NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report - Phoenix
November 13, 2016
Track: Phoenix International Raceway
Race: Galaxy Tickets 200
Date: November 12, 2016
No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Start: 11th – Moved to rear at start for unapproved adjustment
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 0
Owner's Points Position (Points Behind Leader): 2nd (-11)
Recap: The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang team will race for their fourth-consecutive NASCAR XFINITY Series Owners Championship next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS), due in part to a ninth-place finish by Brad Keselowski in the Galaxy Tickets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) on Saturday evening. After qualifying in the 11th position earlier in the day, Keselowski was forced to move to the rear of the field for the green flag following an unapproved adjustment after qualifying. He quickly worked his way through the field by turning top-five lap times despite a loose-handling condition at both ends of the PIR oval. A great pit stop by the Discount Tire crew vaulted Keselowski five positions on the first pit stop of the night to place their driver inside the top 10 on the ensuing restart on lap 55. Solid pit work would be a hallmark of the team all evening as they continued to help Keselowski climb through the field despite a Ford that was not completely to his liking. Despite running as high as fourth at lap 148 of the 200-lap event, the handling continued to deteriorate over the waning laps and the 2010 series champion crossed the finish line in the ninth position. Ryan Blaney will pilot the No. 22 Ford Mustang next weekend at HMS in hopes of garnering another title for Team Penske.
Quote: "The Discount Tire Ford Mustang was really strong at the start of the event, but we just couldn't keep the handling where we needed it for the duration of the race. We did what we needed to do and Ryan Blaney will have a great chance to win another Owners Championship for the team next weekend."