NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Kansas

October 16, 2016

Track:    Kansas Speedway  
Race:     Hollywood Casino 400
Date:     October 16, 2016  

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  8th
Finish: 38th
Status: Accident
Laps Completed: 190/267
Laps Led: 1
Points Position (behind leader): 11 (-44)

Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team had an uncharacteristic day in finishing 38th in Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. The finish was the result of an incident on lap 189 in which Keselowski and the No. 11 of Denny Hamlin made contact that forced Keselowski into the garage for repairs before losing an engine on lap 219 after making his way back on the track. Keselowski qualified his Ford in the eighth position on Friday afternoon after tireless work by the Miller Lite crew to find speed for their driver. When the race began, Keselowski lost several positions over the first few laps as he let the field spread out a bit before making his way back toward the front. The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) champion radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that he was happy with the handling of his Ford, but that he was slightly loose on corner exit. Wolfe made air pressure and wedge adjustments throughout the day to allow Keselowski to race his way back inside the top 10 at lap 177. Unfortunately, at lap 189, the contact with Hamlin occurred that resulted in Keselowski needing extensive repairs to the Miller Lite machine. Great work by his crew got Keselowski back on the racing surface in 30 laps, but on his first lap up to speed he saw his engine expire. The 38th-place Did Not Finish (DNF) marked the first DNF for Keselowski since the 2015 Daytona 500, a streak of 65 races. Keselowski and crew will now head to Talladega Superspeedway – a place where he has four career NSCS wins – in the 11th spot in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Quote: "My guys busted their butt on this Miller Lite Ford to get it back out. They were working like crazy, there was a fire at one point. They worked their guts out. If my team keeps putting up this kind of effort, I don't worry about today. We will win another race. We will win Talladega and other races and be fine. That is the first thing, I want to thank my team for that effort. As far as what happened on the track I don't know. I spun and got in the grass and tore the nose off. I probably could have raced less hard with a big points gap coming in."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  6th
Finish:  3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 2
Points Position (behind leader): 8th (-37)

Recap:  Joey Logano started sixth and finished third in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion in Sunday afternoon's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Logano ran in the top-five for the majority of the race, though he slipped as low as eighth on the first run of the day. Logano reported the handling of the Shell-Pennzoil Ford as tight through the opening run and he also had to work to remove a piece of debris from the grill. Crew chief Todd Gordon called for air pressure adjustments and tape removal on the second pit stop of the day at lap 88, the first of two green flag stops on the afternoon. Logano worked his way back inside the top-five on the ensuing green flag run and, following the third pit stop of the day, raced his way to the third position. As the race continued the frequency of yellow flags increased, which saw Logano showcase his restart ability four times in the last 100 laps of competition. Gordon called Logano to pit lane for the final time at lap 222 where the team would add tape to the nose of the Fusion, replacing the tape removed early in the event. The adjustment would prove to be sufficient, as Logano stormed to the third position on the final restart of the afternoon. Logano held off a charging Jimmie Johnson in the closing laps while closing the gap to second place finisher Carl Edwards. The finish served as a great rebound for the Shell-Pennzoil team after suffering two tire failures at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The finish moved Logano inside the top-eight with one race remaining before the cut to eight next weekend at Talladega Super Speedway, where the Shell-Pennzoil team are the defending race winners.

Quote: "That was hard fought. I am still breathing hard. We just weren't very good on the short runs so I had to play defense instead of offense on restarts. After 15 laps we were equal to, not way better to the point we could make up a bunch of time. We did what we had to do. I think they told me I am eighth in points so we will be close on it racing at Talladega. We did what we had to do today. We wanted to get a solid top-five and if we could win that is what we wanted. We had a good effort, we just have to get our cars a little faster right now."