Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Richmond

April 24, 2016

Track:    Richmond International Raceway
Race:     Toyota Owners 400
Date:     April 24, 2016
No. 2 Thomas Built Buses Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski
Start:  6th
Finish: 11th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 400/400
Laps Led:  6
Points Position (behind leader):  9th (-76)
Recap: Brad Keselowski had an up-and-down day at Richmond International Raceway, racing anywhere from first to 17th, before eventually coming home with an 11th-place finish in Sunday’s 400-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.  Qualifying on Friday was rained out and the lineup was set by practice speeds, putting Keselowski sixth on the starting grid.  When the race went green, Keselowski held court in the back-half of the top-10, fighting a tight center condition.  With fresh tires worth a lot on the rough track, crew chief Paul Wolfe had Keselowski short pit on the first stop of the day for the No. 2 Thomas Built Buses Ford Fusion. Because of the strategy, Keselowski found himself in the top three before again slipping back to ninth as the tires began to wear.  Wolfe and Keselowski gambled on strategy again just past the halfway point when Keselowski stayed out on the track while the rest of the leaders pitted, putting his Ford up front on lap 271.  Keselowski would lead the race for six laps before falling back as the older tires cost the team speed.  Keselowski was just about to go a lap down before catching a timely caution.  From there, he would race anywhere from 10th to 15th and eventually just miss the top-10, coming home 11th.  With the finish, Keselowski dropped one spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings to ninth, 76 points behind leader Carl Edwards.
Quote: "We weren’t where we wanted to be for sure but we were able to get through it. Sometimes that is all you can do.  We were probably a fifth to 10th place car and fell back from the strategy but drove up there into about 11th and honestly we just ran out of time."
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  2nd
Finish: 8th
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  400/400
Laps Led:  0
Points Position (behind leader):  5th (-32)
Recap:  Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team battled their way back from being a lap down early in the race to eventually score their sixth top-10 finish of the year, coming home eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on Sunday at Richmond International Raceway.  Logano started second after qualifying was rained out on Friday and the lineup was set by practice speeds.  Struggles came early for Logano and the Shell-Pennzoil team however, as the car was tight in the center and extremely loose off the corner.  Less than 100 laps into the event, Logano was a lap down and had fallen as far back as 32nd in the field.  Crew chief Todd Gordon began taking huge swings to try and fix the Ford Fusion and Logano slowly got better and better.  On lap 274, Logano got the "free pass" and got back on the lead lap, giving the team just over 100 laps to try and grab as many positions as possible.  With continued adjustments and several powerful restarts, Logano was able to race his way into the top-10 late in the race and drove to eighth as the 400-lap came to an end.  The top-10 was Logano’s third-straight of the season, but dropped him one spot in the Sprint Cup Series point standings to fifth.  He’s 32 points behind leader Carl Edwards.
Quote: "Taking a car from being the 35th-place car to a top-five car throughout a race is quite impressive for what my team was able to do today. It was great teamwork. Everyone kept working hard and those are great opportunities to implode internally as a race team and completely throw away a whole race and start yelling and screaming at each other, but there was not one moment of that today from my team. Everyone was very methodical about the changes and we tried things that didn’t work so we went the other way and it started to work for us. I am proud of the effort from my team today. We need to make the cars a little faster, but I am proud of the effort."