NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Michigan

August 28, 2016

Track:    Michigan International Speedway
Race:     Pure Michigan 400
Date:     August 28, 2016

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  18th
Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 14
Points Position (behind leader): 2nd (-25)
Chase Standing: 1st – Four wins in 2016

Recap: Brad Keselowski appeared to have a Miller Lite Ford Fusion that could give him his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) win at his home track of Michigan International Speedway (MIS), but late-race conditions resulted in a third-place finish in the Pure Michigan 400. Keselowski began the race from the 18th position after failing to make the final round of qualifying on Friday afternoon, and the 2012 series champion dropped a few positions early on as his Miller Lite Ford was too tight. Despite only taking right-side tires under the lap 20 competition caution, crew chief Paul Wolfe made some significant adjustments to the air pressure and wedge to help give the No. 2 machine better turn. Keselowski would still have to deal with the tight-handling condition early in each of the next three runs, but after 15 laps of each run the Miller Lite Ford would come to life as Keselowski easily became the fastest car on the track. The car was so good that Wolfe kept his driver on track for several more laps than the competitors when green-flag pit stops began, stretching precious fuel in the event it turned into a fuel mileage race. After the final pit stop of the day, Keselowski found himself restarting from the third position after he and Wolfe played a masterful track-position game. However, the sun that had blazed over the MIS oval fell behind the clouds, cooling the track off and helping out the handling of the leaders. Unfortunately, the Miller Lite Ford disagreed with those conditions and Keselowski couldn’t muster a final charge to battle race winner, Kyle Larson. The finish is Keselowski’s fifth top-five finish at MIS and his fifth such finish in his last eight NSCS starts.

Quote: "All in all a strong day for the Miller Lite Ford team. I think we would have been a little bit better if we could have gotten the sun to stay out. The clouds came out in the end and we were at our best in the sun. All in all, a lot to be proud of. A heck of an effort. Seems like every time we come here, we want to win so bad. We run third or fourth every time, which is really good in the Sprint Cup Series, but it's certainly not the win we’re looking for."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  1st
Finish:  10th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 24
Points Position (behind leader): 5th (-83)
Chase Standing: 9th – One win in 2016

Recap: Joey Logano started from the pole and finished 10th in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion in Sunday afternoon's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS). The pole was the second consecutive for Logano, having won the pole and the race when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced at MIS in June. However, Sunday's race, which featured the final test of the potential 2017 aerodynamic rules package would play out differently than Logano's previous two pole starts in Brooklyn. Logano led the opening 22 laps before losing the lead on the race's first restart. The handling of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion suffered without clean air as Logano began to slowly drop out of the top-five and had to battle to remain in the top-10 for the majority of the event. Despite the struggles, the Shell-Pennzoil crew continued to work on the handling as Logano relayed information to crew chief Todd Gordon. The team made air pressure adjustments on every stop, while making wedge adjustments on two of their five stops. On the team's final stop at lap 187, the rear air hose got caught by the nose of another car, yanking the gun from the rear-changers hands and sending it down pit road, resulting in a lengthy pit stop. That dropped Logano to the 17th position where he would have to battle back in the closing nine laps to secure his 16th top-10 of 2016.

Quote: – "We kind of ended on a down note there. I don't know. We lost our track position early in the race which hurt us and then we got our car balance fixed but it is so hard to pass. To get back up there was challenging. We came back down pit road there at the end to take four and somehow I guess the 4 car hooked our air gun and send the rear air gun flying and we lost time in the pits. We were the last car on the lead lap on that last run and got back to 10th so I am proud of the effort this weekend. The pole was nice we just weren't as competitive as we were in the spring race. Our car drove the same, everyone just got better."