Charlotte, NC – Coming off the best season they’ve ever had, Team Penske is reaching for higher accomplishments than even 2014 could bring them. With 11 victories from drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano plus Logano’s attempt in the Final Four at Miami-Homestead, the organization found themselves at not only the top of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, but tops at Ford, too.
“When I think about 2014 it was a year we’ll really remember because it’s probably the most successful season we’ve had, both on the NASCAR side and on the Indy Car side with a total of 22 wins, Roger Penske said. “But, to me, the key thing was the continuity, the drivers, the crew chiefs, the team and the sponsors that you saw. We need that as we go forward. I think we’re strong as we go into 2015. It’s amazing in this world today that we can say that all of our sponsors have renewed with us to go forward on multiple year contracts, which gives us a great base to build on as we go into the future.
“Great wins, some tough racing, both cars right down to the end there as far as the Chase. Joey got in and obviously we didn’t get what we wanted, but I thought the format was outstanding. The numbers that I’ve seen from NASCAR on the media and also the fan base have just been outstanding, so, for me, a great year for Team Penske and no question for our partner at Ford. Think about it, we’ve been with them two years now and we have over 15 wins each year with the Ford Motor Company. That’s a pretty good start for us. We have a lot to live up to as we go forward next year.”
Team Penske also has formed an alliance with Wood Brothers Racing. Former Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney will pilot the legendary No. 21 Ford Fusion and Team Penske will provide technical support.
“We’re really looking forward to this association, not only with the team but with the personalities there with Eddie and Len, Glen, of course, and Leonard we’ve known for a long time,” Penske said. “We really view this as an opportunity to enhance the overall technical prowess of both teams. We’ll be sharing a lot of technical information, working with them clearly with Jeremy and Corey Tuckey, who will be the car chief and has also been with Team Penske. The shock person has also been associated with us, Darcy, so we see a very clear avenue channel of communication with both of them communications with both of them enhancing both teams and overall enhancing the Ford effort on the race track.”
Brad Keselowski will once again drive the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford—the car that won six races in 2014. Keselowski became controversial with his driving style last year, but has no intention of changing what he does.
“It’s been a tremendous ride and I’m looking forward to the years to come. All of us driver lineup-wise, I think, are setup to be here for years to come and it’s been a heck of a ride with winning championships, winning races,” Keselowski said. “I remember when I walked in the door at Team Penske in the fall of 2009; Penske had three teams at the time with the 2, the 77 and the 12. I remember seeing three cars parked separate from each other and all the teams were different. One team was in the Chase and the other two weren’t and now here we are we have all of our teams working together very closely. We certainly have more wins than I think we’ve had in a long time as a team, and probably the best relationships inside the company that I would say probably ever and I’m just thrilled to be a part of that.
“You know you’re doing something right in this sport when you’re racing the establishment and you make them upset,” Keselowski, 30, said Wednesday. “When you make them upset under the terms that I did – I made guys mad racing for the win, it wasn’t racing for 20th. If you get in a wreck and a fight racing for 20th, that doesn’t make SportsCenter. You get in a wreck and a fight with a previous champion racing for a championship, going for a win then you’re probably doing the right things.”
Joey Logano will continue to race in the No. 22 Pennzoil Ford for 2015. Logano won five races and was in the Final Four for the championship. He is a newlywed, getting married in the off-season. He told a story on how his lost his wedding ring on his Honeymoon, but getting back to racing; he was as enthusiastic as any young driver with his resume could be.
“Last year we didn’t really have any changes on our 22 team and I think just being able to build on the relationship that Todd and I have, and throughout the whole 22 team, I think myself learning more of what Team Penske is like and how they go about things and building those relationships up we were able to use that to our advantage this year,” Logano said. “It took the first year to kind of understand all that and this year we were able to go in there knowing what we were going to be up against and came awfully close to winning the championship. It’s something to be proud of for sure. It’s an amazing opportunity to be there at Homestead and have a shot at a championship. I feel like we can take a lot out of that experience, a lot of positives, and we learned a lot that we can hopefully be in the same boat this year, but a lot more prepared in knowing what we’re getting ourselves into once we get there.”
While Ryan Blaney will be driving the Wood Brothers No. 21 Ford in Sprint Cup this season for 18 races, he will also see duty in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang in the Xfinity Series for Team Penske.
“We’ve been fortunate to get a great amount of races this year in all the series, announcing that we’re gonna run six more with the Wood Brothers, bringing us up to 18, and we’ll run a lot of XFINITY races coming up this year, and then a handful for Brad,” Blaney said. “It’s nothing full, but they all add up and it’s pretty much a full schedule, so I’m fortunate to be with great teams.”
“Mr. Penske and Walt and Tim allowing all of us – myself and Jeremy and Corey Tucker to go to the Wood Brothers and have their support over there and for me to get a lot of Cup experience and to have Brad and Joey that I can lean on a little bit for these Cup races. So I’m just really fortunate to be with such a great team and great organization that will let me go do this stuff as well as running the XFINITY races too. So I’m really excited for this year with a lot of racing and hopefully we can make the best of it.”