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Penske Racing Sylvania 300 Race Preview

September 18, 2013




THE RACE

Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1.058-mile oval, Loudon, N.H.)
Sunday, September 22, 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

Radio Broadcast: Live on PRN Radio and SIRIUS XM Channel 90

TV Schedule:

Friday
·  12:00 pm ET, Practice (FS1)
·  3:30 pm ET, Qualifying (FS1)
Saturday
·  9:00 am ET, Practice (FS1)
·  11:00 am ET, Final Practice (FS1)  
Sunday
·  2:00 pm ET, Sylvania 300 (ESPN)


THE NEWS AND NOTES

The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion

·  TESTING PAYING OFF: New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) is one of several tracks where Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team have tested in 2013. The team was able to parlay that test into a fourth-place finish in the spring race at NHMS, which bodes well for their chances this weekend.

·  JUST WIN, BABY!: While he will not be able to defend his 2012 NSCS title as he didn’t qualify for the Chase, Keselowski will focus on winning races for the remainder of the season. He has scored either NSCS or NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) wins at six of the nine tracks remaining on the schedule this season.

·  LENDING A HAND: Knowing full well the challenges that can come along with trying to win a title, Keselowski will do his part to help his Penske Racing teammate, Joey Logano, as he competes in his first Chase for the Championship.

·  TWO-TIME POLE WINNER: In the 2010 edition of this race at NHMS, Keselowski scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) pole award with a then-track record lap of 28.515 seconds. He followed that up with his second career NHMS pole in the spring race at the venue this year.

·  FORMER NNS WINNER: Though he hasn’t visited Victory Lane in NSCS competition at NHMS, Keselowski does own a 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at the New England track.

·  DRIVER TURNED CREW CHIEF: Miller Lite Ford crew chief Paul Wolfe has an extensive driving history at NHMS. The 36-year-old has one career NNS start at the venue, along with 11 starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (KNPSE) competition. In those 11 KNPSE starts, Wolfe accumulated four top-five finishes, six top-10 results and 137 laps led.

·  MEET KESELOWSKI: Keselowski will make an appearance at Patrick’s Pub located at 18 Weirs Road in Gilford, N.H. on Thursday evening, Sept. 19 at 7:00 pm ET.

THE Q & A

BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD

IN EIGHT CAREER STARTS YOU HAVE FIVE TOP-10 FINISHES AT LOUDON. WHY DO YOU THINK YOU DO SO WELL THERE?

“New Hampshire has become a pretty good racetrack for me. Our flat-track program at Penske Racing has been very solid as a whole. It’s one of the tracks where (crew chief) Paul (Wolfe) has experience as a driver. It’s very hard to emphasize how much of a difference that can make. After testing at Loudon earlier this year, I feel really good about our package for the race. We have the top 10s and the top-fives there, but we want wins. I think this is the weekend we can put it all together and get the Miller Lite Ford in Victory Lane.”

DOES NOT BEING IN THE CHASE HAVE ANY IMPACT ON HOW YOU APPROACH THE FINAL  RACES OF THE SEASON?

“Not at all. We are as hungry as ever to go out and win races. That being said, if we can R&D a part for the 22 car this year or for us next year, then we’ll certainly be a team player and do that. Winning a Cup championship is tough so if we can help them out we will do so. But make no mistake, our goal is to go out and win as many of these races as we can.”
   

THE NEWS AND NOTES

The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion

·  LET’S DO IT AGAIN:  With a 37th-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway last weekend due to an engine failure, Joey Logano is now 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings and the Chase for the Sprint Cup rankings.  He sits 52 points behind the leader and 21 points out of the top 10. This isn’t the first time this season that Logano has had to try and climb back up in the point standings.  Following the NHMS event in July, Logano found himself 18th in the point standings, 36 points out of the top 10. In the six following races, Logano raced his way back to eighth place in the standings. It happened earlier in the year as well.  Following the Darlington event in May, Logano was 19th in the point standings and 56 points out of the top 10. In six races, he was able to make up those points and work his way back inside the top 10.

·  BACK WHERE IT STARTED:  Logano made history back in 2009 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when the then 19-year, one-month and four-day-old driver became the youngest ever winner in Sprint Cup Series history. The victory, which came in his Rookie of the Year campaign, allowed Logano to add to an already impressive resume. This included becoming the youngest NASCAR Nationwide Series winner the previous season when he won at Kentucky Speedway just three weeks after his 18th birthday. Logano is also the youngest pole winner in the history of the Sprint Cup Series.

·  RACER’S DREAM GARAGE CALENDAR: Last weekend, Logano announced a new project to help raise money for his Joey Logano Foundation.  The 2014 Racer’s Dream Garage presented by Shell V-Power calendar will show off drivers like Logano, Brad Keselowski, Travis Pastrana, Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle and Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves along with their personal street vehicles. Fans can also win a chance to have their car featured in the calendar through the Shell Ultimate Enthusiast contest.  More details on the calendar are available at www.joeyloganofoundation.org.

THE Q & A

JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 SHELL-PENNZOIL FORD

YOU ONLY MADE THREE LAPS IN THE FIRST RACE AT NHMS. ARE YOU LOOKING TO REBOUND?

“We are looking to rebound at New Hampshire and after our first Chase race.  I thought we had a pretty good car there in July, but we never got a chance to show it as we had a tire issue on the third lap and hit the wall. We never got a chance to show what we could do. So we are going to try and scratch that from our memory banks and just go out there and do what we need to do.  We don’t have a lot of notes to go off of.  We will rely on our teammate a little bit there.”

HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR TEAM’S SPIRITS UP AFTER THE FIRST CHASE RACE RESULT?

“There is nothing you can do about an internal engine issue.  This isn’t something you can control.  It happens sometimes. The biggest thing is that we need to be able to bounce back from it and keep our spirits up. We were fast all weekend long. We were on the pole, we led laps and we were going to finish in the top five and I think we were fast enough to win the race. We can win a couple more before the year is over. We just need to keep our heads in the game and that’s what we are going to do.”