NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report -Richmond

September 11, 2016

Track:    Richmond International Raceway
Race:     Federated Auto Parts 400
Date:     September 10, 2016

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  17th
Finish:  4th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 407/407
Laps Led:  0
Points Position (behind leader):  2nd (-42)
Chase Standing: 2nd – four wins in 2016

Recap: In the final race of the regular season for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team scored a fourth-place finish in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. When the race began the 2012 series champion quickly began to improve on his 17th-place starting position, specifically during the two, long green-flag runs early in the event. Despite a Ford that was loose at the beginning of a run, the long-run speed that crew chief Paul Wolfe dialed into the machine allowed Keselowski to race his way into the top five by the halfway point of the race. The night was not without some obstacles for the team as Keselowski was caught for pit road speeding following a lap 223 pit stop. After dropping back to the 21st position after the penalty, Keselowski once again began an assault back towards the front of the field. Unfortunately for the Miller Lite team the final 100 laps of the race featured myriad caution periods, refuting the long-run speed that had given Keselowski such an advantage throughout the race. When the final caution flag of the day flew on lap 398 it gave Keselowski one more chance for the win as he lined up third in the running order. Unfortunately, the handling was not where he needed and he crossed the finish line in the fourth position. With four wins in 2016, Keselowski is tied for the series lead with Kyle Busch. However, he will go into the Chase for the Sprint Cup as the second seed – even though the two are tied with 2012 points – as the tiebreaker came down to runner up finishes, where Busch owns a 3-1 advantage.

Quote: "I thought it was just a hard?fought Richmond night race for the Miller Lite Ford team, a lot of yellows there at the end and hard to keep up with.  The 11 and 78 ran a great race and so did Larson there at the end. We finished right behind him, just wish I could have cleaned up a few mistakes and maybe could have snuck in a win. We just needed a little bit more."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  12th
Finish:  10th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 407/407
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 3rd (-93)
Chase Standing: 9th – One win in 2016

Recap:  Joey Logano started 12th and finished 10th in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion on Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. Logano, who had already locked into the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field ran a methodical race and avoided the mayhem that would break out on Virginia's "Action Track". Logano had one of the strongest cars on long runs throughout the event, however, long runs were difficult to come by with a record setting 16 caution flags, including one red flag. After starting 12th, Logano was scored as low as 31st and ran as high as fourth on a cycle of green flag pit stops. When the team pitted for the final time, for four-sticker Goodyear tires, an air gun jam relegated the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford to the 17th position. From there, Logano would battle back to the top-10 before the checkered flag. With one points win coming at Michigan in June, Logano will enter the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup as the ninth seed. The team finished the regular season third in the championship standings after scoring 10 top-fives, 18 top-10s, three pole positions and a win. The team also won the 2016 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in May.

Quote: "It was a long night, just like everybody else. We had a good long run car and not a good short run car. It took us 10-15 laps to start clicking them off and then we were really fast but it was just too late. Those cautions were coming out like every 15 laps. Every time we got going a caution would come out. Overall we were a lot better than what we were in the spring, at least on the long run. The way the race played out with tires and short runs it just didn't play in our favor. Overall I think our team is in a great spot right now, both the 2 and the 22.  We are ready to fire away and see if we can put one of those Fords in victory lane."