LAS VEGAS (AP) — Brad Keselowski was rewarded for a breakthrough season at NASCAR's top level with a contract extension from Penske Racing for both the driver and his crew chief.
The team said Thursday the extensions for Keselowski and crew chief Paul Wolfe were for multiple years, although the specific length and financial terms were not disclosed. Team owner Roger Penske called the duo a "special pairing."
"Although Brad, Paul and the No. 2 team fell short of winning the Cup Series title this season, we know they will continue to be championship contenders for years to come," he said.
In his second season with Penske, Keselowski won three races and earned a berth in his first Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He did it by winning three races — after breaking his ankle in a crash while testing — to climb his way through the standings in a late summer push to make the Chase.
Keselowski ended the season ranked a career-best fifth in the final standings. Penske teammate Kurt Busch, the 2004 series champion, finished 11th.
Keselowski first teamed with Wolfe in 2010 in the Nationwide Series, where they won six races en route to the championship. The team also set a series record with 26 top-five finishes, and by completing all but one lap over the entire season.
Wolfe was then moved to the Cup team, and helped turn around the No. 2 Dodge after a bumpy first season for Keselowski in NASCAR's elite division.
"It's great to know that Paul and I will continue to work together to bring wins and championships to Penske Racing and its sponsors," said Keselowski. "We've definitely built something special here with this team and we'll continue to get better to reach our goals. I'm already fired up about 2012 and the future with the Blue Deuce."
Wolfe said he had instant chemistry with Keselowski.
"It's been a great experience working with Brad — we just seemed to click right away — and we will continue to build on the consistency and success we've experienced with the team," Wolfe said. "We're already working hard to get ready for another run at the championship next season."
Keselowski has also become one of NASCAR's most vocal drivers, and he was fined $25,000 by series officials two weeks ago for comments he made critical of electronic fuel injection.