Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Sprint Unlimited

February 14, 2016

Track: Daytona International Speedway
Race: Sprint Unlimited
Date: February 13, 2016
No. 2 SKF Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start: 2nd (line-up determined by random draw)
Finish: 9th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 79/79
Laps Led: 26
Points Position (behind leader):  N/A
Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 SKF Ford Fusion team battled a lot of adversity to finish ninth in the Sprint Unlimited on Saturday night. The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion began the race from the second position by virtue of the random draw on Friday afternoon that set the field for the annual all-star race that kicks off Speed Weeks at Daytona International Speedway. Keselowski immediately began to show the strength of his Ford as he took over the top spot on the first lap of the 75-lap event.  He paced the field until lap 12 when a piece of debris that caused his car to overheat, forcing Keselowski to drop back in the pack in an attempt to remove the debris. When the yellow flag was displayed on lap 13 it gave crew chief Paul Wolfe an opportunity to bring his driver down pit road to clean the grille, change four Goodyear tires and fill the car with fuel. Returning to the track in the 23rd position, Keselowski stormed to the front again, retaking the lead on lap 34 before picking more debris on the nose of his Ford. This time, however, Keselowski was able to keep his Ford power plant cooled enough to maintain his spot at the front of the field. Unfortunately at lap 73 he was involved in an incident that damaged the right side of his Ford, but Keselowski remained in position for a solid finish. As the race moved into a "green-white-checkered" overtime period, the SKF Ford was involved in another incident that effectively ended the event.

Quote: "The Unlimited is always (like an episode of Survivor). You hope if you run up front you can avoid most of it. I didn’t get torn up until I feel back to fifth or sixth. I needed to stay in the top two or three but couldn’t pull it off. It is a very high aggression level race and I think that is a good thing. We had a really fast SKF Ford tonight, which was evident by how much we were up front. Just wish we could’ve been there at the end."
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  25th (line-up determined by random draw)
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  79/79
Laps Led:  0
Points Position (behind leader):  N/A
Recap:  Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion started off the 2016 season right where they left off in 2015, coming home second in the non-points opener, the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday evening.  Logano started the race from the 25th and last positions based on a random draw on Friday.  When the green came out, Logano began his climb to the front.  It took the 25-year-old driver just seven laps to race his way into the top 10 and was fifth just a couple of laps later.  At the mandatory caution on lap 25, Logano found himself in the 11th position.  Back under green, Logano once again made quick work coming through the field and eventually found himself running second behind teammate Brad Keselowski for several laps in the middle of the race.  Despite running hot for most of the race, Logano kept his Shell-Pennzoil Ford near the front all night long.  Late in the event, Logano made some daring moves in the draft to get himself back to the front, eventually running side-by-side with race leader Denny Hamlin.  Logano and Hamlin continued to race side-by-side as the white flag came out.  Unfortunately, an accident in turn one brought out the caution with Logano just behind Hamlin on the track.  The race was called official and Logano earned a second-place finish, his best-career finish in the non-points event.
Quote:  "What a great race.  We had a really a really fast Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion.  We kept working out way from the back to the front.  It was hard to get that lead.  We are all running such close speeds that you really have to know how to work the draft to get a run and try and get the lead.  We got some really good pushes as the race was going, I could just never get cleared to the front.  I worked really well with the 20 and with the 42 all night long.  I really thought that Brad or myself would win that race.  It came down to us vs. the Gibbs cars out there.  We were close to the win at the end.  WE were side-by-side with the 11 when they started crashing.  Overall, it’s a good start to the season.  Now we go out there and try and get the pole for the 500 and put our focus on the Duels on Thursday."