SWOT: Team Penske

Joey Logano (22) and Brad Keselowski (2)

The NASCAR preseason is a time of constructive criticism for Motorsports Analytics. Eschewed are the normal season reviews and previews, and in their stead are my SWOT analyses. A strength, weakness, opportunity and threat for each key Cup Series organization will be dissected. They’re analyses of hard truths. No favors are done, and no punches are pulled.

Today, I analyze the teams of Team Penske, the No. 2 of Brad Keselowski and No. 22 of Joey Logano. I am also including their satellite team from Wood Brothers Racing, the No. 21 of Ryan Blaney.

Strength: Drivers

When it comes to drivers, Team Penske has the present and future on lock. Brad Keselowski, who turns 33 this month and holds a pre-prime career PROA of plus-0.989, already owns a Cup Series championship ring. Joey Logano, turning 27 in May, has the second-best career PROA among active drivers. Ryan Blaney, through 54 career starts, has a plus-0.456 PROA, which is heading in a good direction.

This is arguably the most stable driving roster for any one organization both now and for coming seasons.

Logano has twice led the Cup Series in PEER, in 2014 and 2015, and ranked third last year despite having a sub-par adjusted pass efficiency and averaging over one crash every three starts. Keselowski ranked fourth and wrapped the year as a top-10 passer, but his top 15 efficiency, minus-9.1 percent, was the fifth worst in the series. In short, there is room for both drivers to improve in 2017. That’s not anything their competition desires.

Blaney, a below average restarter and co-holder of the fifth-highest crash rate of 2016, is still a work in progress, but again, those early production returns are promising, and young drivers typically grow out of the whole “crashing cars” phaseRead More


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