NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report - New Hampshire

September 25, 2016

Track:    New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Race:     Bad Boy Off Road 300
Date:     September 25, 2016  

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  11th
Finish: 4th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 300/300
Laps Led:  2
Points Position (behind leader):  1st

Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team bounced back from an average performance early in the Bad Boy Off Road 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) to record a fourth-place finish on Sunday afternoon, their second-consecutive top-five finish to start the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. As the race began with a 124-lap, green-flag run, Keselowski stayed quiet early on the radio as he began to get a feel of his Ford machine. The 2014 winner of this race, Keselowski radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe at lap 38 that he was tight in the center of the flat NHMS corners, with no forward drive on corner exit. Keselowski would work his way into the top five during each of the pit stop cycles, but would drop in the running order after visits to pit road that included air pressure adjustments, along with adjustments to both left and right-side wedge. The handling gradually improved over the course of the 300-lap race, with Keselowski running some of the fastest laps as the event moved past the halfway point. As the laps wound down, Wolfe called his driver down pit road for the final time at lap 265 as he applied the final set of Goodyear radials when other lead-lap cars elected to stay out. Keselowski used the fresh rubber to his advantage after restarting the race from the 12th position at lap 269. When the final caution flag of the day flew at lap 192, Keselowski had powered the Miller Lite Ford into the fourth position. He would cross the finish line in the same position after the race resumed for the final time at lap 295. Combined with his fifth-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway last weekend and the bonus points for his four wins in the regular season, today's result moved Keselowski into the points lead in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Quote: "It was just a really great finish to kind of just a so-so day. It takes a team effort to do that as well and that's part of this sport and my guys did a great job. I believe in my team. The Miller Lite team worked really hard on our Ford all day long. We weren’t near as fast as we wanted to be, but great execution on pit road, great execution with the pit calls and then the last few restarts went our way with being in the right lane on the restarts, which is so, so important on these double-file restarts, but also just staying out of trouble. We're not as fast as we want to be. We almost went a lap down at one point, but we kept our head down and got through it. It feels good to go to Dover and be able to sleep easy knowing that if you have a part failure or get caught up in a wreck or any of those silly things that can happen that aren't you fault, you don't have to worry about them so that's good, but we still have some work to do to get a little faster."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  15th
Finish:  11th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 300/300
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 5th (-14)

Recap:  Joey Logano started 15th and finished 11th in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion in Sunday afternoon's Bad Boy Off Road 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. While the day would net a gain of four positions from where the Shell-Pennzoil Ford started, Logano and company had an uphill battle through the first 263 laps. Logano fought the handling of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford from the drop of the green flag, battling a car that was tight in the center of the turns and loose off resulting in no forward drive. To make matters more difficult, the race is one of the shortest on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, allowing minimal opportunities to adjust the handling of the car. The race opened with a 124-lap, green-flag run, where Logano found himself one lap down to the leaders. When crew chief Todd Gordon called the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford to the pits for the second time on lap 124, the crew made major adjustments to the car improving the handling substantially. Logano narrowly missed receiving the free pass at lap 167, as another competitor had just been lapped. The team would take the wave around opportunity and join the tail-end of the field for the ensuing restart. Logano would again miss the free pass at lap 241 when the caution flag was displayed, but was finally the beneficiary at lap 265 when the fifth caution of the afternoon came out. Logano would restart from the 19th position and battled forward before the final caution at lap 285. From there, Gordon and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil crew would make a final pit stop, giving Logano fresh tires for the dash to the finish. Logano rallied forward to finish in the eleventh position, finishing in front of six other Chase competitors. With the finish, Logano remained fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Point standings, trailing series point leader and teammate Brad Keselowski by 14 points as the series heads to Dover, Delaware for the first elimination race in the Chase.

Quote: "It was a hard fight to say the least with the Shell/Pennzoil Ford.  We took off awful, just like we did in the spring race too, it's crazy.  We went down a lap and fought all day and then finally got the lucky dog but not with many laps to make it up.  We made our car better, but didn't have enough time to get ourselves back up to where I thought we were speed-wise at the end.  I'm proud of the never-quit-attitude.  We're resilient.  We just need to start a little bit faster.  We can't lose that many spots at the beginning of the race and expect to battle back every time.  We did what we had to do.  We almost got a top 10 out of something that we ran around 20th all day, so at least we got something out of it.  We just need to go faster than that."