Penske Racing Brickyard 400 Race Preview
July 25, 2013
Crown Royal presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval, Speedway, Ind.)
Sunday July 28, 1:00 pm ET
5-mile oval, Speedway, Ind.)
Sunday July 28, 1:00 pm ET
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No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion driven by Brad Keselowski
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion driven by Joey Logano
Race: Crown Royal 400
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Date: Sunday, July 28
Race Start Time: 1:00 pm ET
Radio Broadcast: Live on IMS Radio and SIRIUS XM Channel 90
· 11:30 am ET, Practice (SPEED)
· 9:00 am ET, Final Practice (ESPN2)
· 2:00 pm ET, Qualifying (ESPN)
· 1:00 pm ET, Crown Royal 400 (ESPN)
THE NEWS AND NOTES
The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion
· MOVING FORWARD: With his top-five finish two weeks ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team moved back inside the top 10 in the series standings. Over the last two seasons, Keselowski has produced an average finish of 6.5 in the races starting with Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) through Richmond, the cutoff event for the Chase for the Championship. A similar run this season would secure a spot in the Chase for Keselowski.
· BRIEF BUT BOUNTIFUL INDY HISTORY: Keselowski’s victory in the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series race at IMS last year marked his second-consecutive series win in Indianapolis. He also won the final race at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in 2011. In three career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at IMS, the series champion has recorded two top-10 finishes with 39 laps led.
· MIDWEST HOMECOMING: Keselowski places special emphasis on running well when the series visits the Midwestern part of the country. A native of Rochester Hills, Mich., Keselowski – along with his father, uncle and brother – has won numerous short track races throughout the middle section of the United States over the years.
· MEET KESELOWSKI: Keselowski will make an appearance at Rick’s Café Boatyard located at 4050 Dandy Trail in Indianapolis on Friday evening, July 26 at 6:00 pm ET.
· WHAT OFF-WEEKEND?: Instead of taking some time away from the track on his last off-weekend of the season, Keselowski decided to sharpen his short-track skills at Riverside International Speedway in Nova Scotia, Canada. He competed in the IWK 250 super late model race over the weekend and finished third.
THE Q & A
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO RUN WELL AT INDIANPOLIS?
“You can’t go to the Brickyard without thinking about what the track means not only to NASCAR, but to auto racing in general. Being from the Midwestern section of the country myself, I always looked to the spectacle of the Indianapolis 500 and wondered what it would be like to compete there. Now we have the Brickyard 400 for stock cars and it has become one of the most prestigious races in the country as well. Everyone on the Miller Lite Ford Fusion team is excited about the new car we are bringing this weekend. A lot of work went into building it and I think it’s going to give us our best shot yet to get Mr. Penske a Brickyard 400 trophy.”
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO RACE AT INDIANAPOLIS FOR ROGER PENSKE?
“It definitely gives you a sense of pride when you go to Indy as a member of Penske Racing. You look at everything Mr. Penske has been able to accomplish there in open-wheel racing. It would be one of the coolest things I could ever do in a racecar if I could get him his first win in the Brickyard 400. It would rank right up there with giving him his first Sprint Cup Series title. I think we can do it this weekend. I really believe we are on the cusp of a great run.”
THE NEWS AND NOTES
The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion
· 36 POINTS, 7 RACES: Joey Logano has had some bad luck in the last two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. At Daytona, Logano was running as high as third until an ill-timed flat right front tire put him into the wall and to an eventual 40th place finish. At New Hampshire, Logano hadn’t made it three laps until a flat left rear tire caused him to spin and hit the wall, again resulting in a 40th-place finish. The two subpar results dropped Logano from 10th to 18th in the point standings, where he is 36 points outside of the top 10 with just seven races remaining until the start of the Chase. This isn’t a new position for Logano, who was 56 points out of the Chase following Darlington before he and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team clawed back into the top 10 in just six races.
· WORKING VACATION: After Roger Penske asked Logano to race on an off weekend for the Cup Series, Logano canceled his plans and then made the most of it by winning the Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. The win was Logano’s 20th-career Nationwide Series triumph. Those 20 wins put him in a tie for 15th on the all-time list with former series champion Greg Biffle. With 118 NNS races on his resume, Logano has averaged a series win every six starts over the course of his career.
· TV STAR: Logano got a taste of TV stardom Monday as he was featured in Disney XD’s sports-themed "Monday Night Overdrive" when he guest starred on the hit comedy series "Lab Rats." Logano appeared as himself in the episode, which is entitled "The Bionic 500."
· MEET LOGANO: Race fans of will get two chances to meet Logano during the Indianapolis weekend both at the track and away from IMS. Logano will make an appearance on Thursday, July 25 at the Discount Tire store located at 120 Avon Village Dr. in Avon, Ind. at 12 pm ET. On Friday, July 26, Logano will sign autographs at the Wal-Mart store at 400 W Northfield Dr in Brownsburg, Ind starting at 4:00 pm.
THE Q & A
JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 SHELL-PENNZOIL FORD
HOW DO YOU LEAD THE TEAM AFTER A COUPLE OF TOUGH WEEKS?
“You just have to be the leader. The guys are going to look at you. The thing is that we know the last two weeks have been things that happened beyond our control. There is nothing you can do when you have tire issues and we’ve had them two weeks in a row. But we’ve been running really well and I think that will continue. You just have to keep the guys pumped up and show it on the track. But this team doesn’t give up. We’ve got a long way to go still.”
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO RACE AT INDY?
“I mean, it’s one of the coolest race tracks in the entire world. When you drive around the place, you just know that this is a unique place to race. It’s a track and a race that everyone wants to win. There are a few tracks – Daytona, Darlington, Charlotte, Talladega, Bristol – where you really want to win and Indy is near the top of that list. And to get a chance to race there for Roger Penske, knowing the history that he has at Indy, is pretty cool. Now, what would be even better is to win the race for Roger. That would be cool.”
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