Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Chicagoland

September 20, 2015

Track:  Chicagoland Speedway
Race:   MYAFIBRISK.com 400
Date:   September 18, 2015
No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start: 3rd
Finish: 8th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader):  9th (-13)
Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford started third, fought an ill-handling car all day long and finished eighth in the opening round of The Chase Sunday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway. Keselowski started from the third position after qualifying was rained out, which resulted in the field being set based off the first practice speeds. In the early part of the race, the No. 2 machine fell back numerous positions as the Fusion lacked center turn. By the first pit stop at lap 52, the Miller Lite Ford was scored 11th. Keselowski ran consistently in the top-15 for much of the middle part of the 267-lap contest. The No. 2 squad caught a break after staying out long on a pit cycle and then catching a yellow at lap 190, which moved them up to fifth in the running order. From that point, the veteran driver did his best to stay in the top-10 as he continued to fight a lack of center turn condition.  A late-race caution allowed the team one more chance for a top-five finish as Keselowski restarted 11th on lap 262 and advanced all the way to fourth befor falling back to eighth over the closing laps to finish the day. The hard-fought finish results in the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford team being scored ninth in The Chase standings, trailing points leader Matt Kenseth by just 13 points.

Quote:  "It looked like we were going to steal something on that final restart. We gained quite a few spots and probably weren't quite a top-five car but almost stole a top-five. We were racing real hard and just fell back. I just didn't have the turn to run up front. I was trying to make something happen but, all in all, I guess it was a decent day. We just couldn't get the front end to work. It is disappointing because I thought we were better than this in practice, but it just didn't work out."  
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  2nd
Finish: 6th
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  267/267
Laps Led:  1
Points Position (behind first): 5th (-4)
Recap:  Joey Logano and his No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion ran up front all day long and had a shot to win the race late, but got slowed up by another car on a restart with just five laps to go and had to settle for a sixth-place finish on Sunday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway.  Logano started the race second after qualifying was rained out on Friday evening and the starting lineup was set by practice speeds.  Logano settled into a rhythm early in the 267-lap race, but slipped back to fifth after the first 25 laps of the event.  The Shell-Pennzoil Ford was tight center, loose off for much of the race, but was fast on the long run.  As the long green-flag runs would progress, Logano would make his way back to the front of the field and ran in the top five pretty much all afternoon.  Logano would slip back to seventh when varying pit strategies and timely cautions got other teams in front of the No. 22 Ford Fusion.  With just seven laps to go, Logano and most of the leaders came to pit road before a final five-lap shootout.  Logano found himself sixth on the restart - the first car on four fresh tires.  Unfortunately, Logano got put four-wide on the start and lost some ground in the top lane, then got bottled behind the No. 18 of Kyle Busch, stopping his momentum and causing him to lose several positions.  Logano would make a few spots back up and finish sixth at the checkers.  The finish, Logano's 21st top-10 finish of the season, saw Logano start out the Chase For the Sprint Cup fifth in the standings, five points behind leader Matt Kenseth.
Quote:  "I felt like we were in the cat-bird seat on that restart starting sixth with new tires. I had a good start and got three-wide. The 18 got tight and fenced us. We lost all the spots that we should have gained. I felt like we were in the position that we needed to be in to win this thing.  It just didn't work out.  All-in-all, this is what we needed to start the Chase."