Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Watkins Glen

August 9, 2015

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report


Track:  Watkins Glen International

Race:   Cheez-It 355 at The Glen

Date:   August 9, 2015

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  11th

Finish: 7th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 90/90

Laps Led: 27

Points Position (behind leader):  5 (- 104)


Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team started Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International from the 11th position, caught a timely yellow early to take the lead and ultimately settled for a seventh-place finish. Keselowski and crew qualified 11th during the two-round qualifying session on Saturday afternoon. When the green flag flew to start the race, the 2012 Cup Champion went to work as he made his way up to seventh by lap 12. At lap 25, crew chief Paul Wolfe called Keselowski into the pits for tires, fuel and an adjustment. On the next lap, the yellow flag was displayed, which gave the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford crucial track position as the rest of the field came into the pits and eventually the lead. Keselowski led 27 laps before having to pit for his final service of the race. By this point, several cars were on different fuel strategies and Keselowski dropped to 22nd in the running order. Over the last stint, Keselowski clawed his way to seventh before the checkered flag flew. The top-10 finish, his 14th of the season, advances him to fifth in the championship standings.

Quote:  “First, congrats to Joey and the 22 team, sweeping the weekend here is a big deal and it is great for Team Penske. We had a strong No. 2 Miller Lite Ford today and finishing seventh kind of hurts a little on this one – I thought we had a winning hand today – it just didn’t fall our way. The crew was great today and we did everything that we could to position ourselves to be there at the end. The good news is once again our Ford Fusion had speed and I know it’s just a matter of time before we make our way back to victory lane.”



No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  16th

Finish: 1st (10th-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory)

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  90/90

Laps Led:  1

Points Position (behind first): 2nd (-42)


Recap:  Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion played their pit strategy just right and passed leader Kevin Harvick on the white flag lap to earn the victory on Sunday afternoon at Watkins Glen International, their second win of the 2015 season.  Logano started the race in the 16th position and he and crew chief Todd Gordon stuck to their race strategy early.  Logano raced his way up to 11th before the first round of pit stops on lap 26, when Gordon called for four tires and some minor adjustments.  Logano came back out 14th and worked his way into the top-10 for the first time, getting to ninth before his second stop on lap 47.  The pit strategy paid dividends, as Logano raced his way up to fourth on fresher tires before coming in with the rest of the leaders again on lap 58.  However, Logano was able to take just a splash of fuel and get out ahead of the pack.  Once back on the track and good to go on fuel for the finish, Logano raced his way from 14th all the way to fourth behind a slew of cars that stayed on the track hoping to make it to the end on fuel.  With the top-three cars in fuel conservation mode, Logano was able to pick them off one-by-one and moved into second place behind Harvick.  Taking the white flag, and with Harvick saving fuel, Logano slipped in turn one and lost ground to the leader.  However, while he was catching back up to him, Harvick ran out of fuel and Logano was able to maneuver by, taking the checkered flag for his second victory of the season and the 10th of his career.  The win also marked a weekend sweep for Logano, who won Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series event – the first time Logano has completed a weekend sweep.  The win was also the first for Team Penske in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Watkins Glen, leaving just two tracks where the organization has yet to earn a Cup victory – Indianapolis and Homestead.  The win, also his first on a road course in the Sprint Cup Series, keeps Logano second in the point standings, 42 behind Harvick.

Quote:  “I was running down Harvick there for a little bit and once I got close to him he started to pick up his pace a little bit, which was good because I needed him to run out of gas.  I started to catch him a little bit and I drove into one too hard and started to wheel hop.  I just about lost it and at that point you just hope he runs out of gas, which he did in the last corner.  I thought he was running out of gas out of the carousel there.  You could tell his car was slowing down a little bit and then it really slowed down.  I was like, ‘Alright, I’ve got something here.  Don’t screw this up.’  I was able to get by him into 11 and then he gave me a good shot in the center of 11 and then we were able to get back off the corner.  It makes up for last week.  We lost the race last week the same way, so it makes up for it to get it this week.  It’s pretty cool to get a road course win in this Shell-Pennzoil Ford.  It means so much to me and sweeping the weekend, I’ve never swept a weekend before so this is a really, really special weekend.”