Keselowski happy for team with Penske deal
October 04, 2013, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – It wasn't concern or a distraction. Signing a contract extension with Penske Racing, Brad Keselowski said, was more about putting things to bed and keeping the focus on more important items.
Penske officials announced earlier this week that Keselowski, the defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, and sponsor MillerCoors, had signed contract extensions that will keep the parties together for the next several years. Miller Lite, produced by MillerCoors, is the primary sponsor of the No. 2 Ford.
"It is a great deal for my team," Keselowski said Friday at Kansas Speedway during qualifying for Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400. "I felt pretty confident things would work out, but for my team, it gives them the opportunity to not have to worry about those things – whether it's the funding for the car or who will be driving it.
"Everybody knows and that is good. I am happy for them."
Miller Lite will adorn the side of the car for 24 of the season's 36 points races beginning in 2014, a reduction of 12 events. Team owner Roger Penske reportedly requested the reduction in an attempt to bring new sponsorship into the organization. Miller Lite will be a "major associate sponsor" for the other 12 points-paying Sprint Cup events.
MillerCoors has partnered Penske Racing at the Cup level for 23 years.
A five-time race winner a year ago, Keselowski failed to qualify for this year's Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup and is winless on the season. He enters Sunday's race 15th in points.
His qualifying lap of 186.233 mph Friday earned the 29-year-old the No. 4 starting spot for Sunday's event.
"Obviously there is a little more out there because Jimmie (Johnson) and Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) were both faster," Keselowski said after his run. "It was a decent lap and should get us a solid starting spot. We will take it and move on."
Stenhouse Jr. (Roush Fenway Racing) and Johnson (Hendrick Motorsports) will start second and third, respectively. Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick will start on the pole, earning his first No. 1 qualifying position since the 2006 season.
The contract extension is believed to be through the 2017 season. Keselowski signed an extension following the 2011 season that was to run through 2014.