Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Bristol

April 18, 2016

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report


Track:  Bristol Motor Speedway

Race:   Food City 500

Date:   April 17, 2016


No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  12th

Finish: 18th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 500/500

Laps Led:  0

Points Position (behind leader):  8th (-63)


Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team overcame almost every possible racing obstacle en route to an 18th-place finish in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) on Sunday afternoon. The green flag fell with Keselowski in the 12th position, but he quickly made his way into the top 10 as he was happy with the handling of his Ford machine. Unfortunately, Keselowski was caught speeding on pit road under the first yellow flag of the day at lap 53, resulting in him being placed at the rear of the field for the restart. As the race moved past the first 100 laps, Keselowski had driven his way back up to the 17th position when the No. 18 of Kyle Busch spun in front of the No. 34 of Chris Buescher. With nowhere to go, Keselowski made contact with the rear bumper of Buescher that left the front end of the Ford damaged. Several trips to pit road later for repairs and Keselowski restarted the race from the 26th position at lap 155. At this point in the race, Keselowski began to show the strength of his Ford as he raced his way back inside the top 10 by the halfway point of the 500-lap race. At lap 323, he found himself running in the top five with a shot to win his third career race at BMS. However, while battling to make his way to the front, he radioed to his crew at lap 386 that he had a flat right-front tire. After making a pit stop for four fresh Goodyear radials under green, Keselowski re-entered the race two laps down the leaders. He was able to make both laps back up by taking the “wave around” on two occasions to finish on the lead lap in the 18th position.


Quote: “It was an eventful day for the Miller Lite Ford team. I had a pit road speeding penalty and recovered from that, and got up towards the front.  Then the 18 spun out in front of the 34, who I got into the back of. We got up to third after having to make a couple of pit stops for repairs and then got a flat tire. We lost two laps on that and fought really hard with the wave around and lucky dog and got back to the lead lap with like eight to go and passed three cars in the laps we had. And that was our day. I feel like we were a pretty good car. I was pretty happy overall with our performance, but we couldn’t get it all to come together.” 


No. 22 Autotrader Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  3rd

Finish: 10th

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  500/500

Laps Led:  4

Points Position (behind leader):  4th (-21)


Recap:  Joey Logano had one of the most up-and-down days of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career on Sunday – from leading early to falling three laps down to racing back into the top-four to dropping back to 17th – and eventually came home 10th in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.  Logano started the event from the third position and showed he had one of the strongest cars early on, racing his No. 22 Autotrader Ford Fusion to the lead on lap 37 and strongly running in the top three early.  Things unraveled just past the lap 100 mark, when Logano had to make a green-flag stop because of a loose wheel.  In the process, the No. 22 team was also penalized by NASCAR for a uncontrolled tire violation, forcing him to come down pit road once again.  As a result, Logano went three laps down to the leaders and fell to 38th place.  Logano, crew chief Todd Gordon and the rest of the team never gave up and used a fast car and timely cautions to their advantage, taking the wave around three separate times to eventually get back on the lead lap 150 laps later. Once back on the lead lap, Logano showed how strong his Autotrader Fusion was as he raced from 29th to ninth in just 50 laps. Logano would eventually race his way back into the top-five and would run as high as fourth.  Things went bad again with less than 35 laps to go when, while restarting fifth, Logano briefly lost all power and stacked the field up on a restart, falling from fifth to 17th while trying to recover.  With less than 10 laps to go, Gordon brought Logano down pit road to get fresh tires with little to lose.  In the final 10 laps of the event, Logano was able to go from 18th to 10th to earn his fifth top-10 finish of the season.  He also moved up one spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings and sits fourth, 21 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.


Quote: “That was one up-and-down day for sure.  We had a fast Autotrader Ford.  I think we had a car that could have contended with Carl (Edwards) for the win.  We were that fast.  Then we had some self-induced mistakes and that put us in a hole.  We fought hard and we got all the way back onto the lead lap and raced our way into the top five.  I thought we still had a shot at it at that point and then on that late restart, the car just shut off for some reason.  We’ve got to figure that out.  But I just hate it because I feel like we’ve got a car that’s capable of winning this thing and every time we come here in the spring it’s the same story.  We have a fast car and we just don’t get it done.  We will come back here in the fall and try and win three in a row.”