Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney cheer to Keselowski's success with Team Penske during the "Beer Chug" after the 2021 NASCAR Cup Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway. Photo by Rachel Schuoler / Nigel Kinrade Photography

Penske Bids Happy Farewell to Brad Keselowski After 10th-Place Run

NASCAR NASCAR Cup Series

By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer

Toasting his large Miller Lite beer glass to his Team Penske crew, Brad Keselowski was a happy man Sunday at Phoenix Raceway.

Though he only managed a 10th-place effort in the season finale of the NASCAR Cup Series, the celebration was due to Sunday being the final race of the veteran’s 12-season run with Team Penske.

In 2022, Keselowski will shift to a driver-owner role within Roush Fenway Racing, driving the No. 6 Ford.

“I left it all on the racetrack today,” Keselowski said, surrounded by teammates Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano and their crews. “It’ll probably soak in a little more every day afterwards.”

Drinking from the same glass he made famous back in 2012, Keselowski was proud to have the support from the entire organization.

“It’s special,” he said. “It’s a little like the last day of college. It’s good to see these guys, every one of them mean something to me in my career. Not just in my professional life but in personal life they have been there for me. They helped me make a living, feed my kids and take care of my family.”

Team Penske kick-started Keselowski’s full-time Cup career in 2010 and gave him his first NASCAR Championship that season in the Xfinity Series. In his 12 years with Penske from 2010-2021, he captured 34 of his 35 career Cup wins, all 17 career poles and all but one of his 138 top-five finishes.

Above all, he reigned supreme at age 28 when he won the Cup title — the first for Penske — in 2012, beating out Jimmie Johnson in a fierce battle for that year’s crown.

And similar to any other race, when it came to how he ended his career with Penske on Sunday, it was all about finishing as high as possible.

“I tried to just go out there and do my best, leave a lasting impression and run well,” he said. “I wanted to finish as high up as I could to finish the season. The No. 4 car [Kevin Harvick] was right in front of me, I really wanted to finish fifth in points and if I could pass him and another two cars, I would get fifth. I was like, ‘Come on! Come on!’ Cracking the wipe as hard as I could but it didn’t happen.”

Ending sixth in the 2021 championship, a win at the Night Race at Bristol in 2011, the Southern 500 in 2018 and five times victorious at Talladega, Keselowski can rest easy knowing he left nothing on the table with Penske.

“We definitely gave it our all and I’m proud of that,” he said. “Roger Penske has a saying that good goals make ‘1 + 1 + 3’ and I think he and I joked that we made it equal 5. We came together and it was as much or more than we could ever dream of. I think we’re all very proud of that.

“I’m not going anywhere, I’ll still be at the racetrack. I won’t be in all the meetings with [Penske], it’ll be a different grind. But I wish everybody here a lot of success.”

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