CHARLOTTE, N.C. Brad Keselowski lastly bought a contract extension from Team Penske, introduced the day after NASCAR’s 2012 champion received his third race of the season.
Keselowski has been open in his want to stay with the group the place he gave Roger Penske his first NASCAR championship. The 10-week shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic extended extension talks however a deal was introduced Monday.
Terms weren’t launched, however an individual acquainted with the contract stated the extension is one yr via 2021. The particular person spoke to The Associated Press on situation of anonymity as a result of the workforce didn’t disclose particulars.
Keselowski received Sunday at New Hampshire and trails solely Denny Hamlin (5 wins) and Kevin Harvick (4) in Cup wins this season. All three of Keselowski’s victories have come because the season resumed in May and with a brand new crew chief.
We are happy that Brad will proceed to be part of our group, Penske stated. Brad not solely demonstrates expertise and talent on the observe, however his management away from it and his dedication to our companions have had a big impact in making our group among the finest in NASCAR.”
Keselowski’s deal was introduced as NASCAR prepares to race twice this weekend at Michigan International Speedway, his dwelling observe. He has 33 profession victories 31 since becoming a member of Penske in 2010, the yr he received the Xfinity championship.
He added the celebrated Cup title two years later. Keselowski has been a part of 4 Xfinity Series proprietor championships and handed Mark Donohue in 2019 as Team Penske’s winningest driver.
I’ve been racing for Team Penske for the overwhelming majority of my NASCAR profession and to proceed to symbolize Roger Penske, our companions and his group is strictly the place I wish to be, Keselowski stated.
Weve completed numerous issues collectively through the years, together with profitable each the Cup and Xfinity Championships, the Brickyard 400, the Southern 500 and the Coca-Cola 600. Now, my aim is to win the Daytona 500, one other championship and proceed to construct Team Penske into the most effective NASCAR workforce within the storage space.
Penske earlier than the season swapped the crews for all three of his Cup groups in a transfer that paired Keselowski with Jeremy Bullins, the one crew chief on the Penske roster with no Cup title. The group introduced a contract extension with Ryan Blaney in March proper earlier than the season was suspended whereas Keselowski was caught in limbo.
When racing resumed, Keselowski received the Coca-Cola 600 crown jewel occasion at Charlotte Motor Speedway and adopted it with a win at Bristol Motor Speedway. He’s second within the Cup standings and to this point seems to be the strongest competitors for Harvick and Hamlin.
Keselowski stated after Sunday’s win that the crew swap was what he wanted to show his efficiency up a notch.
Ive had a fantastic workforce since Ive been right here in Cup … generally Ive allowed myself to fall into that good class. Good isnt ok, he stated. This has been a very good problem for me.
He additionally famous that the altering financial market made it troublesome for a longtime veteran to get a profitable contract. The high free brokers comparable to Keselowski command the very best salaries in a sport going via a monetary reset.
Sponsors have scaled again in how a lot funding they may present and the vast majority of groups want a number of corporations to pay for a full season. It’s prompted driver salaries to drop on the similar time newcomers who can deliver sponsorship should purchase a seat within the Cup Series.
“The landscape is very strange, not just because of the virus,” he stated, noting the bar for expertise has “been lowered considerably since Ive been part of the game.
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“Thats starting to bring a wave of kind of paid drivers, so to speak, drivers that pay for their ride. That really does a lot of damage to the contract market when theres drivers out there that are willing to pay for your ride, let alone you getting paid. Theyre willing to pay to take your ride. That really changes the marketplace pretty dramatically.”
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