While one layer of the Penske Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup program is in crew chief search mode, the other is locked in thanks to a new multiyear contract extension. The Miller Lite “Blue Deuce” pairing of driver Brad Keselowski and crew chief Paul Wolfe will remain intact for several years, the team announced Thursday.
Keselowski was one of, if not the most improved driver during the 2011 season. He won three times and one pole, surged to the Chase for the Sprint Cup as a wildcard entry, and finished fifth in the final point standings. Much of that growth could be attributed to Wolfe, who took over as Keselowski's Sprint Cup crew chief at the start of the year. The two worked together during Keselowski's Nationwide Series championship charge in 2010, when he won six races and five poles, all while compiling 26 top-five finishes and completing every lap but one.
Over the course of the last two seasons, Keselowski and Wolfe have worked together to produce nine wins, six poles, 36 top-five finishes and one NASCAR crown combined across Nationwide and Cup Series competition.
“It's great to know that Paul and I will continue to work together to bring wins and championships to Penske Racing and its sponsors,” said Keselowski, the native of Rochester Hills, Mich., who first joined Penske Racing for the final three races of the 2009 season. “We've definitely built something special here with this team and we'll continue to get better to reach our goals. I'm already fired up about 2012 and the future with the ‘Blue Deuce.'”
“We have enjoyed tremendous success at Penske Racing and I'm really looking forward to building on the legacy of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team,” Wolfe added. “It's been a great experience working with Brad – we just seemed to click right away – and we will continue to build on the consistency and success we've experienced with the team. We're already working hard to get ready for another run at the championship next season.”
The team did not provide an estimation of when a replacement for Steve Addington, Kurt Busch's former crew chief, might be named.