Quicken Loans 400 Preview
June 12, 2013
The Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway (two-mile oval, Brooklyn, Michigan)
Sunday June 16, 1:00 pm ET
No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion driven by Brad Keselowski
• MICHIGAN HOMECOMING: Brad Keselowski grew up in the Detroit, Mich., suburb of Rochester Hills. He was the first Michigan-born driver to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship when he took the crown last year. While he has yet to win at his home track in the Cup Series, he does have two NASCAR Nationwide Series victories at Michigan International Speedway (MIS).
• HAPPY FATHER'S DAY: Keselowski calls his father, Bob Keselowski, his racing hero. The elder Keselowski is a former ARCA Series champion and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series winner. No doubt the younger Keselowski will want to give his dad a great Father's Day gift by going to Victory Lane on Sunday.
• THE MIGHTY MAC IN BLUE: The Mackinac Bridge in northern Michigan was lit in blue on May 29th as part of a celebration of Keselowski's 2012 Cup title. It will remain lit through the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday. The bridge is the third-longest in the world in total suspension.
• FORD RACING DAY AND POLISH SPORTS HALL OF FAME: On Thursday, June 13, Keselowski and the other Penske Racing drivers will visit the Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., for Ford Racing Day. While at Ford the group will take part in several driving activities and sign autographs for Ford employees. That evening, Keselowski will be honored with induction into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.
• MEET KESELOWSKI: Keselowski will make an appearance at Artesian Wells located at U.S. 12 and U.S. 127 in Cement City, Mich., beginning at 7 pm ET on Friday, June 14.
• MICHIGAN NATIVES: In addition to Keselowski there are two other Michigan natives on the "Blue Deuce" roster. Car chief Jerry Kelley hails from Sherwood, Mich., while engineer Brian Wilson is from Detroit.
AFTER HAVING VERY FAST CARS THE LAST TWO RACES, DO YOU THINK A WIN IS COMING SOON?
"We've had speed in our Miller Lite Fords all year. We're still struggling a little bit in the execution part of our game, but those are issues that can be ironed out. It was unfortunate that we left a top-five on the table at Pocono last weekend. Obviously the 48 car was the class of the field, but I think we could've made it interesting. But we've seen in the past that having speed at Pocono can often translate into speed at Michigan. I'm looking forward to going to my home state and contending for a victory."
WHAT WOULD A CUP SERIES WIN AT MICHIGAN MEAN TO YOU?
"I certainly used to put a lot of pressure on myself when going to Michigan. Especially for the first few Cup races of my career. In 2009 and 2010 I was probably no fun to be around when we got there. I really want a win at my home track. But I think (crew chief) Paul (Wolfe) has a big influence on my mindset when I go up to race at MIS. I'm way more relaxed and I think it has shown in the results over our last couple of races. We still don't have a Cup win there, though, and that definitely drives me. It would be one of the biggest wins of my career."
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion driven by Joey Logano
• ON A HOT STREAK: Joey Logano enters the race at Michigan this weekend riding a bit of a hot streak in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Logano finished 10th last weekend at Pocono Raceway, marking his third-straight top-10 finish (fourth if you count the Sprint All-Star race) and his sixth top 10 in his last 10 races.
• DADDY TOM: One of the most well-known fathers in the garage area, Tom Logano has been with his son throughout his entire racing career. A garbage man from the Northeast, Tom Logano got his son interested in racing after buying him a go-kart at an early age despite not having a racing background himself. Since that point, the two have worked together throughout Logano's racing career before the youngster was signed to run in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS). In fact, in just his third Nationwide Series start, coming on Father's Day weekend, the younger Logano scored his first NNS win, making him the youngest NNS winner in NASCAR history and giving his dad the best Father's Day gift of his life.
• MICHIGAN FEAST OR FAMINE: Michigan International Speedway has been both a good and bad track for Logano over the course of his Sprint Cup Series career. In eight starts at the track, Logano has three top-10 finishes, all of which came early in his career. Last year, Logano was running in the top 10 in both Cup Series races at Michigan before being involved in accidents.
• FORD RACING DAY: This coming Thursday, Logano and the rest of the Ford Racing family of drivers will visit the Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., for Ford Racing Day. As part of the visit, the drivers to tour the facility, partake in several activities and sign autographs for Ford employees.
• POINTS RACE: Logano moved up two spots in the point standings to 16th after Pocono. He's now just 26 points out of the Chase.
YOU ARE RUNNING WELL RIGHT NOW, HOW DO YOU KEEP THAT GOING WEEK TO WEEK?
"The best teams are able to run up front each and every weekend. That is where we need to get this Shell-Pennzoil team. I think we need to get to the point to where we unload the car and start the race closer to the front, so we have a better shot at the win and at top fives. We have been getting some good finishes this year, but it seems like we are always fighting back from a problem or fighting from the back of the field. If we can get to where we are a little better at the start of the weekend, I think you will see a whole different outcome."
HOW DO YOU GET TO THAT POINT?
"All that will just come with time. The thing I need to keep telling myself is that we are still only 14 races into this new relationship. (Crew chief) Todd (Gordon) and myself have only been together for 14 races and I've only been with Penske Racing for 14 races. We've come a long way, but we are still working and learning new things about each other every single weekend. With time, that will come. I think we've done pretty good so far, but we want to keep it going. You never want to come to the track and stop learning. We still are for sure."