Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Autotrader Ford Mustang, spoke about what lies ahead as part of a NASCAR Zoom call this afternoon.
BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Autotrader Ford Mustang — HOW ARE YOU SET FOR SPONSORSHIP NEXT SEASON AT ROUSH? “We‘re having amazing conversations. The market is incredibly strong — in kind of the decision phase on some really great partners that are new to the sport, so I am thrilled with where we‘re at. I don‘t have anything to announce today, obviously. I think I would look for us to make one consolidated announcement with respect to our sponsors and our brand initiatives and team lineup all at one time after the season is over, so I‘m really excited about it. I think conceptually there‘s been a lot of energy around the sport on the partner side and we‘re riding a wave of momentum. I‘m sorry I can‘t give any specifics, but as a general topic things are looking pretty good. I wouldn‘t say we have everything done yet by any means today, but a lot of good movement.”
HOW MUCH INTERACTION DO YOU HAVE WITH THE ROUSH GROUP ON A WEEKLY BASIS, ESPECIALLY SINCE YOU‘RE STILL RACING FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP WITH PENSKE? “The interesting thing about our sport is we‘re one of the few sports, somebody was telling me this the other day that cycling is this way, but we‘re one of the few sports where you can be contracted with another team while competing with the team you‘re with, which certainly is an interesting situation. You think of football, hockey, baseball, basketball, you‘re either with one team or you‘re not. Motorsports is certainly different in that way. Contractually, I have to honor my contract, which means non-competes and all of those kinds of things, so obviously I can‘t be in the building and doing things for next year. I hear the rumblings of the test sessions and all that kind of stuff and certainly very curious as to how all that‘s going, but my involvement is prohibited until the season is over.”
THERE‘S A WAVE OF FORMER DRIVERS NOW BECOMING CAR OWNERS. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS? “I think there‘s a confluence of factors. The Next Gen car certainly had an effect — the visibility toward it, super important. I think there‘s other quotients that lie in there too with respect to, like you said, generations and ways things have developed. Where are we at? Denny Hamlin, myself and who else? I guess Kyle has the truck team, but doesn‘t have a Cup deal, but I would suspect there would be one or two others that join and do this over the next couple of years, which is great. The charter was a big piece of this, no doubt. It probably doesn‘t get enough credit. I hear a lot of people bad mouth the charters. Honestly, there are parts I like and dislike about it, don‘t get me wrong, but I think as a whole it‘s been good for the sport. That said, I struggle to say there‘s one factor. I‘d say there‘s a confluence of factors.”
— Ford Performance —