Penske Racing's switch from Dodge to Ford in the offseason has been well-documented and should provide championship driver Brad Keselowski with an entirely new set of tools for 2013.
But there's another change which Keselowski said might have an even bigger impact on Penske next season: The addition of driver Joey Logano as Keselowski's teammate.
"I think that Joey is an elite talent in this sport and if we can work together, we will both be better," Keselowski said during a two-day test this week at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I would rather finish second to him next year in every race and even the championship than to rest on my laurels, not get any better (while) the whole field does and run fifth, 10th, 15th, 17th – whatever it might be – and beat him.
"I think it's that spirit that is going to drive us to be the best we can."
Keselowski's hope is the addition of Logano will quicken the learning curve of figuring out both a new car and a manufacturer. In addition, Keselowski thinks his new stablemate will push him to become an even better driver – and he in turn will do the same for Logano.
"I think he (Logano) has the ability to unload at a place like this and just instantly be fast – and that's not my style," Keselowski said. "It's something that I would like to add to my arsenal because there are times where that's really, really helpful."
Similarly, Logano is eager to get information from his new teammate. After four up-and-down years with Joe Gibbs Racing, Logano sees Penske as a new beginning and the perfect place to finally fulfill his potential.
The Charlotte test offered Logano the chance to study Keselowski up close and see firsthand what makes him so good.
"I think the coolest thing that Brad is able to do is he's able to think outside of the box – like way outside the box," Logano said Wednesday. "I think that's interesting to me, to see the way his mind works. I've learned a lot the last couple days and the ways he thinks through a race car is a little bit different than normal, and I think that's cool."
Among the things that have impressed Logano off the track thus far is the leadership Keselowski exhibits and how he goes about setting up a race car. Although he wouldn't go into specifics, there were also a few things on the track that really stood out to Logano.
"I don't want to let his tricks out in the open, but just the way he looks into a long run differently than I do or I've really seen out there before," he said. "So it's kind of interesting to see that part, for sure.
"Taking some of his techniques, I've tried them out there and there are pros and cons to everything, but it gives me a few more tools to work with when I'm out there."
While the new teammates seem to have bonded quickly – they were already friends before Logano signed – Keselowski suggested one way to accelerate the rapport.
"The best way I can break in Joey is to get him one of those (Miller Lite) championship glasses and take him out for a night," Keselowski said, laughing. "I think he'd really enjoy that and I'd really enjoy it."