Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Las Vegas

March 7, 2016

Track:    Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Race:     Kobalt 400
Date:     March 6, 2016
No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  4th
Finish: 1st – 1st win of 2016
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  267/267
Laps Led:  3 times for 24 laps
Points Position (behind leader):  6th (-18 pts.)
Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team put together a race that exemplified their "never give up" attitude during Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Overcoming a pit road penalty following a lap 180 pit stop, Keselowski drove a determined race to score his first victory of 2016. This was the first victory of the season for Ford Performance and the 18th win in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion’s career. After starting the race from the fourth position, Keselowski settled into the top five before taking the lead on lap 87 after a fast, green-flag pit stop by the Miller Lite crew. Crew chief Paul Wolfe elected to make only four-tire pit stops during the day and, as a result, Keselowski dropped a few spots on pit road as other drivers took only two tires. Each time, however, the four-tire philosophy paid off as Keselowski was routinely one of the fastest cars on the track at the end of a run. After the penalty at lap 180, Keselowski restarted the race from the 21st position, but he had no intentions of letting the win slip from his grasp. By lap 223, he had driven his way up to the second position. With just six laps remaining, after he had moved by his teammate Joey Logano, Keselowski worked his No. 2 Ford by Kyle Busch to cruise to the victory. Logano scored a second-place result to give Team Penske a 1-2 finish. Keselowski is now virtually qualified for the 2016 Chase for the Championship.
Quote: "This is really, really great. It seemed like there were plenty of challenges, whether it was pit road or the weather or cautions. They threw everything they had at us today but this Miller Lite Ford team was too strong and we were able to fight them off and get to victory lane. The new rules package today I thought was tremendous.  I think you saw, because of the rules package, where the cars fell off a lot at the end of the run and you really had to drive them sideways.  Took a lot of balance as a driver, a lot of precise footwork and accuracy with where you put your car, how you place it, which is exactly what we want. This shouldn't be easy.  This is the Sprint Cup Series.  These cars should be very hard to drive.  At the end of the run they were a challenge.  It's nice to be a part of that."
No. 22 Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  2nd
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  267/267
Laps Led:  7 times for 72 laps
Points Position (behind leader):  4th (-11 pts.)
Recap:  Joey Logano continued his weekend of second-place finishes after coming home in the runner-up position in his No. 22 Pennzoil Ford Fusion on Sunday afternoon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Logano qualified second on Friday evening – a day that saw him time in second in each of the three qualifying sessions and in practice that morning – and race in the top three nearly all race long.  He took the lead for the first time on lap 44, getting around the No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson and pacing the field for several more circuits.  Logano only slipped outside the top three on two occasions during the afternoon, both coming after a round of pit stops where other drivers took two tires while Logano took four all day long. Even when starting in the back-half of the top-10, Logano would race his way back to the front quickly.  Logano would lead the race on seven occasions for 72 laps.  Late in the race, while running out front, Logano got passed by Kyle Busch.  As he settled into second, Logano began to run Busch down while also trying to hold off teammate Brad Keselowski.  Keselowski eventually got by and went on to win the race, while Logano passed Busch coming to the line to earn Team Penske a one-two finish.  Logano’s first top-five of the season moved him up to fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, just 11 points behind Busch.
Quote:  "We had a good car. We led a lot of laps. Brad was just really good on the long run.  He was able to beat me in the bottom of three and four and maintaining that turn and being able to drive up underneath guys. Congratulations to Brad and also for Team Penske getting a 1-2 finish. That is what we set out to do every week. I am proud of what we did. Gosh, we finished second so many times, Daytona and qualifying. You are so close and want it so bad but I am so proud of the Pennzoil boys here with everything they did all week. I know we are only three races in but I am getting antsy. We have good speed in our cars, we will be alright.  We will go get them next week."