NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report

August 23, 2015

Track:  Bristol Motor Speedway
Race:   Irwin Tools Night Race
Date:   August 22, 2015
No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski
Start:  6th
Finish: 6th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 500/500
Laps Led: 4
Points Position (behind first):  4th (- 114)
Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford started and finished sixth Saturday night at the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Early in the race, Keselowski's Ford Fusion lacked turn in the center of the corner as well as drive off at corner exit. Crew chief Paul Wolfe made adjustments on the car throughout the night and the Miller Lite machine improved in clean air, but continued to be a handful in traffic. Late in the race, Keselowski stayed out while the leaders all pitted for service in attempt to make the most of clean air on the restart.  Unfortunately, the competitors with fresh tires were too much and he slipped from first to sixth over the closing circuits of the 500-lap event. The top-six, his seventh-consecutive top-10 finish, propels him one spot up in the point standings to fourth place, 115 points out of the lead.

Quote: "We had some speed, but not any at all in traffic.  I think we were a little bit faster than Joey, to be honest, but only in clean air.  Once we got in traffic I just wasn't good enough, but Joey drove a heck of a race and I'm happy for my teammate."
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano
Start:  5th
Finish: 1st (11th-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory)
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  500/500
Laps Led:  176
Points Position (behind first): 2nd (-43)
Recap:  Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team started fifth, raced up front all night long, led 176 laps and earned their second-straight victory in the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday evening.  Logano qualified fifth for the event and began a slow and steady charge toward the front of the field early in the race.  With a Ford Fusion that was solid, but loose on corner exit, Logano was a staple inside the top-five all night long.  Restart after restart, Logano could race his way toward the front, eventually getting the lead for the first time just before halfway on lap 225.  Logano would lead until a round of pit stops, when the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil fell back to fourth following a problem in the pits.  In the second-half of the event, Logano showed his Fusion was one of the strongest cars in the race, taking the lead in a furious battle with Carl Edwards.  Logano settled in up front and led the event from lap 354 to 432 when crew chief Todd Gordon called him into the pits for his final stop.  On the ensuing restart, teammate Brad Keselowski and Logano raced for the top spot with Logano once again taking the lead on lap 437.  Logano would lead until the end, holding off a furious challenge from Kevin Harvick to pick up his third win the season and his second-straight in the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.  Logano led four times for 176 laps.  Logano has now won two of the last three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races, also taking the win at Watkins Glen International two weeks ago.  It was Logano's 11th-career NSCS victory. Logano remains second in the NSCS point standings, 43 points behind Harvick.
Quote:  "It's cool to win here and racing Kevin hard and clean like that at the end was a lot of fun.  It was real interesting how we ran such different lines and be the same speed on the race track and it's interesting how that all works out.  That's what makes Bristol so much fun to go around is that you can drive around this place four or five different ways and have a lot of speed.  No matter how you drive it, it's what fits your style and what fits the setup of your car and we both found what works for us.  I really thought we were gonna be able to pull away because I thought we were really good on the long run and then we didn't pull away and I was like, ‘Uh, oh.'  It was all about working lap traffic right at the end, not making mistakes and not getting bottled up in traffic to get by.  It was a very exciting last 20-30 laps for sure, and neat to be able to get a checkered flag again here at Bristol and pull that car up on top of the building here and get a big checkered flag and have a little bit of fun with the guys."