NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Charlotte

October 9, 2016

Track:    Charlotte Motor Speedway
Race:     Bank of America 500 
Date:     October 9, 2016

No. 2 Wurth Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  20th
Finish: 7th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 334/334
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader):  4th (-11)

Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Wurth Ford Fusion team enjoyed a solid start to the second round of the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup with a seventh-place finish in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) on Sunday afternoon. The race was originally scheduled for Saturday evening but Hurricane Matthew forced the move to Sunday and setting up difficult racing conditions for many of the Chase contenders. After starting from the 20th position following the Thursday night qualifying session, Keselowski began the event happy with his Ford Fusion while trying to pick up track position. An air pressure adjustment on the first pit stop of the day at lap 27 provided a boost to the handling that immediately improved the speed of the Wurth machine. Crew chief Paul Wolfe continued to make air pressure adjustments throughout the event, specifically trying to help Keselowski run the top groove around CMS. After entering the top 10 at lap 114 following a great pit call by Wolfe to run a bit longer than the rest of the competitors to allow the team to catch a big break on a caution period, Keselowski did not fall outside that line for the rest of the event while racing for many laps inside the top-five in the running order. While other Chase contenders had myriad issues – including a pit road issue for the No. 2 Wurth team – Keselowski was able to keep his Ford out of harm’s way for the remaining laps to secure his fourth top-10 finish in the four races to start this year's Chase.

Quote: "It's a solid day for the Wurth Ford team. To run seventh is OK. We just weren't quite anywhere near as fast as the 48 and the 24, and we were behind a bunch of the others, so we just need to find a little bit of speed, but the execution was great. On the last pit stop my guys got the Wurth Ford out with the leaders, which was really good. We're executing well. We just need to find a little bit more speed to be able to make that execution and speed and win races."

No. 22 Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  10th
Finish:  36th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 254/334
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 11th (-39)

Recap:  Joey Logano had a fast No. 22 Pennzoil Ford Fusion on Sunday afternoon in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but two tire issues kept the driver from challenging for the win. Logano, who swept the second round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, started the race from the 10th position and when the green flag fell he settled in to a rhythm while working with crew chief Todd Gordon on the handling. Despite being a bit loose in dirty air, Logano was very happy with the way his Ford drove over the course of a long run. While challenging for a position inside the top five at lap 118, Logano suffered a cut to the left-front tire on the Pennzoil Ford. This resulted in slight contact with the outside wall but he was able to continue. After multiple trips to pit road for repairs, Logano was up to speed once again. Unfortunately, a second tire issue would occur on lap 155 when the right-front tire blew, causing heavy damage that had to be repaired in the garage area. Great work by the Pennzoil crew allowed Logano to return to the track, however he was many laps down to the race leaders and his race was effectively over. He crossed the finish line in the 36th position, but the series heads to the Kansas Speedway next weekend, a track where Logano is the two-time, defending winner.

Quote: "We're not out by any means. We had a very fast Pennzoil Ford Fusion. I'm super-proud of the car we brought here. It was capable of winning, for sure. We ran up from 10th to third and was still running down the leaders early in the race, so I felt really good about the Pennzoil Ford we had. Things happen. It's part of racing, but we're not out. We're not gonna die. This team is resilient. We've proved it before and we'll just have to go out and prove it again. We just have to have two flawless races. It's something we can make up."