This has already been an interesting season for NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski, but it could get much more fascinating for the soon-to-be free agent who will be without a contract in eight months. Keselowski’s contract with Team Penske expires at the end of the year, but there doesn’t seem to be any urgency to get an extension done.
Neither side has been particularly talkative about Keselowski’s contract. Team owner Roger Penske hasn’t made any public comments regarding his driver’s future. Keselowski finally broke his silence in Phoenix before the FanShield 500 earlier this month. The 36-year-old told reporters he isn’t concerned about the negotiations.
“I really haven’t thought about it,” Keselowski said. “I haven’t put any emphasis on it. I’ve been trying to … I had a baby over the offseason, trying to enjoy that. Then we had the team change right after that, trying to make the most of that and get off to the right start here the first few weeks.”
Keselowski’s Teammate Gets New Contract
One Team Penske driver that doesn’t have to worry about his future for a while is Ryan Blaney. Keselowski’s teammate agreed to a contract extension on Feb. 28. Terms weren’t announced by Team Penske officials, who only said it was a multi-year deal. Blaney told reporters he’s looking forward to continuing his relationship with Team Penske.
“I am really excited to get that out there. It is something that we have been working on for a little while through the off-season,” Blaney said. “It is nice to finally announce it and all that stuff. I am really excited to continue with the Penske group for years to come. They have been a great group to me. Mr. Penske, I don’t know that I could ever thank him enough.”
With Blaney’s contract done, the assumption is Keselowski will be next, but the Cup Series driver says he isn’t in a hurry.
“I’m really happy for Ryan that he got his deal done,” Keselowski said. “I understand that probably puts a lot more eyes on me. … so I’m really happy for him, but I haven’t talked to anyone or gone through any of those steps. I’m sure it’ll be coming up soon. I want to race and be in contention to win for a long time. I think I’ve got a pretty good car right now and that’s certainly not always easy to come by. There’s also a lot of really good rides out there, too, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Keselowski Leaving Team Penske?
That last sentence is an ominous one. Keselowski has been rumored to be taking over for retiring Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson, though Hendrick hasn’t talked about Johnson’s replacement.
Keselowski said he hasn’t lobbied for that, or any other, job. He did say he’s open to offers, however.
“I’m not dialing out, but if someone dials in, I will certainly listen, for sure.”
One rumor Keselowski did address was the report of him retiring after 2020. He posted his retirement denial on Twitter.
“This was a crazy rumor … Not happening,” Keselowski wrote.