NASCAR Xfinity: Team Penske beefs up Xfinity efforts for 2017
By AMANDA VINCENT
Team Penske announced recently that it would be returning to two full-time entries in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2017. The team currently fields one full-time entry in the series, shared primarily by the team’s two Sprint Cup Series drivers, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. The team very sporadically runs a second car in Xfinity competition.
“Our NASCAR Xfinity Series program has been one of the best in the series since we started running full-time in 2009,” Team Penske owner Roger Penske said. “For several years, we ran it as a two-car operation and then decided to focus primarily on the No. 22 for the last few years.”
Team Penske’s full-time Xfinity efforts began with one car in 2009 with Justin Allgaier as driver. The team expanded to two full-time entries the following year when Keselowski joined the organization for his first full-time Sprint Cup Series competition. At that time, drivers could race for championships in multiple series and Keselowski wanted to race full-time in both Cup and Xfinity. He claimed the Xfinity Series championship that season. Team Penske continued to field two cars full-time in the Xfinity Series through the 2013 season.
According to a press release from Team Penske, the additional team will be an extension of Ford’s driver development program.
“The addition of a second Team Penske Xfinity Series car will allow all of us to work on developing talent behind the wheel and across the board,” Ford Performance Director Dave Pericak said.”
Penske also pointed out that other team personnel have been promoted within the organization through the Xfinity Series program.
“Along the way, we developed a lot of people that have moved into our Cup programs, including all of our current NASCAR Sprint Cup crew chiefs,” Penske said. “We want to win another Xfinithy Series championshile while continuing to utilize our program to built human capital.”