NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report

November 8, 2015

Track:    Texas Motor Speedway
Race:    AAA Texas 500
Date:    November 8, 2015

No. Wurth Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski
Start: 1st (11th-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole)
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 334/334
Laps Led: 312
Points Position (behind leader):   6th (-25)

Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Wurth team started on the pole and dominated Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, leading 312 of 334 laps, only to lose the lead late and eventually come home with a second-place finish.  Keselowski won the pole on Friday, his second of the season and the 11th of his career, and jumped to an early lead, holding the top spot for the first 17 laps.  All afternoon long, Keselowski fought a sometimes loose, sometimes tight Ford Fusion.  However, adjustments from crew chief Paul Wolfe and great pit stops from the No. 2 crew kept Keselowski at the front of the field.  Keselowski dominated the mid-portions of the event, at one point leading every circuit from lap 56 to lap 251.  The only time Keselowski didn't find his Wurth machine out front was during green-flag pit stops as the field cycled through.  Once green-flag stops were complete, Keselowski was able to build a solid lead, sometimes stretching it out as far as five seconds over the rest of the field.  Keselowski was able to fend off a hard charge late in the race from Martin Truex Jr., but got tight and allowed the No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson to catch him.  With just five laps to go, Keselowski got lost momentum coming off of two, allowing Johnson to slip under him down the back stretch.  The former champ had to settle for second, despite leading a track-record 312 laps on the afternoon.  With the finish, Keselowski remains in sixth position in the Sprint Cup Series point standings, 25 points back of the leader with just one race remaining in the Eliminator Round.

Quote:  – "The 48 car (Johnson) had mega turn that last run and I couldn't keep the turn and it kept pushing real bad. I did everything I could to hold him off, but he was way faster that last run. Their team did a hell of a job and found speed and my team did a hell of a job too. We led 300-some laps and these debris yellows always favor someone and it wasn't our day for them to favor us. I am still very proud of our effort today. We will have a great shot at winning next week. We really needed to win this one and I know I gave it my all."
No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion – Joey Logano
Start:  4th
Finish: 40th
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  268/334
Laps Led:  0
Points Position (behind leader):  8th (-63)
Recap:  Joey Logano and the No. 22 AAA Ford Fusion team suffered an early-race blown tire, which put the team behind the wall for nearly 60 laps, relegating them to a 40th-place finish on Sunday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway in the AAA Texas 500.  Logano qualified fourth for the event and settled into that same position early on.  Unfortunately, on lap 10, Logano suffered a cut left rear tire while looking to make a pass for third. The tire disintegrated and caused significant internal and body damage to the AAA Ford Fusion, forcing the team to take the car behind the wall.  Crew chief Todd Gordon led the repair work and Logano was able to get back out on the track, losing just 60-plus laps in the process.  Once the car was back on the track, Logano was turning laps as quick as the leaders, but couldn't make up many track positions with minimal fallout amongst other cars.  Logano would go on to finish 40th, keeping him eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings.  Logano sits 63 points behind leader Jeff Gordon and is in a "must-win"situation next week at Phoenix International Raceway in order to advance to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Quote:  "This is just part of it. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. We will be ready for Phoenix. This team is strong. We didn't take any wind out of our sails today and we showed how fast this thing was even after we crashed. I am very proud of our team.  Next week will be the same as this week. This was a must-win situation as well. If we finished second today, we would be in the same boat going into Phoenix. I feel great about our chances at Phoenix. It has been a great race track for us in the past. I felt like this track was a great one for us as well. It is unfortunate that we finished how we did."