Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Texas

April 10, 2016

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report


Track:  Texas Motor Speedway

Race:   Duck Commander 500

Date:   April 9, 2016


No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  8th

Finish: 18th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 332/334

Laps Led:  0

Points Position (behind leader):  9th (-58)


Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team battled through a tough race at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) to salvage an 18th-place finish in the Duck Commander 500 on Saturday night. Rain showers earlier in the day resulted in a nearly two-hour delay before the race began. When the green flag fell many competitors – including Keselowski – encountered a tight racetrack that was quite different than what they had practiced on earlier in the weekend. Crew chief Paul Wolfe called for big adjustments on the first pit stop of the night at lap 30 and they had a positive effect on corner exit, but Keselowski still struggled to find what he needed in the center of the high-speed corners at TMS. As the, team worked through a plan to fix the handling on the No. 2 Ford, Keselowski radioed at lap 124 that he had a loose wheel. He came to pit road three laps later for four tires to alleviate the problem and lost two laps to the race leaders. Determined to battle back from adversity, Keselowski made up one lap under green. Unfortunately, the handling never improved to the point where he could challenge to get back on the lead lap, eventually losing a second lap to the leaders before crossing the finish line in the 18th position. With the finish, Keselowski now sits ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings, but is qualified for the Chase for the Championship thanks to his win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier in the year.


Quote: “It wasn’t as good of a night as we wanted with the Miller Lite Ford Fusion, but we tried some out-of-the-box things trying to be better here for when the Chase comes. Having a win this early in the season gives us that luxury, but it just didn’t pay off tonight.”


No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  2nd

Finish: 3rd

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  334/334

Laps Led:  0

Points Position (behind leader):  5th (-25)


Recap:  Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team executed a nearly flawless race, but lacked the overall speed to contend for the win on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway, coming home third in the Duck Commander 500. The start of the event was delayed nearly two hours by persistent rain showers during the afternoon and evening. When the race finally began, Logano settled into third and ran solidly in the top five for the first 50 laps. With no rubber on the track early on, Logano fought a tight condition that eventually worked its way to being too loose. Crew chief Todd Gordon made several good adjustments to the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion to help get the handle right throughout the event. Logano slipped to the back half of the top 10 through the middle portion of the event until the pit crew performed a couple of blazing stops to get him back inside the top five. A great restart on the outside lane with 100 laps to go moved Logano into the top three, a position he would occupy for the rest of the race.  Running in the second spot, while on fresh Goodyear tires late in the race, Logano began to chase race leader Kyle Busch down, but eventually lost a little bit of handling and surrendered the second spot to Dale Earnhardt Jr.  At the finish of the 334-lap event, Logano found himself third, his third top-five finish of the season.  Logano remains fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, 25 points behind Busch.


Quote: “I’m proud of what my race team did. This Shell-Pennzoil team executed perfectly today.  We may not have had the fastest car - we obviously didn’t have the fastest car - but we executed into a top-three finish and I’m very proud of my team for that. We had great pit stops and great calls, so everything worked out well. Everyone did their job. That’s kind of been our weak point this year is that we haven’t had the speed, but we haven’t been executing perfectly. Now it seemed like we executed right and we’ve got to work on our speed now.”