NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Pocono

August 2, 2016

Track:    Pocono Raceway
Race:     Pennsylvania 400
Date:     August 1, 2016  

No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  7th
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 138/138
Laps Led: 8
Points Position (behind leader): 2nd (-22)
Chase Standing: 1st – Four wins in 2016

Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford team had the perfect strategy to win Monday’s Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway, but inclement weather forced an early end to the event with Keselowski in the runner-up position. Rain forced the move to Monday morning after showers moved over the track Sunday afternoon. When the skies cleared for the event, Keselowski rolled off from the seventh position. Early on, the 2012 series champion radioed that he was tight late in the center of the corners, but a bit loose on exit when running in traffic. As a result, he dropped back to the 15th position, allowing crew chief Paul Wolfe to adjust his strategy. When the yellow flag waved for a competition caution at lap 15, Wolfe left his driver on the track to pick up valuable positions. Keselowski would restart the race from the top spot at lap 20. With handling still an issue, Keselowski lost several spots before settling into the seventh position. He would eventually make his way down pit road at lap 39 for four tires and adjustments. Following the adjustments, the Alliance Truck Parts Ford sprang to life as Keselowski began to move through the field. At lap 56 he moved back into the lead as he remained off sequence to the leaders. When a caution flag flew at lap 66, Keselowski came down pit road with many of the other lead-lap cars to get back on the same strategy. After pitting again at lap 86, Keselowski was set to make the end of the race on only one more pit stop. It also allowed Wolfe to leave his driver on track when other competitors came down pit road at lap 99. This set the team up to challenge for the win over the remaining laps before the race was placed under the red flag for heavy fog at lap 132 with Keselowski in the second position. Eventually the race was called due to a severe thunderstorm that was approaching the track.

Quote: “Great call by my crew chief Paul Wolfe in getting the strategy right and knowing that we had a lot of speed in the Alliance Truck Parts Ford and maximizing that for certain situations. We hit the green flag pit cycle perfectly to take advantage, and what was going to take the lead for us and hopefully give us the prime opportunity to win the race. Unfortunately, that cloud came rolling in just kind of at the right or wrong time, however you want to look at it, to box us out, and we ended up finishing second today. We needed about three more laps on that cloud.  It is what it is, though, so we'll take a second, I guess, and move on. But this is one of those what could have been races.”

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  10th
Finish:  37th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 115/138
Laps Led: 38
Points Position (behind leader): 6th (-97)
Chase Standing: 8th – One win in 2016

Recap:  Joey Logano started 10th and finished 37th in Monday afternoon’s Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway. While the end result would portray a very dismal day in the Pocono’s, Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil crew had an incredibly solid day going until an incident just past lap 100 in the race relegated them to the back of the field. After starting in the 10th position, Logano wasted little time working his way to the top five, and then taking the lead on lap 33. Crew chief Todd Gordon called for several small adjustments on the first two stops of the race, both times the Shell-Pennzoil crew helped Logano leap frog other competitors with stellar pit work. Logano would lead the Pennsylvania 400 three different times for a total of 38 laps. The team would pit from the lead at lap 100 for a four-tire stop as other teams opted to remain on the track, having pitted at the previous caution, thus dropping the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford to the 16th position. On the ensuing restart, Logano was working his way back towards the top ten when contact with another competitor sent him into the wall and back to the garage where the team would make major repairs and return him to the track 23 laps down. The race was stopped short of the advertised distance at lap 138 where inclement weather forced the premature end.

Quote: “The Shell Pennzoil Ford was fast and really good on restarts. We were able to drive up to the lead a few times. Only if it had rained a little earlier we would have had a lot different outcome. We had a new rear carrier today and he came out of the gate swinging which is awesome. I am super proud of that. There were a lot of positives today. We just ended on a negative note racing hard and trying to get back up there after that caution. We all had to pit because we tried to win the race when it rained and we lost our track position and then the 24 got loose under me. It is just part of racing. It stinks to be on this end of it. It is just part of it.”