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Keselowski could become the next owner/driver in NASCAR

Brad Keselowski is considering an offer to become the next NASCAR Cup driver with an ownership interest in the series, Autosport has learned.

Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang MoneyLion

Keselowski, has been offered a full-time Cup spot with Roush Fenway Racing beginning next season in a deal that would also include part-ownership in a renamed team called RFK (Roush-Fenway-Keselowski) Racing, multiple sources with knowledge of the deal have confirmed.

Keselowski would become the driver of the #6 Ford, but it remains unclear how much of an ownership percentage he would have in the renamed team. However, Keselowski would be expected to play a large role on the competition side of the organiszation, sources said.

Also unclear is whether the current driver of the #6, Ryan Newman, will move to a third team at Roush or leave the organisation.

 

Keselowski’s most recent multi-year contract with Team Penske expired at the conclusion of the 2020 season and the two sides agreed to a one-year deal covering this season only.

An official announcement of Keselowski’s deal with Roush could be held up until September to satisfy a clause in Keselowski’s current contract with Team Penske, sources said.

Team Penske officials offered no comment when asked by Autosport on Tuesday about Keselowski’s future with the organisation.

Officials with Roush Fenway Racing declined on Tuesday to respond to multiple attempts for comment.

Once the deal is completed, Keselowski would become the second high-profile Cup driver in two years to move into a driver/ownership role.

 

This season, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin became part owner of 23XI Racing along with NBA legend Michael Jordan. That team fields the #23 Toyota this season in the Cup for driver Bubba Wallace.

In addition, Justin Marks, a veteran sportscar and NASCAR driver, joined forces with Grammy Award-winning rapper Armando Christian “Pitbull” Perez to create the startup Cup team Trackhouse Racing this season with driver Daniel Suarez.

Keselowski has been a NASCAR owner previously. His Brad Keselowski Racing team in the Truck Series competed in 190 races and won 11 times before he closed it down following the 2017 season.

After shutting down BKR, Keselowski started Keselowski Advanced Manufacturing, an advanced engineering and manufacturing company.

“I’ve never made it a secret that I would eventually like to be an owner at the top level of the sport,” Keselowski said at the time. “And, while this is many years down the line, I want to start to prepare for that possibility now.”

 

Keselowski began his 12th season with Team Penske in the top class in NASCAR this season.

Since joining Team Penske, he has won 67 races combined in Cup and Xfinity series competition, including the team’s first Cup championship in 2012, an Xfinity Series driver’s title in 2010 and he has been a part of four Xfinity Series owner championships.

So far this season, Keselowski has one win in the Cup and is all-but locked in the playoffs. He is currently ranked ninth in the series standings heading into this weekend’s inaugural race at the Circuit of the Americas.

Keselowski’s departure from Penske at the end of the year could create a much-coveted high-profile ride opening. As of now, Penske driver and reigning Xfinity Series champion, Austin Cindric, is scheduled to move to the Cup series in 2022, but to drive the #21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing, a Penske-affiliated team.

The current driver of the #21, Matt DiBenedetto, is scheduled to leave the team at the end of the 2021 season. Penske also fields Cup teams for drivers Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano.

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