On Wednesday night of the Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, Mooresville, N.C., Mayor Miles Atkins showed the area’s appreciation for Penske Racing by presenting Roger Penske and 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski with ceremonial keys to the city.
Mark Frissora, CEO of Hertz, briefly talked about his company’s 2013 sponsorship deal with Penske and gave it some historical perspective.
“The Hertz and Penske racing partnership goes back to early 1980s when we were actually the primary sponsor of Penske’s Indy program,” Frissora said. “We’re really excited to rekindle that relationship.”
Keselowski was asked how he planned to win another championship in 2013.
“Stick to what got you where you are at – hard work, dedication to people,” he said. “Ford is special to us because of their people and their commitment; that’s a key piece. What we did last year is not good enough. We have to step up another level. We know our competition is going to do the same. I’m not happy being a guy that wins one championship and goes away quietly. Look at some of the additions we’ve made [for the new season]. Bringing in Joey Logano, working on the Nationwide program to solidify two programs, having Ryan Blaney be part of that – that shows the commitment we all have to improving. I know that Joey and Ryan bring some youth and fresh ideas to make the team better. They might go out there and beat my butt, but I’m going to surround myself with the most talent because that’s what got us where we are today.”
When asked about his tendency to say what is on his mind, Keselowski said, “I care about this sport. I don’t want to be the champion of a sport that isn’t as strong as it can be. I want to be a leader in this sport, quite frankly. In order to do that, I’m going to have to be vocal.”
Logano, who just joined the Penske team for 2013 after driving off and on for Joe Gibbs Racing, was asked how it felt to start his new job.
“The move is going great so far,” he said. “Coming into a championship-winning team is a huge privilege. [Logano’s crew chief] Todd Gordon and I are learning each other at a very quick rate. I feel we have a lot of similarities.”
Ryan Blaney, who became the youngest NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner ever in 2012, will drive for Brad Keselowski Racing in the new season
When asked about his expectations for 2013, Blaney said, “I’m shocked that I’m up here (surrounded by so many accomplished drivers). Being able to drive for Roger Penske and Brad and his truck program has really meant a lot, seeing they have faith in me and put me out there. They definitely have the best people here to help a young guy learn.”