and other sponsors have also sponsored the car.(9-14-2010)
Penske Racing hosts employee appreciation activities: Penske Racing took some time on Tuesday to show appreciation for all its employees as the organization’s teams prepare for the stretch run of a remarkable racing season. With the support of its partners, Penske Racing hosted a special lunch for all of its 400-plus employees at Penske Racing headquarters. All of the team’s drivers that compete in the NASCAR Cup Series and Nationwide Series, as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series, were in attendance for the lunch that was held on the main floor of the 425,000 square-foot facility located in Mooresville, NC. Ruby Tuesday provided lunch for all the employees while many of the organization’s partners – including Ruby Tuesday – contributed prizes that were given away to Penske workers. Team sponsors Verizon, MillerCoors, ExxonMobil, Avis, AAA, Lincoln Welders, Discount Tire and others dedicated products and services that were distributed to Penske Racing employees by random draw. Dodge Motorsports even contributed a one-year lease on a 2011 Dodge Challenger to one lucky employee. Penske Racing drivers Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Sam Hornish Jr., Justin Allgaier, Parker Kligerman, Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe and Will Power each addressed the crowd and helped give away the premium prizes.(Penske Racing)(9-10-2010)
Keselsowski talks about altercations: #12-Brad Keselowski diary comments:
OK. Well again, during the race you never actually retaliated against Kyle. You had plenty of opportunities to do so despite going a lap down -- why wait?
BK: "Well, I plan on being in the sport for a long time, and I didn't see any advantage of doing anything right there. If anything, with time you have the benefit or luxury of really being concise about whatever you do."
Do you feel like going forward you still "owe Kyle one," so to speak? And do you feel restricted there because you're on NASCAR probation the rest of the season?
BK: "The difference between me and Carl and me and Kyle is that me and Carl generally have a respect for each other outside the car. I think Carl's a good person outside the car. I'm not so sure about Kyle. I don't talk to Kyle outside the car or anywhere else, so..."(Sports Illustrated)(9-4-2010)
Fireworks in driver intros: Prerace driver introductions typically are a routine, humdrum affair. Not Saturday night at Bristol Motor Spedway. Fresh from Friday’s Nationwide Series victory, in which he dumped Brad Keselowski to take the lead on Lap 219 of 250, Kyle Busch was greeted with boos as he walked down the gangway toward a waiting pickup truck.
“Aw, you’re so loving,” was Busch’s sarcastic response to the crowd. Moments later, Keselowski strode down the gangway. “I’m Brad Keselowski, driver of the #12 Penske Dodge,” he announced. “Kyle Busch is an ass.”
AJ Allmendinger subsequently told the crowd, “I just hope I’m ahead of Brad and Kyle when this stuff goes down tonight.”(Sporting News)(8-21-2010)
No punishment for Kyle or Brad: NASCAR officials plan no punishment for Kyle Busch or Brad Keselowski over an issue between the drivers late in Friday night's Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch admittedly "dumped" Keselowski after Keselowski got into the back of Busch's car with 31 laps remaining. Vice president of competition Robin Pemberton called it "good, hard racing" and said no action would be taken against either driver. He added they would keep an eye on the two in case further incidents develop. Keselowski already is on probation for an incident involving him and Carl Edwards in the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta earlier this season.(ESPN)(8-21-2010)
NASCAR to decide about Edwards? PENALTIES: NASCAR officials are reviewing whether to punish Carl Edwards for intentionally wrecking Brad Keselowski on the last lap of Saturday night's Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Speedway, multiple sources told ESPN.com. A decision will be made Tuesday or Wednesday. Edwards turned Keselowski sideways heading for the checkered flag on the straightaway coming off the final turn. The incident triggered a multi-car wreck that allowed Edwards to win and left point leader Keselowski 14th. Afterwards Edwards said it was justice for Keselowski getting him loose to take the lead in Turn 1 to start the final lap.(ESPN)(7-20-2010)
PENALITES: NASCAR has penalized the #60 team and the #22 driver for rule violations committed during last Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Raceway. The penalties come as a result of violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing/ aggressive driving) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book. Carl Edwards, driver of the #60, has been penalized with the loss of 60 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship driver points, fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Car owner Jack Roush has been penalized with the loss of 60 series championship owner points. Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22, has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR), the probation for both drivers applies to the Sprint Cup Series as well.(7-21-2010)
STATEMENTS: Statement from Keselowski: "The incident at the end of Saturday night's race at Gateway was unfortunate not just for Penske Racing and the #22 Discount Tire Dodge team, but for all of the teams that were caught up in the aftermath. There was unnecessary damage done to a lot of race cars as a result of the incident, including one of our best cars. We support NASCAR's decision and we look forward to putting this behind us. Our focus continues to be working hard to get Discount Tire, Ruby Tuesday, Dodge, Mr. Penske and Penske Racing a Championship this season." (Penske PR)(7-21-2010)
AND: "We have received notification of NASCAR's penalties against Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Roush Fenway Racing related to Saturday night's race at Gateway International Raceway," said Roush Fenway president Geoff Smith. "As with all NASCAR actions of this nature, we will internally evaluate the penalties, and the underlying explanations, prior to making any decision about next steps. We look forward to watching Carl and Brad as they continue to compete on a weekly basis for the championship in the Nationwide Series."(RFR PR)(7-21-2010)
UPDATE: NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said the punishments would have no effect on a renewed commitment to an unwritten code of frontier justice that allows drivers latitude for banging fenders at 200 mph in the goal of self-policing the sport. "Absolutely," said Pemberton, who set the tone for this year's aggression with his oft-quoted "Boys, have at it" pronouncement in January. "We think it works well. We think the vast majority of competitors throughout all our series have handled themselves accordingly and measured their actions and reactions accordingly. We feel they've done an outstanding job. We're not changing the policy. We just have two competitors who have gone over the edge." The probations apply across all three national series, as Edwards and Keselowski are racing full time in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series.(USA Today)(7-22-2010)
Edwards and Keselowski Invited to Settle Score in School Buses at CMS: Charlotte Motor Speedway officials are inviting NASCAR drivers Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski to 'settle the score', after their incident at Gateway International Raceway's Nationwide race last Saturday, behind the wheels of 13-ton school buses during Tuesday night's Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout Series. The two NASCAR stars have had more than their share of on-track run-ins over the past 16 months, with the latest coming this past weekend at Gateway International Raceway, where they tangled twice on the final lap, with Edwards emerging the victor of the duel and the race. More info and tickets about the Kangaroo Express Summer Shootout Series at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS), no word if the driver accepted the challenge.(7-20-2010)
Three drivers doing the double: From Thursday night through Sunday night, #99-Carl Edwards, #98-Paul Menard and #12-Brad Keselowski will log some 5,800 miles in the air to practice, qualify and race their Nationwide cars at Road America and their Sprint Cup cars in Infineon Raceway. They'll also give up track time for both events. The three participated in the 5 ½-hour test session Thursday in preparation for the inaugural Bucyrus 200 at Road America. But they'll miss practice Friday while in Sonoma and miss final practice there Saturday to qualify and race at Road America. Whereas in the recent past, double-duty drivers went from Sonoma to the Milwaukee Mile on this weekend, now at least they'll be driving the same style of racetrack at each venue. "Every time we go to Sonoma, that's our first road course of the year," Menard said. "For us to be spending all day here logging laps, I think it's going to help us for Sonoma and for missing on Saturday. "Obviously there's nothing like being on track on Saturday afternoon, but me, I've got Bill Elliott in my car out there for Saturday, and I can't think of a better guy." #2-Kurt Busch will practice in Keselowski's car as well as his own Saturday in Sonoma, and the early plan for Edwards' car is to leave it in the garage. Former Indy-car driver Michel Jourdain Jr. will practice Friday for Menard at Road America, where Roush Fenway Racing teammate Erik Darnell will fill in for Edwards and Penske Racing development driver Parker Kligerman will drive Keselowski's car. The drivers' odyssey began Wednesday, when they came to Wisconsin. Edwards flew his own plane and then took it to California, where it will remain until he goes home from there. He'll do the Friday night / Saturday night commute with Menard aboard the Citation X owned by Menard's father, home-improvement magnate John Menard, the fastest non-military plane available.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), it was also mentioned during SPEED's practice and qualifying coverage, that Elliott would also practice the #99 Ford as well as the #98 Fordn on Saturday.(6-18-2010)
Keselowski's jaw hurts: #12-Brad Keselowski wrecked during his qualifying lap for the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday night. He mentioned his jaw after the Nationwide race at Charlotte, where h finished 2nd.
HOW IS YOUR JAW FEELING? “Yeah, my jaw hurts pretty good. It’s all tore up inside my face from the wreck on Thursday. It is what it is, that’s what we get paid to do. My helmet and microphone just hit that hard and it all came up inside and busted my face up.”(Dodge Motorsports NASCAR PR)(5-30-2010)
Keselowski throwing out first pitch in Detroit: On Thursday, May 13, #12-Brad Keselowski will throw out the first pitch of the New York Yankees/Detroit Tigers baseball game at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit. He will be back in his hometown in advance of the race at Michigan International Speedway, June 11-13.(Penske PR)(5-9-2010)
Shell/Pennzoil sponsorship moves to Penske Racing in 2011: Shell Oil Company and Penske Corporation announce a multi-year cross business alliance starting in the 2011 racing season. The new alliance allows Shell and Pennzoil to expand their motorsports presence as it includes a primary sponsorship with Kurt Busch and the #22 car, as well as associate sponsorships promoting Shell V-Power with IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe. The global business alliance provides an opportunity for Shell and Pennzoil to expand their presence not only within motorsports, but also as a preferred supplier of fuels, lubricants and related products to the Penske organization. Beginning in 2011, Shell and Pennzoil will be the "Official Fuel and Motor Oil Supplier" to the Penske organization in the U.S and the organizations will look to extend their alliance with business development opportunities in several other countries. The Penske organization is one of the world's most successful and recognized automotive-based business enterprises and provides unique activation opportunities. Additionally, this alliance continues to enable further product development for Shell and Pennzoil both on and off the track through the invaluable knowledge gained surrounding fuels, lubricants and engine technologies. Like Shell and Pennzoil, Penske Corporation has a close relationship with Chrysler and Ferrari, both part of the Fiat Group. Winning is a tradition for Penske, an organization that has earned more than 315 major race victories including 15 Indianapolis 500 wins and the 2008 Daytona 500, more than 370 pole positions and 22 national championships.
As part of the alliance, Pennzoil will become the "Official Motor Oil" of Penske Racing in 2011 which includes all of its entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series. For Pennzoil, returning to Penske is a homecoming of sorts as Pennzoil first aligned with Penske as part of its IndyCar teams in 1983 and won the 1984 and 1988 Indianapolis 500 Mile Races with driver Rick Mears. In addition, Kurt Busch won his 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship driving a Pennzoil-supported car for another team.(Pennzoil Racing/Penske Racing PR)(4-21-2010)
RCR Statement about Shell/Pennzoil leaving: The following is a statement from Richard Childress, president and chief executive officer of Richard Childress Racing, regarding the announcement by Shell Oil Company that it will end its sponsorship of the #29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy at the conclusion of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season: “Shell and Pennzoil have been great partners with Richard Childress Racing since our first race together, when Kevin Harvick and the #29 team won the Daytona 500 in 2007. I’m disappointed that our partnership will conclude at the end of the year but understand some of the reasons that went into their business decision. RCR will continue to provide Shell-Pennzoil the highest caliber program possible, keeping in sharp focus the ultimate goal of winning the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. What this creates for RCR is the opportunity for a new partner to forge its own relationship and identity with Kevin Harvick and the championship-level team led by crew chief Gil Martin, our other race teams and drivers, and our other 35 partners. The #29 team has had only two primary sponsors since it began in 2001 but the number 3 has played a significant role at RCR for decades. We feel strongly that the third chapter of the #29 team’s partnership history will be a successful one.”(RCR)(4-21-2010)
Keselowski to the #2; Budweiser to RCR?: Kurt Busch has signed a multiyear extension with Penske Racing that includes moving from the #2 car with Miller Lite as his primary sponsor into the #22 with Shell/Pennzoil as the sponsor, team officials said on Wednesday. Brad Keselowski will move from Penske's #12 car into the #2, with Miller Lite, which has been with the organization for 20 years, remaining the sponsor for the #2. Keselowski currently is sponsored by Verizon, but because of NASCAR's exclusivity deal with Cup series sponsor Sprint, Verizon's brand logo is not allowed on the car. "Brad is one of the hottest young drivers in NASCAR and we're thrilled to welcome him to the Miller Lite Racing family," said Andy England, chief marketing officer at MillerCoors. "Rarely in this sport are you presented with the opportunity to build a relationship with a top-tier driver at the start of his career."
The addition of Shell/Pennzoil means that Mobil 1, a competing motor oil that sponsors Penske's #77-Sam Hornish Jr., will not return in 2011. But Jonathon Gibson, the vice president of Penske Racing, said Penske is committed to remaining a three-car operation with Hornish in the third car. "We'll be prepared to announce a new sponsorship deal for that car in the next few weeks or months," Gibson said. "We're very excited. For us to have the opportunity to bring in a great brand like Shell and extend our relationship with Miller puts us in a place where we can build for the future."
Kevin Harvick, in the last year of his contract with Richard Childress Racing, is without a sponsor. Harvick is negotiating with RCR to find a new sponsor and stay with the company, according to a source. Harvick has been with RCR since he succeeded the late Dale Earnhardt in 2001. A source said discussions between RCR and Budweiser, in its last season with Richard Petty Motorsports' #9-Kasey Kahne, have taken place. Kahne signed last week a deal with Hendrick Motorsports to replace Mark Martin in 2012 and drive a car to be determined by team owner Rick Hendrick in 2011.(ESPN.com)(4-21-2010)
Reports: Pennzoil/Shell to leave RCR...to Penske?: Shell/Pennzoil is expected to leave Richard Childress Racing and driver #29-Kevin Harvick at the end of the season and will sponsor a car at Penske Racing – likely for 2004 Sprint Cup champion #2-Kurt Busch – beginning in 2011, according to sources familiar with the situation. An announcement concerning the Shell/Pennzoil sponsorship is expected to come Wednesday. According to sources, the leading candidate for the Pennzoil sponsorship is Busch, whose contract with Penske runs out at the end of this year but team owner Roger Penske has said he planned to pick up the option and just needed to negotiate terms with Busch. Busch’s current sponsor, Miller Lite, could move to #12-Brad Keselowski, whose car does not have sponsor logos but gets support from Verizon, which cannot be on the hood of a Sprint Cup car because of Sprint’s sponsorship of the series. With Shell/Pennzoil as a sponsor, that means that Mobil likely is going away since Mobil and Shell are competitors. Mobil sponsors Penske Cup driver #77-Sam Hornish Jr., a three-time Indy Racing League champion who has competed in Sprint Cup since 2008. Shell/Pennzoil has been with Harvick since 2007, while Busch has been the Miller Lite driver since 2006 [and Miller has been with Penske since 1991]. The departure of Shell/Pennzoil from RCR leaves that organization looking for a sponsor. Harvick’s contract expires at the end of this year. Team and sponsor representatives did not immediately return messages seeking comment (SceneDaily)
AND Richard Childress Racing has been informed that Shell-Pennzoil will not return to the organization in 2011 according to team sources. Sources say the Shell-Pennzoil brand will move to Penske Racing next season for a multi-year deal where it will enjoy a business-to-business relationship with both Penske Automotive Group and Dodge. PAG is the second largest publicly traded retailer in the U.S. and operates 316 retail automotive franchises. Shell-Pennzoil will also have a presence on Penske’s IndyCar Series cars. Kurt Busch is will drive the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge in 2011. Busch was set to become a free agent at the end of the season, but this deal ensures he will stay at Penske beyond 2010. As a result, Busch will vacate the #2 Miller Lite Dodge. One scenario mentioned has Brad Keselowski moving into the ride.(FoxSports)(4-20-2010)
Keselowski Completes Test at Infineon: #12-Brad Keselowski completed a one-day test session on Tuesday at Infineon Raceway in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 18-20. Keselowski completed 50 laps around the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course in a late-model stock car provided by a Northern California-based raced team. It was Keselowski’s first time on the serpentine circuit. “This is my first time here at Infineon Raceway, and I have to say that this is impressive,” said Keselowski. “The elevation changes make it a blast to drive. Basically I’m trying to prepare myself for when we come back here in June…and we won’t get much practice. It’s exciting to get in the road-course swing.” #78-Regan Smith is scheduled to test Infineon Raceway on Wednesday, also in the same late-model stock car. Smith placed 30th in his only NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visit to Infineon Raceway in 2007; this will mark Keselowski’s first race in Sonoma. Smith will be coached by road-course veteran Chris Cook, who has also worked with NASCAR drivers #20-Joey Logano and #43-AJ Allmendinger, among others.(Infineon Raceway)(4-14-2010)
Allgaier says no immediate plans for Cup debut: One of the more curious NASCAR stories this spring surrounds newcomer Justin Allgaier, Roger Penske's latest find. Allgaier just notched his first big NASCAR win three weeks ago at Bristol, in Penske's Nationwide car. Now there is increasing speculation that Allgaier, soon to turn 24, may be ready to step up to Cup....perhaps as Penske's fourth Sprint Cup driver, with Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish. What is the Penske-Allgaier game plan? And how much depends on Nationwide sponsor Verizon - which is barred from putting its company logos on a Sprint Cup car? "The only plan is there is no plan," Allgaier says. "Obviously Roger is very passionate about the sport and wants to make things happen in a time frame that makes the most sense. I basically told Roger and everybody that makes the decision at Penske Racing that I want the opportunity eventually. There's a lot that would have to go into it (creating a fourth Cup team). Penske Racing is very good at being planned. I don't think we would jump into anything. With Verizon being on our Nationwide car and not being able to go to the Cup side, I want to make sure it's the right opportunity and we don't ruin any relationships."(MikeMulhern.net)(4-10-2010)
Keselowski, Smith to test at Infineon:NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Brad Keselowski and Regan Smith will take part in test sessions next week at Infineon Raceway in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 18-20. Keselowski (#12 Penske Dodge) will test the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course on Tuesday, April 13, while Smith (#78 Furniture Row Chevy) will visit the circuit on Wednesday, April 14. Both will test in late-model stock cars provided by a Northern California-based race team.(Infineon PR)(4-10-2010)
Abyss on the #12 at Phoenix: Adorning the sides of the #12 Dodge Charger of Brad Keselowski this weekend is the cell phone application Abyss by Mobigloo. Available on all major cell phone carriers, Abyss is an original action puzzle game that challenges players to rearrange colored pieces by sliding them horizontally and vertically to create a path for the game's pearls so they do not fall into the abyss of the ocean.(Penske Racing PR)(4-7-2010)
Allgaier testing for Penske at Charlotte: Penske Racing's Nationwide Series driver, Justin Allgaier, is testing the #22 Dodge at Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday. Team are testing the spolier, which replaces the wing startign at Martinsville this coming weekend. SPEED's Bob Dillner reported on Sunday's SPEED Report that Allgaier would test for Penske, but no word if/when he will make his Sprint Cup debut.
AND Justin Allgaier participated in his first official Sprint Cup Series test and hoped Tuesday's session will lead to an upcoming race at NASCAR's top level. Penske Racing brought four cars to the two-day test at Charlotte Motor Speedway to give Allgaier seat time. The 23-year-old is coming off his first NASCAR victory, a win in the Nationwide Series last weekend at Bristol. Drivers are permitted to participate in two NASCAR-approved test sessions before committing to entering a Cup race."Obviously when I started at Penske Racing my goal was to reach the Cup level, so for me, this is a good way to come out and get some laps and see what these cars drive like," said the second-year Penske driver. "Hopefully we can help out the other guys. I think that's the biggest thing -- how do we benefit all three of our Cup teams and get me some experience at the same time? This is the easiest way to do it.".(Associated Press)(3-23-2010)
Ford Racing Notes and Quotes - Jack and Carl: #99-Carl Edwards and car owner Jack Roush participated in a meeting with NASCAR officials and Penske Racing owner Roger Penske and driver #12-Brad Keselowski. Both Roush and Edwards commented on the meeting during Nationwide Series qualifying on Saturday.
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion
HOW DID THINGS GO IN THE MEETING?
“Everything went really well. I think the biggest thing coming out of that meeting is that now, I think, Brad and I understand one another a little better. I think we’re gonna be able to just go forward and go racing, and that’s what this is all about. It was really cool to be able to talk with Jack and Roger and Brad all at once. We laughed. We cried. In the end, I think it’s gonna be good.”
WHAT HAS THIS WEEK BEEN LIKE FOR YOU?
“This last week was really good, actually, for me. I got to spend a lot of time at home, but I guess this is just part of life and part of the way things go, especially with the way the media works. Sometimes people don’t understand everything that’s going on. It’s interesting, I’ll say that.”
WHAT DON’T PEOPLE UNDERSTAND?
“Well, for instance, with what happened at Atlanta. It’s very hard for people to understand that the result is far different from the intent. Things can be presented in a lot of ways, but I guess that’s just part of it. What’s most interesting to me is that sometimes it’s about selling ad time or newspapers and it’s not about explaining the story.”
YOU HAVE SORT OF BEEN PORTRAYED AS AN ANGRY GUY WHO GETS UPSET. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?
“I addressed that a little bit yesterday. I think some people would like that to be the case, but let me put it this way – it’s real easy to stand back and throw stones at someone and make little chirps and say things that make you feel better about yourself, but, in the end, what I said yesterday holds true. The people who know me know that I’m a very fair person. I guess if my biggest fault is standing up for myself, I’ll take it. They can fault me all day for that.”
JACK ROUSH, Owner – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion
WHAT WAS TALKED ABOUT INSIDE?
“The ultimate responsibility that we all have – that NASCAR has, the owners have and the drivers have – to keep everybody safe in this business. It’s a sport that needs to be contentious, but it needs to be safe too and we’ve got to be careful to respect that line.”
DO YOU FEEL THIS IS BEHIND BOTH DRIVERS?
“Carl and Brad both said things that would indicate that they’re willing to put it behind them and let bygones be bygones, to give one another racing room, and that’s what’s needed. They need to give one another a little extra room for awhile.”
DO YOU AND ROGER SEE EYE TO EYE ON THIS?
“Oh, yeah. Roger and I are on the same page.”
WHAT DID YOU SAY TO CARL REGARDING THIS SITUATION?
“I told him I did not condone what he did, but I did understand it.”
DO YOU THINK BRAD AND CARL SEE EYE TO EYE?
“No, but I think that they will give one another enough respect that we won’t see another occurrence like that. I think Carl is not likely to have incidental contact with Brad and cause a wreck, and I think Brad is not like to have incidental contact with Carl and cause a wreck in the foreseeable future.”
WHAT ABOUT CARL AND KEVIN HARVICK?
“I don’t know about that. I didn’t read the things that they said about one another and I’ve had no contact with either one.”(Ford Racing/Roush Fenway)(3-21-2010)
The NASCAR-Edwards-Keselowski Meeting - Keselowski: from a Dodge Motorsports PR, #12 Penske Racing driver Brad Keselowski discusses the meeting between NASCAR, the #99 Roush Fenway / Penske Racing drivers / owners:
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE MEETING WITH NASCAR THIS MORNING? "I don't know how Carl feels about it, but I don't think it's cool to say everything that was said in there. Hopefully, it will be productive to where we can move forward and continue to race each other hard and not have any more incidents like we had at Atlanta. We hadn't talked before. I wouldn't say there was anything said that surprised me. You have to understand, Carl and I have a mutual respect for each other in a sense we're almost the same people. We come from similar backgrounds. We drive the same way. I have a lot of respect for him before and after the accident. Hopefully, that will stay the same."
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THE WAY YOU WILL BE RACING? "Carl and I have talked before about leaving each other more room, but it seems like when it came down to it, it just never worked out. It's racing. The biggest thing to me, you know, is incidents are going to happen because we race against each other more than 60 times. We're going to run by (beside) each other. We just each have to build up a tolerance for that."
WHAT ROLE DID JACK ROUSH AND ROGER PENSKE HAVE IN THE MEETING? "Jack and Roger are two different people for sure, but they are both extremely supportive of us. Carl and I both put a lot of emphasis and trust into our car owners, where we listen to them and talk to them. I think we both see the same things in them. They're kind of mentors to us."(Dodge Motorsports NASCAR PR)(3-20-2010)
The NASCAR-Edwards-Keselowski Meeting - Penske: from a Dodge Motorsports PR, #12 Penske Racing owner Roger Penske discusses the meeting between NASCAR, the #99 Roush Fenway / Penske Racing drivers / owners:
ROGER PENSKE (Chairman & CEO Penske Racing)
WHAT CAME OUT OF THE MEETING WITH NASCAR THIS MORNING? "Obviously it was important that we all got together from the standpoint of just having open conversation – the drivers, Jack (Roush) and myself. I think it was good conversation. I think Carl (Edwards) realized that what had happened last week wasn't what he expected – the car flying. To me, it was just good, open communication. The guys agreed that they're going to race hard. They're going to race fair and give themselves some room on the race track so that we don't become the poster boys every weekend on what's happening. I said, 'Hey, at the end of the races, if we're racing for the lead and there's a lap or two to go, you guys are gonna have to run hard, but try and stay out of each other's way during the race.' It was a good conversation. They're both good guys. To me, it's just great that we have an environment where we can sit down."
HAVE YOU EVER TOLD BRAD TO BACK DOWN? "Brad has only driven for us for this year. He's a terrific talent. I don't tell my drivers to run hard or to run soft. I think he knows what he has to do on the race track with his peers and quite honestly, he's not making any statements about what he's gonna do or not do. I think the media has taken some of that and moved it further and made him with a bigger circle around him. What I want him to do is run fair on the race track and be competitive. But he's got to respect the other drivers. They have to respect him."
BRAD HAS SAID THAT HE'S NOT GOING TO BACK DOWN, CHANGE HIS STYLE: "He hasn't said that to me as far as I'm concerned. He wants to race. He wants to have his car in the race at the end. Consequently, if you're not keeping your car underneath you, you're gonna get yourself in trouble and not be there in the end. As far as I'm concerned, it's behind us. It's an issue that was between the two drivers. I think it mounted because of accidents that had happened. Maybe it was their fault, maybe it wasn't. At the end of the day, nobody got hurt last week. We're here to have a good race."
WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU SEE YOUR DRIVER INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT LIKE THAT? "I heard on the radio from the spotter that said, 'Look like he's trying to wreck you back over in (Turn) 3.' I looked over in 3 because Kurt (Busch) was leading the race at that point and I saw that there was no contact. And then I was watching Kurt going into Turn 1 and I heard them say "yellow" on my radio and I looked down and saw the car barrel rolling. Obviously, I was concerned for Brad and his safety and anybody else's. Brad on the radio – the first thing he said to me was, 'Did anybody get hurt in the stand?' That was the first thing that came out of Brad's mouth. And then he said, 'I'm fine.' At that point I was worried about Kurt winning the race after that."
HOW DO YOU FEEL THAT BRAD IS FITTING IN THE GARGAGE? "I'm not taking a poll in the garage area about what driver personalities are and what other people feel about them. He's a competitor out there. He drives for Penske Racing and I'm going to support him."
DO YOU THINK BRAD NEEDS SOME "FRESHMAN HAZING" TO BE ABLE TO RUN WITH HIS PEERS? "I think Brad has raced with his peers on the Nationwide Series, with many of these people. I think he knows how to race. I've got all the respect for him. He'll earn his respect in the garage area by winning and finishing strong. To me, we need to put this behind us."(Dodge Motorsports NASCAR PR)(3-20-2010)
NASCAR-Edwards-Kelesowski meeting - all smiles: The big meeting between #99-Carl Edwards and #12-Brad Keselowski ended with both drivers smiling as they left NASCAR's office. Edwards, Keselowski and their car owners met for about 40 minutes Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway with top NASCAR officials. Edwards intentionally wrecked Keselowski two weeks ago at Atlanta as retaliation for earlier contact. NASCAR called the drivers together to resolve their ongoing feud. They hustled to Nationwide Series qualifying immediately after the meeting. When they finished running their laps, they parked side-by-side on pit road. Edwards leaned over the hood of Keselowski's car to briefly speak to him, and the drivers again smiled as they separated.(Associated Press)(3-20-2010)
No plans for payback by Brad K: #12-Brad Keselowski says “the slate is clean,” and anticipates no escalation of the feud that has festered between himself and #99-Carl Edwards when they line up again this weekend at Bristol. “I don’t have any hard feeling; it’s over as far as I’m concerned,” Keselowski said Thursday during a media luncheon at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum to promote the April 3 NASCAR Nationwide race at Nashville Superspeedway. Keselowski has been in the news for the past two weeks — including an appearance on Good Morning America! — after taking an upside-down airborne ride at Atlanta Speedway. Keselowski, who was not injured, was sent sailing after being intentionally tagged in the rear by Edwards. Keselowski earlier in the race had wrecked Edwards. Keselowski said he has had no communication with Edwards since the crash. The Sprint Cup Series had an open date last week. Their next meeting will be at Bristol on one of the toughest, most physical races on the circuit. While track’s close-quarter racing often has tempers flaring, Keselowski said he doesn’t expect any “carryover” from the Atlanta incident. He added, however, that he won’t change his aggressive driving style. “This is how I race,” he said. “It’s what got me where I am today, and I think the fans appreciate it.”(Nashville City Paper)(3-19-2010)
NASCAR To Meet With Edwards, Keselowski: NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said Wednesday that officials from the sanctioning body will meet with #99-Carl Edwards and #12-Bred Keselowski and their respective team owners at some point this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, site of Sunday's Food City 500. What Pemberton wouldn't discuss is what is likely to be said at those meetings. But it's a pretty good bet there will be a stern warning to both drivers to stay away from each other. In April 2009 at Talladega Superspeedway, the two made contact at the start-finish line on the final lap of the race. Keselowski won, Edwards bounced off the hood of Ryan Newman's car and into the catchfence separating the cars from the grandstands. At Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 7, the two locked horns again, this time twice. The first contact, which occurred early in the race, resulted in Edwards going into the wall and losing more than 100 laps for repairs. The second contact occurred two laps before the scheduled end of the Kobalt Tools 500, when Edwards deliberately bumped Keselowski, turning his car sideways, whereupon it rolled upside down on its roof at 190 miles per hour. For making that move, Edwards received probation for three races.(SPEED)(3-18-2010)
No suspension for Edwards? UPDATES - probation only: A person familiar with the decision says #99-Carl Edwards will not be suspended for intentionally wrecking #12-Brad Keselowski's car during last weekend's NASCAR race in Atlanta. NASCAR president Mike Helton is to address the Edwards accident on Tuesday. The person familiar with the decision spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Helton will be making the official statement. Edwards could face a fine or probation, but there had been an outcry for a severe penalty.(Associated Press)(3-9-2010)
UPDATE: Carl Edwards has been placed on three weeks' probation by NASCAR for intentionally wrecking Brad Keselowski's car during last weekend's race at Atlanta. NASCAR president Mike Helton said Tuesday there are two separate issues: the wreck itself, and the fact that Keselowski's car went airborne. He says NASCAR is reviewing why the car left the track, and adds that NASCAR will meet with both drivers and their car owners to "clean the slate."(Associated Press) (3-9-2010)
Keselowski statement: A statement from Brad Keselowski: "I support NASCAR in the decision they communicated today. They are not in an enviable position when it comes to these matters, but they do an outstanding job. The unfortunate part about what happened on Sunday is that it has overshadowed a win by the #2 Miller Lite Dodge and an overall solid performance by Penske Racing at Atlanta.(Penske PR)(3-9-2010)
Edwards statement: Carl Edwards posted the following message on his Facebook page: "I respect NASCAR's penalty and look forward to our meeting in Bristol. I'm ready to put this behind us and get on with some good racing."(3-9-2010)
Roush statement: "We are satisfied that NASCAR fairly considered all the circumstances in its decision to discipline Carl (Edwards). We look forward to meeting with NASCAR, Roger (Penske) and Brad (Keselowski) in Bristol next weekend and it is our hope to put this behind us at that time. Missed in all of this was a really strong performance by Roush Fenway - and the Ford teams in general - at Atlanta last weekend and we are eager to continue to build on that moving forward."(Roush Fenway PR)(3-10-2010)
Scott's Statement: Scotts appreciates the support of NASCAR fans everywhere, and we have an excellent relationship with Carl Edwards, Jack Roush and the #99 Roush Fenway Racing team. However, like many fans, we were very concerned about the on-track incident that occurred in Atlanta this past weekend. As a result, we have strongly expressed these concerns to both Carl and Jack, and we are confident that they have a clear understanding of the trust we have placed in them as ambassadors of our company, our associates and our brands. In addition, as a sponsor, we want to make sure that drivers, race teams and NASCAR focus on keeping these types of incidents and misjudgments from happening.(3-11-2010)
Keselowski's Dodge in red at Atlanta: Brad Keselowski's #12 Dodge Charger from Penske Racing will carry a special paint scheme featuring Dodge [dodgemotorsports.com], Mopar [mopar.com] and FLO TV [flotv.com] this weekend for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS). The all-red Dodge Charger will have all three partners - Dodge, Mopar and FLO TV - prominently featured in the paint scheme. The Dodge logo will occupy both rear-quarter panels while the Mopar logo will be positioned on the rear deck lid along with a FLO TV logo, which will also be featured above the rear bumper. "We are the first automaker in the United States to offer live, mobile television," said Pietro Gorlier, President and Chief Executive Officer - Mopar Service, Parts and Customer Care, Chrysler Group LLC. "We're excited to team up with Dodge and Penske Racing to promote Mopar and FLO TV to the NASCAR audience." Television signals are delivered through a dedicated multicast network built by San Diego-based FLO TV Inc., a live, mobile TV service provider, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc. FLO TV offers live and time-shifted programming from top entertainment brands. The service is available in more than 100 major markets and many interstate driving corridors, however it is not available in some rural areas.(Dodge/Darnell Communications), see an image of the scheme on my #12 Team Schemes page.(3-5-2010)
Penske history at Atlanta: Penske Racing made its first start at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 26, 1972, with the late Mark Donohue finishing 15th. In 81 starts at Atlanta, the organization has two wins (Rusty Wallace in 1993 and Kurt Busch in 2009), eight poles and nine top-five finishes.(Penske Racing)(3-3-2010)
AAA Insurance colors for Keselowski at Auto Club IMAGE: Brad Keselowski's #12 Penske Racing Dodge will run different colors at Auto Club Speedway this week, running the AAA Insurance sponsorship instead of the black Penske Racing [Verizon] colors. The #12 Dodge will use chassis PRS-713, a brand new chassis.(Penske Racing)(2-16-2010)
IMAGE: see an image of the #12 AAA Insurance scheme on my #12 Team Schemes page.(2-17-2010)
Penske Donates Trucks to Clinton Bush Haiti Fund: Penske Corporation and its family of companies announced that today it has donated over $1 million worth of diesel-powered flatbed trucks to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. “I’m pleased the Penske Corporation has stepped up to donate more than $1 million worth of trucks, which will be instrumental in mobilizing food and lifesaving supplies in Haiti,” President Clinton said. “Their generous contribution is an example of what the private sector can do to help Haiti rebuild and recover from the massive earthquake, and I’m grateful for their leadership.”
"The catastrophe that has struck Haiti is almost unimaginable," said Roger Penske, Chairman of Penske Corporation. "These trucks will assist in the humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti by facilitating the distribution of critical supplies that will help ease the suffering of the Haitian people." For more info about the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, visit www.clintonbushhaitifund.org.(Penske Racing)(2-6-2010)
Magellan to Sponsor Penske Racing Cup Series Cars: Continuing to steer in a positive direction, Penske Racing welcomes Magellan portable car navigation systems as a NASCAR Cup Series sponsor for 2010 and beyond. Beginning a multi-year partnership this season, Magellan will make its debut as an associate sponsor on all three Penske Racing Cup Series entries. The #2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Kurt Busch, the #12 Penske Dodge with Brad Keselowski behind the wheel and the #77 Mobil 1 Dodge driven by Sam Hornish Jr. will all be sponsored by Magellan. “We hosted Magellan last year at our annual Penske Racing Sponsor Summit in Indianapolis,” said Roger Penske. “We have continued to work with them and we are excited to announce this partnership because our organizations share common core values and we believe there are some great opportunities to build for the future together.”
“Magellan is looking forward to becoming a part of the Penske Racing team,” said Kevin Chuang, Magellan Chief Executive Officer. “Roger has built a top-echelon organization on and off the track and being a sponsor of Penske Racing will help Magellan as we continue to grow our brand.”(Penske Racing)(1-19-2010)
Penske donates $25,000 to Brienne Davis scholarship: Universal Technical Institute (UTI) Foundation announced Roger Penske has donated $25,000 toward the Brienne Davis Memorial Scholarship for one qualified female to attend UTI's NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C. The Penske award is part of the Brienne Davis Memorial Scholarship Fund for women pursuing careers in the automotive industry. Davis, a UTI graduate and Sprint Cup official, died tragically in 2008. "The automotive industry needs outstanding people, like Brienne Davis, who are dedicated to top-notch service," Roger Penske, chairman of Penske Corporation, said. "This scholarship was created to provide more opportunities for women committed to pursuing technical excellence through a career in the motorsports and racing industries." In addition to the $25,000 scholarship, the Foundation, through the support of The NASCAR Foundation and the NASCAR family, will also be awarding three $10,000 Brienne Davis Memorial Scholarships to women who wish to attend one of UTI's nine automotive campuses across the United States. The deadline for scholarship applications is Dec. 31, 2009. More information about the scholarships is available on the UTI Foundation Web site at www.utifoundation.net.(Penske Racing)(12-6-2009)
New crew chief for Keselowski UPDATE: Jay Guy will be crew chief for Brad Keselowski and the #12 Penske Racing Dodge in 2010. Guy heads to Penske Racing following a three-year stint at Denver-based Furniture Row Racing. The 36-year-old Lancaster, Penn., native says he's looking forward to building a program around a driver with Keselowski's potential. "(Keselowski) has definitely won a lot of races in the Nationwide Series," Guy said. "There's a great upside to him. This is what I've worked for the last 20 years, to have an opportunity such as this with a company like Penske Racing."(FoxSports)(11-30-2009)
UPDATE: Penske Racing has announced that both Jay Guy and Paul Wolfe have joined the organization as crew chiefs working with driver #12-Brad Keselowski for the 2010 NASCAR season. Roy McCauley, who has served as a Cup Series crew chief for the past four years with the team, will remain with Penske Racing and assume a leadership role within the organization. Guy will lead the #12 Penske Dodge Cup Series team, while Wolfe will serve as crew chief for the #22 Discount Tire Dodge squad that will compete full-time in the Nationwide Series with Keselowski behind the wheel. Guy, 36, most recently worked as the crew chief on the #78 Furniture Row Racing car driven by Regan Smith in Cup Series competition. A native of Lancaster, Penn., Guy is an experienced crew chief that has worked in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and at the Cup Series level.
Wolfe, a former competitor on the track, will team with Keselowski to pursue the 2010 Nationwide Series championship with the #22 Discount Tire Dodge team. The 32-year-old native of Milford, N.Y., raced in the Nationwide Series and completed his fourth season as a crew chief in 2009 as he led the charge for the #11 CJM Racing team with drivers Scott Lagasse, Jr., Denny Hamlin and others.(Penske Racing)(12-1-2009)
Addington moving on UPDATE: during the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Monestead-Miami Speedway, Andy Petree of ESPN2 reported that Steve Addington, former crew chief for #128-Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing, informed JGR he woul leave and is moving on. No word what team or job he is going to.(11-20-2009)
UPDATE: Bob Dillner reported on the SPEED Report that Addington is talking to Penske Racing about being #2-Kurt Busch's crew chief in 2010, supposedly the hold up is that Addington wants a 3-year contract. Have also heard Addington is under consideration to be Brad Keselowski's crew chief in Penske's #12 Dodge. No word what plans are for current #12 crew chief Roy McCauley.(11-24-2009)
NASCAR meets with Keselowski: NASCAR chairman Brian France and other top officials talked to rookie #12-Brad Keselowski before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway about his over-aggressive driving that has angered several drivers. "It's hard to bust a guy for being aggressive, but there's a fine line between being aggressive and destructive," Series director John Darby said. "From listening and talking to people, he's already got a few drivers upset. Typically if you leave it alone you get a worse situation, so we'll talk to him." Keselowski said the meeting was good and that he was impressed that France was part of it. "It's the first time I've ever had a conversation with him," Keselowski said. "It's good to know he cared enough to be there and is paying attention to what is happening in the sport." The meeting was called in response to Saturday's Nationwide Series race at PIR in which Keselowski reignited his feud with Denny Hamlin. Asked if he thought the meeting was necessary, Keselowski smiled and said, "I don't have all the answers." Darby said there are no plans to talk to Hamlin and he's not worried that the retaliation will take place in the Cup race.(in part from ESPN)(11-15-2009)
Keselowski in the #12 at Texas? UPDATE: Brad Keselowski will begin driving a Penske Racing Dodge in the Sprint Cup series starting this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Keselowski will take over for David Stremme in the #12 Dodge, multiple sources have told FOXSports.com.Keselowski, who finished eighth in Sunday's Amp Energy 500 and is currently third in Nationwide Series points, was announced as Roger Penske's latest addition on Sept. 1.(FoxSports)(11-2-2009)
UPDATE: Brad Keselowski will compete for Penske Racing in the final three NASCAR Cup Series races of the 2009 season. Keselowski will drive the #12 Penske Dodge in the upcoming races at Texas (Nov. 8), Phoenix (Nov. 15) and Homestead (Nov. 22). Over the final three Cup Series events of 2009, Keselowski will step in for David Stremme and work with the Penske Dodge team in the car that will become his full-time ride next season. "Penske Racing wants to give Brad an opportunity to work with the team and get to know the race car as we prepare for the 2010 season," said Roger Penske. "These three races will provide a good base for both Brad and the team as we head into next year. Penske Racing also thanks David Stremme for his contributions to the team this year. We wish David the very best moving forward."(Penske Racing PR)(11-2-2009)
Keselowski to test for Penske: Brad Keselowski will continue to gain Sprint Cup Series seat time with the #12 Penske Dodge during the Goodyear tire test at Daytona International Speedway on Nov. 2-3. This will be the second time Keselowski gets to work with his future employers since he was signed by the team on Sept. 1. Keselowski joined the #12 team and crew chief Roy McCauley last month at Daytona along with David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose. Goodyear officials used that test to help establish a baseline for the November test. Goodyear has opened testing to the entire Cup garage and hopes to attract at least 30 teams in an effort to set up drafting to closer simulate race conditions to prepare for the 2010 Daytona 500. In Keselowski's absence, Kelly Bires will test the #88 Chevy for the Nationwide Series test at Talladega Superspeedway.(FoxSports)(10-25-2009)
Where may some of the drivers looking end up in 2010? Those drivers looking for rides in 2010 — #07-Casey Mears, #96/71-Bobby Labonte, #43-Reed Sorenson and #12-David Stremme — qualified sixth, eighth, ninth and 11th, respectively at Martinsville. How their futures pan out could depend on the status of Jamie McMurray, who remains the top candidate for the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi ride. Mears could stay put in the #07 if sponsorship can be found. Labonte is a strong candidate for one of the two TRG [#71 team] Racing rides. Sorenson is the favorite for the vacancy at Braun Racing [Nationwide Series ride] and Stremme's name has been mentioned for the #34 Front Row Motorsports car[currently a Chevy] (where he would be reunited with crew chief Steven 'Bones' Lane) or in a Nationwide car with Rusty Wallace Inc.(FoxSports)(10-24-2009)
Keselowski still looking for 2010 crew chief & more employees: Brad Keselowski is waiting for Penske Racing to hire a crew chief for him in 2010, but he's been very pleased with the level of interest for the job. Keselowski said employees from Richard Petty Motorsports have inquired about possibilities with the #12 team. "I think that whole team is scared to death," he said. "That whole company is scared to death. Everybody that works there is scared and we've got a lot of interest from some of their people and that's interesting. That's encouraging." Keselowski drives for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series and part time for Hendrick Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series, and said he doesn't believe crew members from either of those organizations will be following him to Penske. But he still wants to help Penske get that team more in line with Hendrick Motorsports, and that his future organization is about "100 people short of where they need to be to compete with Hendrick."
"I communicated that with them and just wanted to know what their thoughts were on that," Keselowski said. "Resources-wise Penske is phenomenal. They have the same resources if not more than what Hendrick has to work with. It's just a matter of installing a depth in the personnel."(Associated Press)(10-17-2009)
No solid plans for Stremme: David Stremme [who is out of the Penske #12 at the end of the year to make way for Brad Keselowski] on his future: "I think there are a couple of things. When you look at the teams that are going away and don't have sponsors, I think there is going to be so much change for our sport with the teams. We are talking to some people. I don't have nothing solid. I can't even say, "Hey, I feel good about stuff.' Our sport is going through a lot of changes and the thing is if I've got to run Nationwide, Truck, whatever it is, I'm willing to do it. Last year, I had a lot of fun driving for Rusty (Wallace) in the Nationwide. It was a blast and I'd do it again."(Virginian Pilot)(10-10-2009)
Penske deal for Saturn from GM is off: General Motors Co. said Wednesday it would shut down its Saturn brand after an agreement with Penske Automotive Group Inc. to acquire it fell apart. Penske, citing concerns of whether it could continue to supply vehicles after a manufacturing contract with GM ran out, ended talks with GM Wednesday to acquire the brand. GM CEO Fritz Henderson said in statement that Saturn and its dealership network will be phased out. In a statement, the Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based auto retailer says an agreement with another manufacturer to continue producing Saturn vehicles after GM stopped making them fell through, leading Penske to terminate talks with GM. Penske said it negotiated terms and conditions to make Saturn cars with another manufacturer, but that company's board of directors rejected the agreement. Penske spokesman Anthony Pordon would not identify the other manufacturer. In June, GM and Penske agreed to take over the Saturn brand and related dealerships, although GM would produce the vehicles for a limited period of time. GM said Saturn vehicle owners can still go to their Saturn dealer for service and would be able to go to a certified GM dealer for service once Saturn dealerships are closed. It was expected that GM would announce the completion of Saturn's sale to Penske in the coming days.(ABC/AP)(9-30-2009)
Discount Tires moves to Penske: Just days after announcing his move from JR Motorsports in 2010, Brad Keselowski and Penske Racing have signed Discount Tire as their sponsor for 26 Nationwide Series races next year. Keselowski will drive the #22 Dodge full time in the Nationwide Series next year along with a full-time Sprint Cup schedule. Discount Tire will also be an associate sponsor on #12-Keselowski and teammate #2-Kurt Busch's Sprint Cup Series cars. Additionally, the company will have a presence on all three Penske Racing cars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A full announcement is expected later this week. Discount Tire currently sponsors David Ragan's #6 Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series ride. The partnership has been in place since the start of the 2007 season.(FoxSports)(9-16-200)
Menard & Stremme to reach milestones: #98-Paul Menard and #12-David Stremme are scheduled to make their 100th career Sprint Cup starts this weekend when they race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, becoming the 177th and 178th drivers to reach the century mark in Sprint Cup Series history.(Team PR's.NASCAR)(9-2-2009)
Keselowski officially signs with Penske for 2010: Penske Racing announced that Brad Keselowski will compete for the team full-time, beginning with the 2010 NASCAR season. Keselowski, a 25-year-old native of Rochester Hills, Mich., will drive the #12 Penske Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next season. He will also run a full-season schedule in the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series, where he will compete for a championship with the team. "We are very excited to welcome Brad to the Penske Racing family," said Roger Penske. "Brad has shown terrific success on track the past several years and has quickly established himself as one of the top young stars in racing. He comes from an impressive family background in motorsports. He is a proven winner and a welcome addition to our team."
A third-generation driver, Keselowski has won at every level in which he has competed. He is currently ranked third in the Nationwide Series standings with three wins to his credit in 2009, including a dramatic victory in August at his home track at Michigan International Speedway. Keselowski also scored his first Cup Series win earlier this year at Talladega Superspeedway and he has produced three top-10 finishes in just eight Cup Series starts this season.
"Penske Racing is one of the top teams in all of motorsports and I am honored to join Roger Penske's organization and compete for wins with his Cup and Nationwide Series teams," said Keselowski. "This is a great opportunity for me to continue competing in the Nationwide Series and to run my first full season in the Cup Series with a strong and experienced team."(Penske Racing), no word on Stremme's plans for 2010.(9-1-2009)
Keselowski says announcement will come soon: Brad Keselowski remained noncommittal this weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on his future in NASCAR, though he did say an announcement on his plans will come "shortly." Keselowski, a full-time Nationwide Series driver for JR Motorsports and a part-time Sprint Cup driver for Hendrick Motorsports and Phoenix Racing, is rumored to be joining Penske Racing in 2010 - perhaps running both series full time for the team. Keselowski has said he wanted to drive full time in both series, and those plans remain in place. "I'm confident that I will run full time in both series next season," he said. If he joins Penske, he could be a teammate to Justin Allgaier in the Nationwide Series. Allgaier said Saturday he told Penske officials he didn't want to know about the team's plans until they were official.(SceneDaily)(8-31-2009)
Keselowski says he won't return to JR Motorsports: Brad Keselowski declined to comment on reports he'll drive in the Sprint Cup Series for Penske Racing next year, but he did indicate Thursday to Sporting News he won't be back in JR Motorsports' Nationwide car next season. Asked whether he expected to return to JRM, Keselowski said, "At this time, no," during a boat tour of the Old Port in Montreal. Kelly Bires reportedly is the leading candidate to replace Keselowski in the #88 JRM Chevy. "I heard that, too," Keselowski said when asked about the possibility of Bires driving for JRM. "It's hard to tell. I know they've talked to a number of drivers, and I wish them the best on whoever gets in there, and I expect big things from them, as I'm sure the team does. "I look forward to seeing somebody get the opportunity that I got." Keselowski's departure from JRM lends credence to reports, which surfaced last week at Bristol, that he'll join Penske Racing [with the #12 team]. Team co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. has said if Keselowski were to drive a car make other than Chevy in the Cup Series, that would preclude him for driving for JRM's Nationwide program.(Sporting News/NASCAR.com)(8-27-2009)
Penske still courting Keselowski? Reports surfaced last week in Bristol that Brad Keselowski was set to replace #12-David Stremme in the three-car Penske Racing Sprint Cup stable next year. ESPN reported on its race telecast Stremme was informing people in the garage area he was out of the ride and looking for employment next season. However Stremme insists he never made those statements and that no one from the network bothered to ask him directly about his future. Stremme told Sirius NASCAR Radio's The Morning Drive he "feels good about his future and will discuss his plans when the time allows." Keselowski and his current Sprint Cup and Nationwide team owners Rick Hendrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have also declined to comment on what lies ahead for the Michigan driver.(CBS Sports)(8-27-2009)
Sources: Keselowski to Penske in 2010 UPDATE 2: Brad Keselowski will drive for Penske Racing in 2010, sources told ESPN.com on Friday. Keselowski would not discuss his future plans. "I'm really not prepared to address any of the rumors about next year," he said. "I'm here to race the Nationwide car and win with it tonight and I am not going to let anything get in the way." Keselowski turned down an offer from Roger Penske last year to drive the #12 Dodge, and the ride instead went to David Stremme. Keselowski's current team, JR Motorsports, does not drive in the Sprint Cup Series and co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. has no plans to move that team up to NASCAR's top level. Keselowski had hoped to replace Mark Martin next year in the #5 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports, but Martin decided to keep the seat in 2010. Rick Hendrick on Friday declined to comment on Keselowski's future, and Earnhardt canceled an afternoon media availability.(ESPN.com)(8-21-2009)
UPDATE: According to two published reports and additional sources, Brad Keselowski is to replace David Stremme as driver of the #12 car. A grinning Keselowski was coy when asked about the reports. "Ah, well, you know, I'm really not in a position to talk about any of that stuff right now. That's probably my biggest response. And I'm really not prepared to address any of the rumors about next year right now. I'm here to race the Nationwide car and I'm not going to let anything get in the way of that or distract me from that," Keselowski said. Asked if he was still a free agent, Keselowski smiled widely and added: "Everybody's free. We live in a free country, so, yeah, I'm still free." Jonathan Gibson, vice president of marketing for Penske Racing, said he could neither confirm nor deny the reports. But what he said appeared to speak volumes. "It's no secret we've been talking with Brad. Roger Penske has a history of having great drivers [in the employment of Penske Racing]. Brad Keselowski is a great driver," Gibson said. As part of the agreement, Keselowski presumably will cease to drive a Nationwide car for Jr. Motorsports at the end of this season as well.(8-21-2009)(NASCAR.com)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick does not plan to let Brad Keselowski stray far from his organization. Keselowski is believed to be headed to Penske Racing next season, in part because Hendrick Motorsports has no room in the lineup to promote him to the Sprint Cup Series. But the team owner says wherever Keselowski ends up, "he'll always be close enough for me to bring him back." Keselowski is the hottest prospect right now in NASCAR, but wants to move up from the Nationwide Series to the premier Cup level. He wanted to stay with a team affiliated with Hendrick, but there is no scenario for 2010 that would work. Keselowski turned down the #12 for Penske last season. David Stremme got the ride.(Associated Press)(8-23-2009)
Testing at Road Atlanta: Hearing that drivers testing at Road Atlanta today include #99-Carl Edwards, #6-David Ragan, #16-Colin Braun (subbing for Greg Biffle), #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #47-Marcos Ambrose, #2-Kurt Busch, #77-Sam Hornish Jr., #12-David Stremme, #13-Max Papis and Boris Said (in John Wes Townley's #09 Nationwide Series Ford which he will run at Watkins Glen).(7-21-2009)
AND: told #7-Robby Gordon was also at the track.(7-21-2009)