html

ThatsRacin.com


Keselowski said to be joining Penske

- jutter@charlotteoberver.com
Friday, Aug. 21, 2009

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Brad Keselowski has an agreement in principle to drive in the Sprint Cup Series next season with Penske Racing, the Observer and ThatsRacin.com have learned.

No contract has been signed, which means the deal could still not come to fruition, but multiple sources on Friday confirmed that Keselowski appeared headed to Penske’s No. 12 Dodges next season.

David Stremme currently drives the No. 12 as a teammate to Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish Jr.

Keselowski has driven the No. 88 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series since mid-2007 and has five wins with the organization, including three this season. He also won April's Cup race at Talladega, Ala., in a car owned by James Finch.

One year ago, the Observer and its racing site reported that Keselowski had declined an offer from the Penske organization to drive the No. 12. He stayed with JR Motorsports and has been in eight Cup races this year for both Finch and Hendrick Motorsports.

Through a team spokesperson, Keselowski declined to speak with the Observer and ThatsRacin.com on Friday regarding his Cup future.

After he won the pole for Friday night's Nationwide race at the high-banked short track, the driver would speak only about the present, according to an Associated Press account.

"I'm really not prepared to address any of the rumors about next year," he said. "I'm here to race the Nationwide car and win with it tonight and I am not going to let anything get in the way."

Penske officials would neither confirm nor deny that Keselowski would join the organization.

“We make it a practice to not comment on rumors or speculation. We are focused this weekend on Bristol and can’t comment on anything beyond that,” said Jonathan Gibson, a Penske vice president.

Keselowski has been exploring several Cup options, with a focus on those that would allow him to retain some connection to the Hendrick organization. HMS currently has four full-time Cup drivers for next season, the most that will be allowed by NASCAR.

A move to Penske would likely result in the end of his relationship with JR Motorsports, which is co-owned by Hendrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Hendrick Motorsports officials said the only person within HMS who could comment on Keselowski’s situation was team owner Rick Hendrick. He would not be available until Saturday at the track, officials said.