NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Coca-Cola 600

May 30, 2016

Track:    Charlotte Motor Speedway
Race:     Coca-Cola 600
Date:     May 29, 2015

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  5th
Finish: 5th  
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 400/400
Laps Led:
Points Position (behind leader):  6th (-53)

Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team finished fifth in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) on Sunday night – the longest race of the season for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. After starting the race from the fifth position, Keselowski rarely fell outside that spot over the course of the 400-lap event. The biggest issue the 2012 champion faced during the race was a tight-handling condition in the center of the CMS corners, especially in the opening laps of a run. The strength of the Miller Lite Ford was on the long runs, of which there were several in a race that featured only four caution periods. Keselowski was particularly strong when the racing groove widened and he was able to move to the top side of the racing surface. Crew chief Paul Wolfe made several air pressure and wedge adjustments to help his driver takeoff with more speed, and at several points in the race Keselowski was able to move into the top-three positions, but he lost a few positions on restarts later in the race. Over the final 100 laps, Keselowski attempted to mount one final charge to the front before crossing the finish line in the fifth position.

Quote: "It's a long 600 miles and to come home fifth is decent for the Miller Lite Ford team. It's not what we want, but we needed a little bit more to be able to run with those guys. On the long green flag runs it seemed like we would be able to move up a little bit. On short runs we would fall back, but we definitely didn't have anything for those guys. The 78 and the 4 were just really fast and Martin Truex deserves this finish. He had a good run."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start: 2nd 
Finish: 9th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 400/400
Laps Led: 1
Points Position (behind leader):  9th (-84)

Recap:  Joey Logano started second and finished ninth in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion in Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Logano ran in the top-five for the first 254 laps of the event before being assessed a drive through penalty for a crew member being over the wall too soon during a cycle of green flag pit stops. After serving the penalty, Logano and his Shell-Pennzoil crew would be forced to fight from behind as they worked to regain the lap lost while serving the penalty. Making the challenge even greater for the team was the fact that Sunday night's event proved to be the fastest Coca-Cola 600 on record with a race time of three hours and 44 minutes. Despite the torrid pace and lack of cautions in the 600-mile event the team was able to race back to the lead lap through Logano's and a strategy call by crew chief Todd Gordon to short pit. By short pitting, Logano was able to leap frog race leader and eventual winner Martin Truex Jr. and rejoin the lead lap without being the beneficiary of a free pass or wave around. The team remained on the lead lap and fought their way back for the ninth place finish. The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford was one of only four cars to lead the event.

Quote: "Yeah, we got a pit road penalty during one of those super-long green flag runs and had to make a pass-through and went down a lap.  We did a good job recovering without a caution because we were able to pass the leader back and be able to get back on the lead lap and then we finally got a caution, but it was so late in the race and you can only pick a couple off on the restart.  We kind of settled in there and it was hard to pass tonight, so I had a lot better car than ninth – that's for sure.  I had something that could have finished in the top three or four, and maybe second.  We didn't have anything for the 78.  Martin Truex was on fire tonight and really all weekend.  They had it figured out. We had nothing for him, but at times I thought we were definitely a second-place car, but unfortunately it's a distant second."