Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Daytona 500

February 21, 2016

Track:    Daytona International Speedway
Race:     Daytona 500
Date:     February 21, 2016
No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  25th
Finish: 20th
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  200/200
Laps Led:  1
Points Position (behind leader):  20th (-23)
Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford team fought valiantly during Sunday's 58th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, but weren't able to muster enough speed over the course of the 200-lap event to challenge for his first victory in the race. By virtue of his finish in the first Can-Am Duel qualifying race on Thursday, Keselowski lined up to start the race from the 25th position. Despite a tight-handling condition on the exit of Turn 4 – one that persisted throughout the event – Keselowski was able to drive into the top 10 on lap nine. Despite myriad changes to the air pressure, wedge and grille tape on the Ford, crew chief Paul Wolfe was not able to dial in the car to his driver's liking due to the hot conditions on the track. At times the handling improved early in a run, evident by Keselowski driving into the top five as the race neared the halfway point, but the condition continued to deteriorate over the course of the run. With 50 laps remaining, Keselowski made a great effort to get the high line working as he lined up behind the No. 4 of Kevin Harvick. However, there was not enough speed in the car to push the duo to the front of the field. Keselowski lined up in the 12th position on the last restart of the race at lap 189, but was unable to hold that position and took the checkered flag in the 20th spot.
Quote: "Speedweeks started off very well for the Miller Lite Ford team. Our car in the Sprint Unlimited was amazing. Unfortunately we just couldn't get the same performance out of the Daytona 500 car. Today was, obviously, the warmest day we'd had and you could see a lot of drivers were struggling with their handling. We certainly were as well. Paul (Wolfe) and the guys worked to make it better, and it was early in a run. We just couldn't keep it from falling off. I'm really looking forward to getting to Atlanta next weekend with the lower downforce package that we used a couple of times in 2015."
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  5th
Finish: 6th
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  200/200
Laps Led:  0
Points Position (behind leader):  6th (-10)
Recap:  Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team were not able to defend their Daytona 500 victory from a year ago on Sunday, but were able to close out Speedweeks with a solid sixth-place finish in the "Great American Race."  Logano started the race from the fifth position and raced to second just four laps into the event.  However, the word of the day for the No. 22 team would be "tight" as Logano struggled with his racecar as the sun was beating down on the 2.5-mile speedway.  Logano slipped as far back as 25th and ran mid-pack while crew chief Todd Gordon diagnosed the problem and worked on making adjustments to the Ford Fusion on each pit stop.  Logano was able to race his way back into the top-five and became a fixture at the front with less than 50 laps to go. On a restart just 10 laps from the finish, Logano tried to make the outside lane prevail from the eighth position and got help from Kevin Harvick and several others.  As the race wound down, Logano tried to make a charge amongst the beating and banging and was able to come up with a sixth-place finish.
Quote:  "You have to try. This is the Daytona 500 and you try to win this thing no matter what. I was the only Ford up there though. I was the lone ranger. It was tough. I felt we started making decent progress up there but once we went three wide then that just kind of dragged the whole top lane back and the front kind of got going. Then the 4 got in front of me and we started moving and then the 11 saw that and jumped up there and got the push from both of us and then it was a heck of a finish. I don't like being behind watching it. I want to be involved with it. Overall it is a great start for our Shell Pennzoil team and we kicked off the season with a bunch of great finishes down here in Daytona and we are looking forward to getting to Atlanta."