ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — Will Power was surprisingly off in qualifying on Saturday from the streets of St. Pete. Coming into the weekend he had six straight front row qualifying spots on the track and 10 in the last 11 years. Unfortunately, he made some wall contract in the second group and it hurt his pace. He will start 20th.
Luckily, his future is no longer threated with the team anymore, so he doesn’t have to sweat it much. Power, admitted during his Media Day session last month that this was the last year of his current contract with Team Penske. It was big news in the sense that he and reportedly Simon Pagenaud were free agents at seasons end. Then, factor in Brad Keselowski on the NASCAR side not signed yet for 2022 and you get the sense that Penske could have some changes in store for next season.
Well, one of the three deals have since been done with it now being expected that Keselowski will return to the seat of his No. 2 Ford next year as well.
Keselowski, signed a one-year deal at the end of last summer to return and with Austin Cindric moving up to the Cup Series with the Wood Brothers in 2022 and both Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney already signed for the foreseeable future, it makes the most sense to bring Keselowski back.
Roger Penske said as much. He said on a media call a few weeks ago that he doesn’t do contract talks on zoom and that he prefers to do them in person. He just hasn’t had the chance to sit down with Keselowski yet but said that he will soon and that he expects him back.
Now, Power must have had that sit down. NBC Sports said on Saturday that Power confirmed that he just signed a deal that he not only will be back in the seat for 2022 but as well as 2023 too. He even talked about it on the broadcast.
Power, won the 2014 championship as well as the 2018 Indianapolis 500. He’s 40 years old now and is the longest tenured driver with the organization in general. He’s made 236 career series starts and has won 39 times to go along with 62 poles. He’s only five poles shy of tying Mario Andretti for most ever. But, giving him two more seasons, he’s all but certain to break that.