Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski worked for the first time as teammates at Penske Racing last week during a two-day test of the new generation race car for the Sprint Cup Series. It didn’t take long for Logano to realize Keselowski has a unique approach to things.
Keselowski was quick to realize the same about his new teammate.
While other teams went through their customary routines at Charlotte Motor Speedway, racing’s new Brat Pack was working on new ideas. Keselowski prides himself on being different, and the addition of Logano is certain to make him even more contradictory.
“It’s really cool to have a teammate that’s a student of the sport that really studies it and will push me to do things differently,” Logano said. “I think the coolest thing that Brad is able to do is he’s able to think outside of the box, like way outside the box. I think that’s interesting to me, to see the way his mind works.
“I don’t want to let his tricks out in the open, but just the way he looks into a long run differently than I do or I’ve really seen out there before. So it’s kind of interesting to see that part, for sure.”
Thinking outside the box led Keselowski, 28, to his first Sprint Cup Series championship this season. He fended off all challenges during the Chase for the Championship by mixing flawless preparation with a youthful exuberance. He got a lot of help from his equally-adventurous crew chief, Paul Wolfe.
Logano left Joe Gibbs Racing to drive Roger Penske’s No. 22 Ford. That ride opened up when AJ Allmendinger was fired for failing a drug test at mid-season.
Logano had two wins at JGR, including the June 10 race at Pocono Raceway.
Gibbs replaced Logano, 22, with 40-year-old Matt Kenseth. Gibbs wanted a little more stability and experience so Logano was forced out.
Penske, however, seems eager to push the envelope with two of the sport’s youngest stars.
“I feel like there are a lot of areas that I can improve and be better and I think there are things Joey does right out of the gate that are better than what I do,” Keselowski said.
Penske already has proven himself to be a maverick. He’s the most-successful IndyCar Series car owner in history with 12 IndyCar championships and 15 Indianapolis 500 victories. He houses his IndyCar and stock car teams in the same building near Charlotte, N.C. While the cars are diametrically different, he encourages them to cross-reference ideas.
“The lines of communication have been very open between both teams and I’m really excited about that,” Logano said.