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Penske Racing Ford EcoBoost 400 Race Preview

November 13, 2013




THE RACE

Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval, Homestead, Florida)
Sunday, November 17, 3:00 pm ET

THE CARS

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion
Driven by Brad Keselowski

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

THE BROADCAST

Race: Ford EcoBoost 400
Track: Homestead-Miami Speedway
Date: Sunday, November 17
Race Start Time: 3:00 pm ET      

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

TV Schedule:

Friday
· 1:30 pm ET, Practice (ESPN2)
· 6:00 pm ET, Qualifying (ESPN2)
Saturday
· 12:00 am ET, Practice (FS2)
· 3:00 pm ET, Final Practice (FS2)   
Sunday
· 3:00 pm ET, Ford EcoBoost 400 (ESPN)


THE NEWS AND NOTES

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion
Driven by Brad Keselowski


· THE END OF A REIGN: When the checkered flag falls on the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday evening, Brad Keselowski will end his reign as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) champion. The historic 2012 title gave Penske Racing its first Sprint Cup Series championship in its long, successful history in motorsports.

· CHAMPIONSHIP REWIND: Keselowski entered last year’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS) needing only a 15th-place finish to secure the NSCS title. After struggling with the handling of the car in the middle of the race, Keselowski was able to make a pass for 15th-place before crossing the finish line to secure the championship.

· CLOSING IN ON A NEW RECORD: Keselowski and his Penske Racing teammate, Joey Logano, have combined for 20 top-five finishes in 2013. One more by either driver would tie them for the most combined top-five finishes in a season by the team, equaling a mark established in 2001. If both drivers finish in the top five at HMS, it would set a new Penske Racing record.

· EXTRA INCENTIVE: This will be Keselowski’s first Ford Championship Weekend as a member of the Ford Racing team, giving him extra incentive to earn a victory in the final race of the season.

· HOMESTEAD VICTORY TOUR: Last month, Keselowski visited Zoo Miami as part of the Homestead-Miami Victory Tour. While there, he was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility by the goodwill ambassador, Ron Magill.

· FLORIDA NATIVES: Two members of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team are Florida natives. Spotter Joey Meier is from Hialeah and front-tire changer Thomas Hatcher hails from Middleburg. In addition, Meier is Keselowski’s personal pilot and host of the MRN Motorsports Monday on MRN.com with Woody Cain.

· MEET KESELOWSKI: Keselowski will make an appearance at the Buffalo Wild Wings located at 20505 South Dixie Highway in Cutler Bay, FL on Thursday night at 7 pm ET.


THE Q & A

BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS AS YOU WIND DOWN YOUR FIRST YEAR AS A NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES CHAMPION?

“For me the thing that sticks out the most in my mind, unfortunately, is that we didn’t make the Chase this year. We weren’t able to try to win two in a row. But we all learned a lot this year. I learned a lot as a driver and a champion, no doubt. So we’ll be back better than ever in 2014. Despite that, though, this has been an amazing year. I said last year that I never dreamed about being the Cup champion because my dreams never went that far. Now I know there is nothing this Miller Lite Ford team can’t accomplish.”


WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOMESTEAD?

“I like going to Homestead and I enjoy the racing that it provides. One of the coolest things about that track is just how wide it is. I think it’s really a racy track.  I like how you can run the top, middle and bottom.  It’s kind of got a Michigan feel, so to speak, and it’s a good race. You want a venue like that to settle the championship – a place where it’s all in the driver’s hands and up to them to get the job done. With this being our first year with Ford Racing, I definitely have extra motivation to win this weekend because they put a lot of resources into this race weekend.”
   

THE NEWS AND NOTES

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


· ONE MORE RACE:  Joey Logano’s first season with Penske Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will come to a close this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This season has been Logano’s best in the Sprint Cup Series to date, as the young driver has set or matched career-highs in wins, poles, top fives, top 10s, laps led and points position.

· DEFENDING POLE WINNER:  Logano has earned two poles in 2013 and is the defending winner of the pole award at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Logano’s two poles this season came at Michigan International Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway.

· TEST & TUNE:  A few weeks ago, Logano spent a couple of days testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  But Logano’s test wasn’t behind the wheel of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford – instead it was behind the wheel of the Penske Racing Nationwide Series Mustang. Logano believes that test will help him quite a bit for Sunday’s season finale.

· DOUBLE DUTY, WITH A TWIST:  Logano will return to the seat of the No. 22 Hertz Mustang in the Nationwide Series this weekend as he helps the team go for the Series Owner’s Championship.  The team sits just four points ahead of the race for the title.

· RACER’S DREAM GARAGE CALENDAR: The 2014 Racer’s Dream Garage presented by Shell V-Power calendar is now available.  The calendar showcases drivers like Logano, Brad Keselowski, Travis Pastrana, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Helio Castroneves and several others along with their personal street vehicles. Several fans’ cars are also featured as part of the Shell Ultimate Enthusiast contest.  Fan can get the calendar on the Shell-Pennzoil merchandise hauler, at the Penske Racing gift shop or by ordering it online at www.joeyloganofoundation.org or www.penskeracing.com.

 
THE Q & A

JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 SHELL-PENNZOIL FORD

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR FIRST SEASON WITH PENSKE RACING?

“I think you have to look at is as being a successful season. We didn’t accomplish our goal of winning the Championship, but we did a lot of good things together. We were able to win a race, win a couple of poles and even more importantly, make the Chase.  The biggest thing about the season though is how the team grew and how we bonded and how we were able to fight back from adversity.  Early in the year, we had a couple of times where we were thrown a curve ball and we were always able to battle back from it. We never gave up and that showed. I’m not looking forward to the season ending. I want to keep this going and going.”
 

TODD GORDON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 22 SHELL-PENNZOIL FORD

TALK ABOUT YOUR FIRST SEASON WORKING WITH JOEY LOGANO?

“Yeah, it has been a great experience for me and for this team. Joey came in here and brought a bit of fresh air to the No. 22 team. Joey doesn’t get a lot of credit as to how thorough and complete he is when it comes to preparation. He’s a student of the sport and he spends a lot of time studying and learning about the cars every weekend.  He spends as much time in the garage and in the trailer as any driver I’ve ever met.  I think we’ve accomplished a lot of the things we wanted to accomplish, but we’ve got a lot more that we can do together. With a year under our belt, I think we will be able to continue to build and grow together and I’m looking forward to what the future will hold for the No. 22 team.”