Team Penske NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Richmond

April 26, 2015

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report

Track: Richmond International Raceway
Race: Toyota Owners 400

Date: April 26, 2015


No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  7th

Finish: 17th

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  400/400

Laps Led: 9

Points Position (behind leader):  5th (-74) 


Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford started the race from the seventh position, raced his way to the front early and eventually succumbed to engine issues, relegating him to a 17th-place finish at Richmond International Raceway on Sunday afternoon. After starting from the seventh spot, Keselowski made steady progress towards the front early in the race – making it up to fourth by the lap 50 competition caution. The team made an adjustment that did not suit Keselowski on the first stop and he fell back to ninth place. Crew chief Paul Wolfe made further adjustments during the third stop and the Alliance Truck Parts Ford came to life and Keselowski drove up to second. At lap 254, the No.2 machine dropped a cylinder while running third. Despite having a wounded Fusion, Keselowski held strong in the top-three, even leading a few laps before a series of late race cautions hampered his efforts. Over the closing laps and subsequent restarts, Keselowski fell back and finished 17th with the sour engine. The No. 2 Team Penske Ford maintains the fifth spot in the point standings, 74 points out of first place.

Quote:  “That was a rough way to finish a promising day, but it is part of racing and we just have to try to learn from it going forward and be better. Once we dropped a cylinder, we were sitting ducks on the restarts. All you can do is try not to ruin everybody else’s day and make the most of the situation. If there is a place something like this is going to happen, here is not the worst of places but it is never good.”


No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  1st (11th-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole)

Finish: 5th

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  400/400

Laps Led:  94

Points Position (behind first):  2nd (-33)


Recap:  Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion team started from the pole, lead a bunch of laps early and then came back from an ill-handling car to finish fifth in Sunday’s rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway.  Logano grabbed his 11th-career pole and third of the season on Friday afternoon in qualifying, the most of any driver this season.  When the green flag flew, Logano jumped out to the early lead on the “green” racetrack and set sail, leading the first 94 laps and holding point through the competition caution at lap 50.  When Logano fell back through the field, his Ford Fusion became tight center and loose off.  It was a handling condition that he and crew chief Todd Gordon would fight all day long.  Logano found himself struggling in the middle portion of a run, but as laps got on the tires, the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil car came to life.  With less than 40 laps to go, Logano had an amazing restart from the seventh position, going three wide on the apron to grab fifth, where he would ride out the rest of the afternoon.  The fifth-place finish was Logano’s fifth top-five of the year.  He remains second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, 33 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.


Quote:  “We were good on the short run and then after about 10 to 12 laps, we started losing speed and losing the center really, losing the turn. Those guys would start driving away and then really late before a green flag pit stop everyone’s tires would be burned off enough that I could start catching back up but I could never catch back up what we lost. Those late race restarts helped a lot and we were able to be aggressive and got a couple spots and came home for a top-five. Overall a top-five is nice. It looked like we were probably a seventh- or eighth-place car, so we got a little more out of it and we will work on it for the fall.”