Roush Fenway Racing has officially rebranded their organization as they head into a new era with Brad Keselowski as a driver, part-owner and head of competition. The team will now be known as Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing.
“Bringing Brad on board, represents a true succession and re-invigoration plan for our organization,” Roush Fenway Keselowski President Steve Newmark said. “At the same time, there was also a very heavy sentiment that it’s time for us to earn back to where we were before.”
In a press conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday, the team unveiled their new logo, new number font for the No. 6 car as well as the paint scheme for their Next Gen car, which will hit the track in testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday.
For Jack Roush, this is an opportunity to breathe competitive life into his race team again, and it gives him a chance to gracefully slide toward slowing down in his motorsports career.
“I want to continue the dream of being competitive in NASCAR,” Roush said. “It’s certainly something that I’ll stand on the balls of my feet and I’ll help as much as I can and for as long as I can. I have been besieged by questions for the last decade over what my plan was for retirement. I really couldn’t see how I was going to be able to back away from it without having the kind of approach that Brad has brought and that Steve Newmark has fostered.”
Roush continued by saying, “I’ll be able to back away some and to not go to all of the races. Not to be the first one up on the pitbox, and last one to go home, like I’ve been in the past for most of my time.”
The Roush team has won two NASCAR Cup Series Championships, but those came back in 2003 and 2004 with Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch driving their cars. The team, which has won 137 NASCAR Cup Series races and once put five cars into the 10-car Playoffs — then the Chase — field, has just two wins since 2017.
The move to bring Keselowski in as a driver and an ownership partner seems to be a swing-for-the-fences move to bring the team back to the mountain top.
For Keselowski, the third initial in the new RFK Racing name, moving into an ownership role at the NASCAR Cup Series level was probably not something that would have happened if not for the adaptation of the Next Gen car in 2022.
— Toby Christie (@Toby_Christie) November 16, 2021
“Probably not,” Keselowski said. “Without the Next Gen car, the comp level set that comes from it, the business model reset that comes from it, it would have been really tough for me, or quite frankly my current partners — who weren’t my partners at the time — to justify making the move.”
According to Keselowski, there are many factors that makes the Next Gen car the great equalizer for new investors and teams, that maybe weren’t at the peak of the series at the end of 2020.
“We have some more fixed costs with this car, that’s one of the strengths,” Keselowski said of the Next Gen car. “Fixed costs not just in manufacturing but also in development. That’s a huge aspect of what everybody is interested in and a technology reset as well.”