Keselowski explains "difficult" decision to leave Penske

Brad Keselowski has explained that his "difficult" decision to leave Roger Penske's NASCAR Cup Series squad is motivated by “a new opportunity and challenge” of an as-yet undisclosed nature.

Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Snap on

The 2012 Cup series champion, who gave Penske its first title in NASCAR's premier division, has driven for the team since the end of 2009 following his breakthrough victory at Talladega earlier that year with Phoenix Racing.

But following speculation that he will become a co-owner in a new Roush-Fenway-Keselowski Cup team, it was announced earlier today that Keselowski will depart Team Penske at the end of the season, with reigning Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric replacing him in the #2 Ford in 2022.

In a statement, Keselowski said his time driving for Penske was a “tremendous opportunity” and that he was “proud” of their success together, which also included the 2010 Xfinity title.

On the subject of the reason of why he is leaving Penske now, the 2020 championship runner-up said it was to “embrace a new opportunity”, without elaborating further.

He said: “Making the decision to part ways with Team Penske to embrace a new opportunity and challenge was a difficult one, and one I did not take lightly. I know that I am leaving in a good place though, and I am both excited and eager to share the details of what’s next for me soon.

“Right now, my focus remains on winning more races in 2021 and giving it my all to take down our second championship.”

Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Discount Tire

Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Discount Tire

Photo by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images

The 37-year-old has run his own team before. Brad Keselowski Racing was a regular in the NASCAR Truck Series between 2007 and 2017, when Cindric finished third in the standings. It's best championship finish was second in 2015 with Tyler Reddick.

At the point of closing his Truck team, Keselowski remained hopeful that he would one day own a car in the Cup Series, and a collaboration as a team co-owner with Roush Fenway Racing is expected to be confirmed shortly.

The team initially founded by Jack Roush won back-to-back Cup titles with Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch in 2003 and 2004, but hasn't mounted a strong title challenge since Carl Edwards lost to Tony Stewart on countback of wins after the pair finished level on points in 2011.

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