NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report

October 11, 2015

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report
Track:  Charlotte Motor Speedway
Race:   Bank of America 500
Date:   October 11, 2015

No. 2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski
Start: 13th
Finish: 9th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 334/334
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader):  8th (- 13)
Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford team qualified 13th, fought for track position most of the day and brought home a ninth-place finish in Sunday's rain-delayed Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In the opening stage of the 334-lap event, Keselowski reported that his No. 2 Fusion lacked turn through the center of the corner. As the race progressed, crew chief Paul Wolfe called for several changes and Keselowski was able to hold pace while running as far back as 26th at one point. Track position, or lack thereof it, was the biggest hurdle for the Detroit Genuine Parts team for much of the event. Over the course of the 500 miler, the team used strategy to make it into the top-10 and it paid off as Keselowski finished a "blue collar" ninth on the afternoon. The effort has the No. 2 Team Penske Ford team and Keselowski scored eighth in the Chase standings, trailing leader and teammate Joey Logano by 13 points with two races left in the Contender Round.

Quote:  "It was a lot of work. We weren't as fast as we wanted to be.  When we had green flag pit stops, we seemed to be really fast with the Detroit Genuine Parts Ford.  But on restarts and yellow flags, I'd just get stuck in the dirty air and couldn't move anywhere. I think the 24 car looked really good. He was the only guy I saw that was really able to pass today, but I just couldn't pass. I thought we had a fast car and if we could have got out front maybe we could have stayed out front, but that wasn't the case today. It was a good effort to keep the wheels on it on a rough day, so to speak, and make the most of it so we're not in bad shape for the next two races. We need to have another solid day at Kansas or we're really gonna sweat Talladega.  A couple of Chase guys had some bad luck and that could happen to us, too, so we have to stand the test."
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano
Start:  3rd
Finish: 1st (12th-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory)
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  334/334
Laps Led:  227
Points Position (ahead of second): 1st (+6)
Recap:  Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford team dominated in the rain-delayed Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, leading 227 of the 334 laps en route to his fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory of the season and an automatic berth into the Chase for the Sprint Cup round of eight.  Logano was set to start third on Saturday night, but heavy rain showers postponed the 500-mile event to Sunday afternoon, forcing the race to be run during the day instead of at night.  Early the race, Logano showed to have one of the fastest cars on the track, settling into second and consistently running the fastest laps on the track while running down race leader Matt Kenseth.  Logano would run no worse than fifth on the day, which happened following a round of pit stops following the competition caution at lap 25.  Once back on the track, Logano began to work his way back to the front, getting back to second by lap 63.  Logano grabbed the lead for the first time on lap 77 when he stayed on the track as Kenseth and other front runners came to pit road under yellow.  Once out front, Logano showed his Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion was the best car on the track.  For the rest of the afternoon, Logano would only lose the lead during green flag pit stops.  Each time, once the green-flag stops cycled out, Logano would find himself back in the lead and pulling away from the field.  Late in the race, Logano allowed second-place Kevin Harvick to pull within a half-second, but got through lapped traffic masterfully, pulling out to a two-second lead and eventually grabbing the checkered flag and his fourth victory of the 2015 season.  It was Logano's 12th-career win, as well as his first at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  The 227 laps led was the most ever Logano has led in a single race.  With the win, Logano took over the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points lead and automatically locked himself into Eliminator round of eight in the Chase of the Sprint Cup. 
Quote:  "We had a great car today.  Todd Gordon and this Shell-Pennzoil team - all of Team Penske - you always want to win here at Charlotte.  Charlotte is everybody's home turf and you want to make it happen here.  Todd made great calls.  The pit crew was on top of it today.  They've really been incredible most of this year, so it's special to have a perfect day in racing.  You don't have that very often.  Usually, at some point in a 500-mile race you have to overcome something, but today everything went as planned.  We were trying something different this weekend with the car compared to what we've done here in the past.  We've struggled here the last three or four years and this week we obviously made some good changes to our race car and had a very fast race car and led a lot of laps.  This helps us recharge our batteries and get ready for the next round and come out swinging for that one.  This makes Talladega way easier.  I know that's on everyone's mind when this round starts.  Last year we won Kansas when it was the first race of this round and now we were able to get it this time at Charlotte.  We'll get lots of sleep here the next couple of weeks."