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Team Penske Brickyard Race Preview

July 23, 2014




THE RACE

Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile speedway, Speedway, Ind.)
Sunday, July 27, 1:00 pm ET

THE CARS

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

The No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Ford Fusion
Driven by Juan Pablo Montoya    

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

THE NEWS AND NOTES
    
The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion

· FIRST TO CLINCH: On the strength of two victories in the past three races and three wins overall in 2014, Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford crew are the only team to date to lockup a spot in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase.

· MILLER LITE FORD CARWASH: Keselowski will travel to Bristol, Conn., on Wednesday of this week to visit the ESPN Studios. The 2012 Sprint Cup Champ will appear on 10 different television and radio shows during the course of the day.

· FRONT ROWS AND TOP FIVES: Through 19 races, Keselowski has qualified on the front row nine times for an astounding 47% success rate. He has also finished inside the top five on nine occasions or 47% of the races run in 2014.

· MILLER TIME AT INDY: Keselowski will appear for Miller Lite at Average Joe’s Sports Pub located at 814 Broadripple Avenue in Indianapolis on Friday, July 25 beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET.

· 15 AND OH: Team Penske has one of the most impressive records racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) with an unprecedented 15 Indy 500 victories. The team will be looking to produce its first Brickyard 400 win this weekend.

· SPECTACULAR SPECTATING: Keselowski will don his team owner hat Wednesday night as he’ll visit Eldora Speedway to watch his team compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the fabled dirt track.

· MILLER “MOONLIGHTING”: Look for Keselowski to showcase yet another facet of his personality as he takes on the role of Bartender Brad in a soon to be released Miller Lite video series online – @keselowski #bartenderbrad.
    

THE Q & A

BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD

THE BRICKYARD HAS A RICH HISTORY FOR TEAM PENSKE, WHAT WOULD A WIN HERE MEAN TO YOU?

“We want to win everywhere we go, but the Brickyard does hold more significance with this team than most considering Roger Penske’s legacy at Indy. We have had some strong runs there in the past, but we just haven’t put it all together. Looking at our current performances and the momentum we have right now, I feel like we’re well positioned to close the loop on this one and get Team Penske its first Brickyard 400 victory.”

PAUL WOLFE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD
THE TEAM DOMINATED TWO OF THE LAST THREE RACES, CAN THAT CONTINUE INTO THIS WEEKEND?

“Everyone here at the shop continues to build cars that are capable of the kind of performances we’ve had lately. Having won two of the last three races is good validation in terms of our continued development. Having said that, Indy is a unique circuit, but we think we have something for it. Our set-up for this track has similarities with the Pocono package, and we were pretty good there. Strategy and track position are going to be key come race day, but we feel good about our chances.”    

 

THE NEWS AND NOTES
    
The No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Ford Fusion

· INDIANAPOLIS VETERAN: No driver in the field on Sunday can match the diverse history of Juan Pablo Montoya at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In his illustrious career, the Bogota, Colombia-born driver has made seven career NASCAR Cup Series starts, five Formula 1 starts, three IndyCar Series starts and one start in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series at the famed circuit. He is also the 2000 Indianapolis 500 champion. Over the course of his NASCAR career, Montoya has led 203 laps and earned a pair of top-10 finishes at Indianapolis.

· INDIANAPOLIS 500 REWIND: Montoya made his second career start in the Indianapolis 500 in May for the 98th running of legendary race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After starting from the 10th position for Team Penske, Montoya worked his way to the front of the field to lead a total of 16 laps on his way to a fifth-place finish. He also competed at the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis earlier in May and earned a 16th-place finish on the IMS road course.

· PROUD PAPA: Sebastian Montoya earned his first ever Micro Max championship at the Rotax Nationals go-karting event at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah on Sunday afternoon. The elder Montoya was able to remotely watch his son’s victory before competing for Team Penske in the IndyCar Series race at Toronto.

· JPM RUNS WITH PTR THIS WEEKEND: This weekend’s Brickyard 400 will mark the first race for Montoya in the Penske Truck Rental (PTR) colors and his second Cup Series start for Team Penske this season. PTR is an operating unit of Penske Truck Leasing and has approximately 2,000 consumer truck rental locations across the United States and Canada. Penske rents commercial semi-trucks, straight trucks and trailers to businesses that haul freight. Its truck rental fleet has more than 50,000 units.
    

THE Q & A

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 12 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL FORD

DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE DUE FOR A CUP SERIES WIN AT INDIANAPOLIS?

“I don’t know if Indianapolis owes me a win, but I probably deserve to have one by this point. I’ve run really well there in my Cup career, but I just wasn’t able to close the deal. Maybe I was just waiting to win for Roger Penske. If I could be the driver to win for him it would just be another ‘thank you’ to him for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to race for him. The Team Penske Fords have been very fast this year. It’s been awesome to watch Brad and Joey this year”

WITH THE SPEED THE TEAM PENSKE FORDS HAVE SHOWN THIS YEAR ARE YOU CONFIDENT YOU CAN WIN AT THE BRICKYARD?

“Absolutely. First off, I’m always confident that I can win. But it's obvious that the Team Penske cars are the class of the field right now. I have one race under my belt with crew chief Greg Erwin and the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental team, so we are a little familiar with each other. We had good speed in that first race at Michigan and I think we should be even better after taking what we learned there and applying it to the car we are bringing this weekend. It’s exciting to be back in the Cup Series for another weekend. Hopefully we can cap it off with a win.”
 


THE NEWS AND NOTES

The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion

· STILL LOOKING FOR THE OLD 1-2:  Two weeks ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Joey Logano looked to be on his way to at least a second-place finish, which could have given Team Penske a one-two finish. That elusive first- and second-place result is something that Logano and teammate Brad Keselowski have wanted all season long and come close to on at least three occasions. In Pocono, Logano was running second and poised to finish second when engine problems ruined his day. Mechanical problems again kept Logano from helping get a one-two sweep in Kentucky while running second. The team will try for the 1-2 result again this weekend and with Montoya added to the mix at Indy, could it be a Team Penske 1-2-3?

· GOOD AND BAD BRICKYARD MEMORIES: Some years, the hallowed grounds of Indianapolis Motor Speedway have been great to Logano, while in others, it’s had his number. Logano has two top-10 finishes at Indy, including last year’s eighth-place result, in five Indy starts, but he’s also produced two finishes of 25th or worse.

· READY FOR THE LUCK TO TURN:  Logano’s ninth-place position in the points is remarkable considering some of the tough breaks the team has experienced while running up front in 2014. Logano was running second when mechanical problems befell him at Bristol, sixth when a rear gear broke at Fontana, eighth when a front hub went bad in Darlington, fourth when an engine let go at Pocono, second when his engine laid down at Kentucky, third when he was caught up in a wreck at Daytona and second when he was collected in an accident at Loudon.

· A HOPE TO DREAM: The Joey Logano Foundation will be partnering with A Hope To Dream this weekend at Indianapolis. Logano will donate a bed for every lap he leads and 100 beds if he wins the race.  These beds will go to less fortunate children in the Indianapolis community to ensure they have something to sleep on at night. For information on the Joey Logano Foundation and A Hope To Dream program please visit www.joeyloganofoundation.org

 
THE Q & A    

JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 SHELL-PENNZOIL FORD

THERE ARE 17 WEEKS LEFT IN THE SEASON – THE LONGEST STRETCH DURING THE YEAR – IS IT HARD TO STAY FOCUSED DURING THIS TIME?

“I think it all comes back to how you are running.  If you are running decent, you are excited to get to the next weekend and the next weekend. If you aren’t running very well, then it becomes a little bit of a grind. The hardest thing is to keep your guys on the team fresh.  They put in as much time as anyone else. They are at the track from the time the garage opens until it closes, then right back at the shop on Monday and going to most of the test sessions we run.  So 17 weeks can get pretty hectic. But this is what we love to do, and if you are running well and winning races, then it makes it easier. We are chasing that championship and if we get there at the end of the year, it will all be worth it.”

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO YOU TO WIN AT THE BRICKYARD?

“It’s one of our biggest races of the year. It’s one of the crown jewels. Everyone wants to win at Indianapolis.  I didn’t really grow up watching IndyCars, but everyone watched the Indy 500 and knows what it means. There are a handful of tracks that everyone wants to win at. Indy is one of them. And now, driving for Roger Penske, you want to win even more. To try and get him a win in a stock car at a place where he has had so much success would be pretty dang cool. I just want to win any race I can. But I will take Indy for sure.”