NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report - New Hampshire

July 17, 2016

Track:    New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Race:     New Hampshire 301
Date:     June 17, 2016

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  9th
Finish: 15th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 301/301
Laps Led:  1
Points Position (behind leader):  2nd (-15)

Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion battled up front all day at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, only to fall victim to a flat tire late, relegating him to a 15th-place finish.  Keselowski started ninth in Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 but slipped back early after the Ford Fusion wouldn’t go early in the run.  It was a problem the No. 2 team would experience all day long, but Keselowski continued to fight back time-after-time and gain back the positions he lost.  With several long green-flag runs early in the race, Keselowski would use it to his advantage and climbed into the top-five just 60 laps in.  Once in the top-five, Keselowski would become a mainstay near the top of the charts.  Despite the fast car, Keselowski continued to radio to crew chief Paul Wolfe that the car was just an adjustment or two away from being a race-winning ride.  With air pressure and wedge adjustments, Wolfe could never get the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford to Keselowski’s liking, but the team continued to run inside the top-five.  With less than 40 laps to go, Keselowski came in for what he had hoped was his final stop of the day and took just two tires to retain track position.  However, on the ensuing restart, Keselowski got put in the middle of a three-wide situation, resulting in damage to all four corners of his machine and a flat left front tire.  After another stop for four tires and to repair the damage, Keselowski fought his way back from 23rd to 15th over the final 20 laps and salvaged a decent finish, but snapped his streak of consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.  He remains the top seed in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.

 Quote: “We were probably a fourth- or fifth-place car all day today. We were solid right up there. There at the end there was a restart and some guys got jumbled up in front of us and we were in the middle of three and got squeezed. We bounced off the 41 and got hit by the 22 and cut down a tire and had to come in. We got back up to 15th, which I guess all things considered isn’t too bad.”

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start: 6th  
Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 301/301
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader):  5th (-65)

Recap:  Joey Logano started sixth and finished third in Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion. While it may look like just another top-five finish for the New England native at his home track, the afternoon was far more difficult for Logano and company as they fought an ill-handling race car throughout the first 225 laps of the race. Logano started sixth but had dropped out of the top 10 by lap 62, battling a car that was loose in and off the corners and extremely tight through the center. When the team pitted for the second time at lap 101, crew chief Todd Gordon called for wholesale changes to the Shell-Pennzoil Ford. While the adjustments were a step in the right direction, Logano continued to battle the same handling characteristics and, at one point, ran as deep as 24th position. On lap 182, the team pitted for the third time and were finally able to get the handling closer to what their driver needed to move back toward the front of the field. With 270 laps remaining, Logano finally climbed back inside the top-10 and when the team pitted for the final time. Gordon called for a four tire stop while many of the lead lap competitors took two tires or no tires. From there, Logano moved his way toward the top-five, dodging several on-track incidents eventually climbing as high as second position before finishing the race in third.

Quote: “I will take a third place after all that. We were awful at the beginning of the race. We tried some new things and apparently they didn’t work so we aborted mission in the middle of the race and got some speed back in the 22 but not enough to beat the 20. I thought we would have something since we had 4 tires but we didn’t have the car to get up there with him. It's funny, seemed like Tony and I, we fell backwards together, we started driving through the field together.  We were around each other all day and never thought the two of us would be racing for second at the end of the race like that. Overall proud of the effort the team put in, never?quit attitude.  It really paid off today.”