Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Phoenix

March 14, 2016

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report


Track:    Phoenix International Raceway

Race:     Good Sam 500

Date:     March 13, 2016


No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start: 19th

Finish: 29th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 307/313

Laps Led:  0

Points Position (behind leader):  11th (-44 pts.)


Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion team looked capable of finishing inside the top-10 in Sunday’s Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, but a blown right-rear tire at lap 226 kept them from doing so as Keselowski ultimately finished in the 29th position. After starting the race from the 19th position, it took the No. 2 Ford several laps before the handling came to Keselowski’s liking. By the end of the first run however, he was one of the fastest cars on the track. Crew chief Paul Wolfe called for several air pressure and wedge adjustments, each time, the car responded well. Keselowski entered the top 10 for the first time following a yellow-flag pit stop on lap 108 and was able to hang around that position despite a Ford that was lacking drive on corner exit. Keselowski was still in position for a solid finish until suffering the blown right-rear tire at lap 226 that forced him down pit road for extensive repairs. He ultimately lost six laps to the race leaders to finish in the 29th position. As a result, Keselowski lost five spots in the standings and now sits in the 11th spot, 44 points behind Kevin Harvick. He is still virtually locked into the Chase by virtue of his win last weekend at Las Vegas.


Quote: “We ran in that 10th place range pretty much the entire race until we cut the tire. That was unfortunate and we aren’t really sure why but there isn’t anything we can really do about it. It is hard to say really where we would have been if that hadn’t happened. The Alliance Truck Parts Fusion was probably about a 10th place car, but you never know how things would have played out without the tire issue.”


No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  9th

Finish: 18th

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  312/313

Laps Led:  0

Points Position (behind leader):  7th (-27)


Recap:  Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team had a top-five car for most of the afternoon, but had to pit under green late in the race and got trapped a lap down, eventually coming home with an 18th-place finish in the Good Sam 500 on Sunday afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway.  Logano started the race from the ninth position and raced into the top five by lap 15.  The Shell-Pennzoil pit crew was on point early, picking up several spots in the pits after each stop and keeping Logano solidly in the top-five.  Logano fought a car that needed turn and drive off for most of the day, but was still able to keep the car in the top five through the middle portions of the event.  Unfortunately, on lap 227, the team did not get the car full of fuel during what would have been the final stop of the day, leaving Logano about 15 laps short of making it to the end. Logano stayed out as long as he could, but had to come to pit road with less than 10 laps to go, giving up his eighth-place position.  The unscheduled stop put Logano one lap off the pace and relegated him to an 18th-place finish at the end.  Logano slipped back three spots in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings and is seventh, 27 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.


Quote:  “We just didn’t quite get the luck on our side today. We created our own luck as well. We need to clean it up a little bit. We need to clean up the mistakes we have had here at the beginning of the season on everybody’s front. We still have speed. We were close today. At times it felt like we were a third place Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion and we were running up there around third. We just still have work to do to catch the 4 and 19, they were the class of the field.”