Terrin Waack | NASCAR Digital Media

Brad Keselowski toasts No. 2 crew for final time: ‘A lot of great friendships’

AVONDALE, Ariz. — One last cheers for the No. 2 crew.

After Sunday’s season finale at Phoenix Raceway, Brad Keselowski toasted his Team Penske mates on pit road in honor of their last race together. Instead of just lifting a can of beer, like everyone else, Keselowski filled and hoisted the large glass he notoriously chugged out of while celebrating his 2012 NASCAR Cup Series championship. Two coolers stocked full of Miller Lite sat next to their Ford, ready to refill or replenish for as long as nostalgia flowed.

“Definitely feels like the last weekend,” Keselowski said. “I’m trying to soak up what there is to soak up. But it’s going to be a different world for sure.”

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Terrin Waack | NASCAR Digital Media

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After 12 full seasons with Team Penske, Keselowski heads over to Roush Fenway Racing in a driver-owner role. He’ll pilot the No. 6 Ford in 2022, while Austin Cindric takes over the No. 2 car at Team Penske. Both moves were announced back in July.

Keselowski joined Team Penske on a full-time basis in 2010 after three part-time races the prior season. Thirty-five of Keselowski’s 36 career victories came in the No. 2 car, including that 2012 championship.

“It’s still hard,” Keselowski said. “There’s a lot of great friendships I made. I couldn’t have picked a better time to do it. There’s a huge workforce transition with the Next Gen car and all that stuff happening at the same time to where next year is going to be a culture shock for the entire garage. I kind of feel like I’m playing even there.”

The Next Gen car is set to debut when the 2022 season kicks off with the Busch Light Clash exhibition event Feb. 6 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

In his final season, Keselowski had one win (Talladega Superspeedway), 10 top fives and 17 top 10s. His last race result for Team Penske was an 11th-place finish. He checked in sixth in the championship standings.

“It’s a little bit surreal,” Keselowski said. “It felt like the last day of school. You’re on the next chapter.”

WATCH: No. 2 crew toasts with 2012 championship beer glass

Another notable farewell at Team Penske:

— Crew chief Todd Gordon is retiring from atop the No. 12 pit box. He closes out his full-time NASCAR Cup Series career with 25 victories and the 2018 championship with driver Joey Logano. Gordon’s latest wheelman, Ryan Blaney, finished fourth Sunday at Phoenix Raceway and seventh in the championship standings for his final race and season. Said Blaney: “It was a really good last run for Todd before he hangs it up. I wish it was a win. I can’t thank him enough for the last couple of years and I can’t thank this whole group enough for this year. It has been a lot of fun.”