NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report

September 28, 2015

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report
Track:  New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Race:   Sylvania 300
Date:   September 27, 2015
No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski
Start: 4th
Finish: 12th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 300/300
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader):  8th (-27)
Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford started fourth and ran top-five most of the day before being penalized for jumping a restart late in the race, eventually coming home with a 12th-place finish. The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford had top-five speed all weekend, including in qualifying and the race. Early in the 300-lap event, Keselowski reported that his Ford Fusion was a little too free on entry and exit and tight in the center. Crew chief Paul Wolfe adjusted on the No. 2 Miller Lite machine throughout the afternoon and Keselowski ran second for most of the middle part of the race. On a restart with less than 60 laps to go, Keselowski was second and judged to have jumped the start, although he remained in second place as he raced through turn one. The call resulted in a drive-through penalty and the loss of 23 positions in the running order. With no cautions the rest of the race, the Miller Lite team and driver rallied back to finish a respectable 12th-place as the checkers fell. Despite the disappointing finish, Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford team moved up to eighth in the Chase standings, trailing leader Matt Kenseth by 27 points.

Quote:  "I am proud of my guys, they gave me a fast car, good stops and we ran well all day long. We're in a good position going into the next race and the next round of the Chase, so it's on to Dover."
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano
Start:  8th
Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  300/300
Laps Led:  0
Points Position (behind first): 4th (-10)
Recap:  Joey Logano and his No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion didn't have the best car on Sunday, but fought through the adversity to grab his 17th top-five finish of the season, coming home third in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  Logano started the race in the eighth position and ran solidly inside the top-10 for the first 50 laps before slipping back to 12th.  The Shell-Pennzoil Ford was tight center and lacked forward drive, a condition that would plague him all day despite several chassis adjustments from crew chief Todd Gordon.  For a good portion of the day, Logano raced anywhere from sixth to 10th, coming in for four tires and adjustments stop after stop.  With 100 laps to go, Gordon elected to give Logano two tires and track position and the 25-year-old driver came out third.  However, the two tires proved tough for Logano, who slipped back to sixth. With 85 to go, Logano came in again for four tires and came out 23rd when a majority of the field took two.  Over the next 20 laps, Logano would climb his way from 23rd to 14th.  With not enough fuel to make it to the end, Gordon called Logano into the pits for his final stop on lap 239 while several of the leaders stayed out.  Restarting 15th, it took Logano less than 25 laps to drive into the top-five with the fresher tires and plenty of fuel.  He would make up a couple more positions in the waning moments, coming home third.  Logano moved up two spots in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings to fourth and is 32 points ahead of the cut off spot heading into next week's first elimination race at Dover.
Quote:  "My team did a great job and Todd did a great job calling this race.  We didn't have the most speed in our Shell-Pennzoil Ford today, but I felt like as we worked on the car we got a little bit better.  He made some great calls and got us those four tires and started kind of weaving through the field.  I didn't quite have enough to beat the guys in front of me, but, overall, that's what we've got to do.  We've got to have those blue collar days to get a nice top-5, which sets us up good for Dover at the end of this first round."