CONCORD, N.C. — Roush Fenway Racing made its new era of ownership official with a nod to its history Tuesday with the presentation of a new name for 2022 and beyond — Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing or RFK Racing for short.
The new branding formally adds part-owner Brad Keselowski to the team’s name, joining team founder and NASCAR Hall of Famer Jack Roush, plus Fenway Sports Group. The team name was announced Tuesday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and it’s a nifty balance of new mixed with overtures to the team’s heritage.
“What do they say at weddings — something old, something new, something borrowed?” Keselowski said at the unveiling of the new-look car. The new came in the form of the name, logo and leadership structure; the old was part of the updated but retro-styled version of the team’s flagship No. 6.
The borrowed was Keselowski’s name above the door, presented in a typeface used by his previous team owner, Roger Penske. “I like the way it looks. I always did,” Keselowski said. “I thought it was really professional and clean.”
The addition of Keselowski to the organization’s ownership group was announced July 20. The former Cup Series champion will drive the team’s No. 6 Ford in the NASCAR Cup Series starting next year and will assume a leadership role in RFK Racing’s competition department.
Keselowski has already hit the ground running in just the second week since he closed the books on his successful 12-year run with Team Penske, a tenure that included his lone Cup Series title in 2012. Though Tuesday signaled a shift to a new era in the team’s history, RFK Racing president Steve Newmark said Keselowski emphasized preserving the organization’s legacy when making the move.
“Brad and I talked about it, he said we want this to be the perfect balance between paying homage to our history and our lineage and all the accomplishments that the team’s done, but also at the same time signifying that it is a new world order,” Newmark said. “That sounds very simple, when you just say it as a soundbite. It’s a lot harder to do when you start trying to incorporate that. So whether we got it exactly right, time will tell, but I think our intent is to really signify that this is kind of the next evolution the next step in our organization, but we’re not going to lose our roots.”
The 37-year-old driver has been involved in team ownership before, leading Brad Keselowski Racing in an effort that produced 11 Camping World Truck Series wins from 2008-2017. He’ll team alongside Chris Buescher on the two-driver roster and will be tasked with helping to rejuvenate an organization that last won on the Cup Series level in 2017.
Part of that charge, Newmark said, was to create almost a “Roush 3.0” — an allusion to the team’s evolution from Roush Racing for its 1988 NASCAR debut to Roush Fenway Racing ahead of the 2007 season to its third and current iteration with Tuesday’s re-brand.
Keselowski will make the next step with his first time behind the wheel Wednesday in the first of two days of testing for the Next Gen car at the 1.5-mile Charlotte oval. Tuesday’s show car is the actual car that Keselowski will drive in the test, and though it’s all new for its 2022 debut, Roush approved of the number’s new-old look, refreshed for the team’s next chapter.
“I thought the 6 was too vertical,” Roush said of the previous version before turning his attention to the new style. “It still has a block shape, but it’s more dynamic in its skew, and I think that’s the way we should have done it in the first place. They didn’t ask me what to do about this, and the president I had at the time didn’t ask me about that configuration of the original 6 in 1988. But I think they got it right this time.”