NASHVILLE — Team Penske had a special all-hands celebration Wednesday night for its burnout exhibition on the city streets of Nashville. If there are style points for collaborative creativity, then the organization’s 2021 driver lineup of Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano earned high marks.
The Burnouts on Broadway show aired Saturday at 6 p.m. ET, one hour before air time for The NASCAR Awards — both broadcast on NBCSN. But glimpses of the three-man Penske pirouettes have already emerged, with all three Mustangs smoking the tires, lined up nose to nose to nose.
Blaney said the plan was hatched just 10 minutes before their exhibition runs on Nashville’s main drag, and with all three drivers finishing together in the Cup Series standings, the stars aligned for a group burnout. Logano’s wife, Brittany, planted the idea.
“She said we all should do something together, and I thought that’d be kind of cool, especially with Brad kind of moving on,” said Logano, noting Keselowski’s departure to the newly renamed RFK Racing in 2022, “and we were you know, sixth, seventh, eighth in points, and so we lined up right next to each other. So I just randomly went to Brad and Blaney and said, so let’s just come out there, all three of us, and put like three noses together.
“So during the safety meeting … we drew up this plan that (Corey) LaJoie named ‘The Iron Lotus’ afterward, so now we have a name for it, and we put all three noses together, and we really weren’t sure this is gonna work, just never seen it done before. But what the heck, you got to try it.”
It was not only a last hurrah for Keselowski, who rounded out his 12-year term with Roger Penske this season, but also for the Gen-6 car. With the Next Gen car making its debut in 2022, the current models used in the burnout were expendable.
“Let’s do something different, let’s do something unique, and we planned that but I didn’t know if it was gonna work or not,” Blaney said. “I’m honestly, I’m surprised it did work. Because when we were, you know, ‘driver engineering’ it, you know we’re not the smartest people in the world, that we didn’t know if it was gonna work out. I thought, me and Brad we’re gonna end up dooring, but I can’t believe we stayed together.”
Neither could Logano, who continued to do separate burnouts with Keselowski after their three-car formation ended.
“You should have seen all our faces,” Logano said. “We could see each other inside, and when it actually started working, we were like ‘aaahhh! Oh my God, this is fun.’ It’s pretty cool.”