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Penske Racing Hollywood Casino 400 Race Preview

October 3, 2013




THE RACE

Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway (1.5-mile oval, Kansas City, KC)
Sunday, October 6, 2:00 pm ET

THE CARS

The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion
Driven by Brad Keselowski

The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion
Driven by Joey Logano

THE BROADCAST

Race Start Time: 2:00 pm ET
Radio Broadcast: Live on MRN Radio and SIRIUS XM Channel 90

TV Schedule:
Friday
·12:30 pm ET, Practice (FS1)
·5:00 pm ET, Qualifying (ESPN2)   
Saturday
·11:00 am ET, Practice (FS2)
·1:30 pm ET, Final Practice (FS2 )
Sunday
·2:00 pm ET, Hollywood Casino 400 (ESPN)


THE NEWS AND NOTES

The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion


· FORMER WINNER: In the 2011 spring race at Kansas Speedway, Keselowski picked up his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) win for Penske Racing. In addition to his NSCS victory, Keselowski also dominated the field in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) event at Kansas later that same year, leading a total of 173 of the 200 laps on the way to taking the checkered flag.

· DOUBLE DUTY: This weekend Keselowski will return to the seat of the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang in the Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway. The No. 22 team currently holds a 34-point lead in the NNS owner’s point standings.

· PRAISING THE NEW TIRE: Goodyear will debut a second version of their new race tire this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Based on several tests over the past year, Goodyear’s racing division will utilize “zone tread” technology for this weekend’s event at Kansas. Keselowski is a big proponent of this new technology and is excited about the possibilities that it holds for racing in the future.

· BECOME A DESIGNATED DRIVER: From now until the end of the calendar year, NASCAR fans who take a pledge to drink responsibly will be entered to win a custom Miller Lite-blue 2013 Ford Fusion. The prize will be delivered personally by reigning Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, who drives the Miller Lite No. 2 Blue Deuce. To take the pledge to never drive drunk, fans can visit www.MillerLiteResponsibility.com.

· MEET KESELOWSKI: Keselowski will make an appearance at Hollywood Casino, located at 777 Hollywood Casino Blvd in Kansas City, KS, beginning at 7:30 pm CT on Thursday evening, October 3.

THE Q & A

BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD

YOU ARE NO STRANGER TO VICTORY LANE AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY. CAN YOU GET ANOTHER WIN THIS WEEKEND?

“I think we can definitely get a win this weekend. I’ve always enjoyed racing at Kansas, probably more so on the old surface but we are starting to find our footing with the new layout too. After a few more Midwestern winters I’m sure it will get rough again and we seem to do well on those types of tracks. We had a really good car in the spring race this year but didn’t get to show it after getting damage at the start of the race. We were still able to battle back to finish sixth, which showed we had a lot of speed in the Miller Lite Ford Fusion. One variable will be the new ‘zone-tread’ tire that Goodyear will bring this weekend. It’s a second version of the tire that we ran at Atlanta in August. I was very happy with the tire, but I really love the way Goodyear is working hard to make the best tire they can.”

HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO GO THIS FAR INTO THE SEASON WITHOUT A WIN?

“It’s frustrating, for sure, to go this long without a win. I’m competitive as hell and so is everyone on this Miller Lite Ford team. We’re here to win races, make the Chase and contend for championships. But this is a tough sport and we just didn’t get it done this year. It’s easy to look at what the 48 team did with their five-year run and expect to do the same. In reality that’s not the norm for our sport. Some of the best drivers ever have gone multiple years after their first championship before winning another. By no means was our 2012 title a fluke and I’m fully prepared to be back to championship form in 2014.”
   

THE NEWS AND NOTES

The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion   

· BACK TO THE TOP-10:  With Joey Logano’s third-place finish at Dover International Speedway last weekend, the 23-year-old driver made a return to the top 10 after three-straight races without a top-10 finish.  It marked only the second time all year long that Logano has gone three-straight races without a top-10 result.

· CAREER HIGHS:  The third-place finish at Dover was Logano’s ninth top-five result of the season.  Those nine top-fives are a career high for Logano, who’s previous best was seven top-five finishes in the 2010 season.  He also has 15 top-10 finishes, which is just one short of tying his career best, also established in the 2010 season.  Only two drivers have more top-five results this season than Logano and only four drivers have more top 10s.

· SECOND TIME AROUND:  This weekend’s race at Kansas will mark the eighth race this season that Logano and crew chief Todd Gordon have visited a track for a second time working together.  In five of the previous seven, Logano and Gordon have used their notes from the first time around to improve their finish in the second trip to the track.  Logano had better finishes in the second events at Loudon, Pocono, Michigan, Bristol and Dover already this season. Logano finished 39th in the first race at Kansas after getting involved in a mid-race accident.

· A LITTLE HISTORY:  Though it came in the Nationwide Series competition, Logano made a little bit of history last weekend at Dover, winning his fourth-straight NNS race at the Monster Mile.  This was a feat no national series driver has ever done before.

· PROVEN VEHICLES:  Logano’s primary and backup cars this week are both stout Fusions.  The primary chassis, 857, won at Michigan International Speedway in August.  The backup chassis, 862, ran second at Atlanta just a few weeks later.


THE Q & A

JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 SHELL-PENNZOIL FORD

YOU ARE GOING BACK TO KANSAS FOR A SECOND TIME. HOW HAS IT BEEN WORKING WITH TODD A SECOND TIME AT TRACKS?

“Well, the first time around, I think we were at a disadvantage because we really didn’t have any sort of notebook to go off of. We were just learning each other and we were learning how to communicate and how we want to have the cars set up.  Now, we are going back to these places a second time and we have a place to start and we have a whole race weekend worth of notes to go off of. We have a better starting spot. And I think you are seeing that in the results. I feel like we are catching up to everyone else now.”

YOU HAVE HAD A LOT OF SUCCESS ON 1.5-MILE TRACKS. ANY REASON BEHIND THAT?

“Those type of tracks have just always suited my driving style.  There is just something about those tracks that I like.  I don’t really know what it is.  You have a nice little mix of speed and drivability at these places.  Even in the Nationwide Series, I’ve had a lot of success on the 1.5-mile tracks.  And those have been our best tracks this year. We should have won Chicagoland a few weeks ago and we’ve been fast everywhere.”