The Brad Keselowski era at Team Penske soon will end.
Austin Cindric, the 22-year-old defending NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, will replace Keselowski in the No. 2 Ford Mustang after this season, Team Penske announced Thursday morning. Keselowski joined Penske in 2010 and in 2012 brought the organization its first NASCAR Cup Series championship.
“Austin is a champion and has proven his abilities both on and off the track,” team owner Roger Penske said in a press release. “The Cup Series is a big step for any rookie but making this move now, in conjunction with the introduction of the new NextGen car, makes sense.”
Cindric himself added: “The No. 2 car is iconic to this sport and is a number that represents the foundation of this team. It is a great honor and a great responsibility to continue that role.”
In a related move, Harrison Burton will ascend to the Cup Series next season to drive the No. 21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing, which has a technical alliance with Penske. The 20-year-old is the son of longtime NASCAR driver Jeff Burton.
Consequently, Matt DiBenedetto currently is without a 2022 Cup Series ride after spending the last two seasons with Wood Brothers.
Keselowski is a 35-time Cup Series race winner. He currently is 11th in the playoff points standings. Multiple reports indicate the 37-year-old plans to join Roush Fenway Racing next season, but as of Thursday nothing had been made official.