NASCAR: Brad Keselowski considering leaving Team Penske?

Brad Keselowski has not ruled out leaving Team Penske after the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, but he has stated that he won’t be “dialing out”.

Brad Keselowski entered the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season as one of two Team Penske drivers without contracts for 2021, as teammate Ryan Blaney also did not have a deal lined up beyond 2020 while teammate Joey Logano was already signed through 2023.

Now the 36-year-old Rochester Hills, Michigan native is the lone driver on Roger Penske’s team without a deal lined up for beyond 2020, as Blaney signed a multi-year contract extension with the team last week.

As a result of Blaney’s deal, which is the tip of the massive iceberg that is the upcoming Silly Season with how loaded the free agent field is, all of the focus has quickly shifted to Keselowski.

There was already a rumor that he would retire, which he swiftly rejected.

Most notably, Keselowski has been named as one of the possible replacements for retiring seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson at Hendrick Motorsports after the 2020 season. Several years ago, Rick Hendrick wanted Keselowski at his team but simply did not have the space available to make it happen.

Keselowski has spent the entirety of his career as a full-time Cup Series driver with Team Penske after making his debut in 2008 with Hendrick Motorsports and driving in several races for the team the following year as well, during which time he competed full-time for the Hendrick Motorsports-affiliated JR Motorsports team in the Xfinity Series.

He has not officially ruled out signing elsewhere for 2021, but he did say that he isn’t going to be the one asking around the paddock for a new ride. If somebody else calls, however, he will listen.

Here is what he had to say about the matter, according to NASCAR.

“I’m not dialing out, but if someone dials in, I will certainly listen, for sure.”

He did add that he has not yet begun discussing a contract extension with Team Penske.

“I really haven’t thought about (the game plan for an extension). 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.

“Honestly, I haven’t worked on it but I’m really happy for Ryan that he got his deal done. 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.”

Other than Team Penske or Hendrick Motorsports, where may Brad Keselowski consider signing for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season if he gets a call? As far as the other “really good rides out there” are concerned, Stewart-Haas Racing are slated to have two open seats given the contract situations of their current drivers. Joe Gibbs Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing could also each potentially have one seat open.