With 35 career wins and a NASCAR Cup Series Championship on his resume, Brad Keselowski has emphatically established himself as one of the great drivers of his generation. And at 37, Keselowski is set to enter the next phase of his racing career, one which sets him up for continued success on the track and a clear path once his days behind the wheel are done.
On Tuesday, Roush Fenway Racing officially announced that Brad Keselowski will join the team in 2022, assuming duties as the driver of the No. 6 Ford while also taking a minority ownership role with the organization. Keselowski’s move to Roush Fenway comes after just over a decade of driving for Team Penske, which he is leaving in favor of a greater input in the competition side as well as an ownership role.
Speaking to reporters last week, Penske shared that an ownership stake for Keselowski was not an option due to the structure of Penske Corporation.
“Ownership is something I think I’ve always articulated to the fans and media. It was important to me long-term. It represents growth for me personally and professionally, which is very important, and it creates a deeper tie-in to really the fourth point, which is to have a role in this sport when I’m done driving,” Keselowski said in a press conference at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. “… I cannot see a day where I’m done driving and I don’t want to be a part of this sport, and this opportunity allows me just that: The ability to have a role in this sport past my driving career.”
Keselowski’s move is also an important one for Roush. Once a NASCAR powerhouse, Roush Fenway has fallen on lean times, having won just twice in the last seven seasons — and none since 2017. At 79, car owner Jack Roush stressed that he is not relenting his role to Keselowski, but now has a clear successor once he eventually does opt to retire.
“I’ve been asked to say that I’m passing my baton to him, which I am. But I still have one hand on the thing, so I’m not gonna give up completely for a while. There are no retirement plans for me in my immediate future,” Roush said. “I intend to keep going to the racetracks the way I have and to be as much of a nuisance and distraction as I have been to my drivers and crew chiefs in the past. Over a period of time Brad will earn his independence and he will gain a significant position of ownership in the team.”
With Keselowski aboard, Roush Fenway Racing will still field two full-time Cup teams, with Chris Buescher continuing to drive the team’s No. 17 Ford. Speaking to reporters, Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark stated that the team has spoken to Ryan Newman, the current driver of the No. 6, about a part-time ride with the team. However, Newman is allegedly still reviewing his options for next season.