Cindric replaces Keselowski in Penske #2, Burton takes over WBR #21 from DiBenedetto for 2022 – The Checkered Flag


Thursday morning introduced large information for Ford allies Group Penske and Wooden Brothers Racing as the previous introduced NASCAR Xfinity Collection driver Austin Cindric will change Brad Keselowski within the #2 Ford Mustang for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Collection season. Cindric was initially deliberate to take over WBR’s #21 in 2022, which can now be stuffed by Harrison Burton who strikes over from Joe Gibbs Racing and consequently leaves Matt DiBenedetto out of a journey.

Keselowski departs Penske after twelve years within the organisation, throughout which he received the 2010 Xfinity and 2012 Cup titles. Whereas he has not formally introduced his 2022 plans, plans to change into a co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing are all however confirmed; he beforehand ran the Tenting World Truck Collection group Brad Keselowski Racing, whom Cindric drove for in 2017 earlier than shifting as much as the Xfinity Collection.

“Attending to drive for Mr. Roger Penske within the No. 2 has been an amazing alternative, and I’m so pleased with the success we’ve had collectively,” learn a written assertion from Keselowski. “His steering has helped me each be a greater competitor, however much more so, a greater man.”Once I first walked by means of the doorways at Group Penske, the group had 65 Cup Collection wins and was on the hunt for his or her first NASCAR Championship. Over our years collectively we developed right into a formidable power. Right now, the group has greater than 130 Cup Collection wins, two XFINITY Championships and two Cup Collection Championships. I’m so proud to have performed a task in these wins and milestones.

“Trying to the long run, I want Austin and the group all the perfect on this subsequent chapter. I lengthen my sincerest gratitude to the whole 2 crew for his or her dedication and work over these previous 12+ years. I do know they are going to proceed to do nice issues along with Austin on the wheel.

“Making the choice to half methods with Group Penske to embrace a brand new alternative and problem was a tough one, and one I didn’t take calmly. I do know that I’m leaving in place although, and I’m each excited and desperate to share the small print of what’s subsequent for me quickly.

“Proper now, my focus stays on successful extra races in 2021 and giving it my all to take down our second Championship.”

Credit score: James Gilbert/Getty Pictures

Because the reigning Xfinity champion, present factors chief, and son of Penske president Tim Cindric, it comes with little shock that Austin finally discovered his option to the group’s Cup programme. Along with gunning for a second consecutive Xfinity title, he’s operating a part-time Cup schedule in a fourth Penske automobile to assist him study the highest stage’s environment. His greatest Cup end in six races is fifteenth in his sequence début on the Daytona 500, and the previous sports activities automobile racer has additionally led eight laps at highway programs.

“All through my NASCAR profession, I’ve grown loads as a driver and a person,” mentioned Cindric. “There are such a lot of people inside the partitions of Group Penske which have elevated me to a stage that matches this chance. The help in direction of my improvement from Roger, Group Penske, and all of our companions has been the main issue in direction of race wins and a championship.

“The #2 automobile is iconic to this sport and is a quantity that represents the inspiration of this group. It’s a nice honor and an incredible duty to proceed that function. As 2022 will get nearer, I’m excited to embrace that. Till then, my focus stays on successful one other Xfinity Collection championship.”

The unique blueprint referred to as for Cindric to run the restricted Cup slate for Penske earlier than shifting up full-time in 2022 with WBR. Nevertheless, components comparable to Keselowski’s departure led to a change in plans as Cindric strikes into Penske’s flagship automobile.

Credit score: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Pictures

Whereas some fan hypothesis might have recommended WBR retaining DiBenedetto in response to the #2’s developments, the group as a substitute enlists Burton for the job. Burton presently in his second yr of Xfinity competitors for Joe Gibbs Racing, and regardless of having but to win a race sits fifth in factors. He scored 4 wins in 2020.

In Could, Burton made his Cup début at Talladega and completed twentieth.

“Since I started racing quarter midgets, the hope and purpose was all the time to change into a full-time driver within the NASCAR Cup Collection,” Burton commented. “Now, I get to do that with some of the storied groups in NASCAR historical past within the Wooden Brothers and with an affiliation with Ford Motor Firm and Ford Efficiency. I don’t suppose I may have dreamt of a greater scenario to place myself in in relation to the beginning of my NASCAR Cup Collection profession. Add to that the technical alliance with Group Penske and the data I’ll achieve from working with their drivers and I’m actually excited for 2022 and the long run. It is a nice alternative for me and I can’t thank Eddie and Len Wooden sufficient for giving me this opportunity.”

Assuming he stays within the sequence, DiBenedetto’s ousting will depart him looking for his fifth group since beginning his Cup profession in 2015. In his first yr with WBR in 2020, he certified for his first profession playoffs and completed thirteenth in factors. Nevertheless, the group has struggled in 2021 as he’s eighteenth within the standings with 5 high tens, and the difficulties resulted in a crew chief change midseason.

DiBenedetto voiced his ideas on the information in a nine-minute Instagram video.

Cindric’s alternative within the #22 Penske Xfinity automobile and Burton’s in JGR’s #20 weren’t instantly revealed. It’s seemingly that the latter is stuffed by rising star and JGR member of the family Ty Gibbs.


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