NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Texas

November 7, 2016

Track:    Texas Motor Speedway    
Race:     AAA Texas 500
Date:     November 6, 2016

No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  4th
Finish: 14th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 293/293
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 10th

Recap: Texas Motor Speedway usually brings out the best in Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion team, but an uncharacteristic day left them saddled with a 14th-place finish in the rain-shortened AAA Texas 500 on Sunday evening. In his last eight starts at the Fort Worth, Texas oval, Keselowski has recorded six top-10 finishes. After a solid fourth-place qualifying effort on Friday afternoon, Keselowski and the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field had to wait nearly six hours for the start of the race as the track was dried from an earlier rain shower. When the race began Keselowski quickly settled into the top five, but radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that the handling was amiss on the No. 2 Ford. He would start each run having to deal with tightness just past the center of the corner, with a loose-handling condition on corner entry and exit building as the run progressed. This would be the story of the evening for the Alliance Truck Parts team as myriad adjustments by Wolfe seemed to have little effect from the driver's seat for Keselowski. He did a great job in maintaining a spot in the top 10 throughout the first half of the race, but eventually fell back to the 15th position, his lowest position of the evening. Over the final laps of the race, Keselowski was able to pick up one position before another rain shower moved into the area to end the race with 293 of the 334 scheduled laps having been completed.

Quote: "We were anticipating a really strong day with the No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford today, so we are definitely frustrated to finish 14th. Not sure where we missed the setup but I just couldn't get the car to do what I needed it to. Paul (Wolfe, crew chief) and the guys threw a lot of changes at it but nothing had much of an affect. Everyone worked their tails off this weekend and I appreciate that. We'll head to Phoenix next to try to get another win before the end of the season."

No. 22 AAA Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  2nd
Finish:  2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 293/293
Laps Led: 178
Points Position (behind leader): 2nd (-0)

Recap:  Joey Logano started second and dominated the opening 188 laps of the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in the No. 22 AAA Ford Fusion en route to a second-place finish on Sunday night. Logano wasted little time grabbing the lead on the opening restart and led the event until the competition caution at lap 28. Quick work by the No. 22 AAA crew sent Logano back out into the lead, where he remained until lap 74 when the team made their first green flag pit stop. As the stops cycled out, Logano regained the lead and continued setting a torrid pace, lapping up to the 20th place competitor. The team would hold the lead until lap 187 when they pitted under green a lap later than the second and third place competitors. The handling of the AAA Ford Fusion shifted to tight in dirty air, while Logano battled a free condition at corner exit. The team would run inside the top five, remaining in touch with the leaders throughout the remainder of the event. At lap 256, the team pitted under the yellow flag and with rain in the area, delivered a money stop moving the No. 22 AAA Ford up three positions. Logano would struggle on the inside line, and have to fight his way back to fourth before another caution flag that would setup the final restart of the event. Logano demonstrated his restart prowess as he gained two positions and battled with eventual race winner Carl Edwards in the closing stages of the event. The No. 22 AAA Ford was running down the leader, trimming over a second from the lead before rain moved back in and brought a premature end to the race after 439.5 miles.

Quote: "Yeah, we had such a fast car. Especially in the beginning of the race. That thing took off and we drove out to a six or seven-second lead and I was feeling good about it. As the track changed we lost the handle a little and lost the lead. Went all the way back to fifth and then got our balance better where the car was getting going again and I had a good restart to get from fourth to second there at the end with a good pit stop there that got us a couple spots too. The team did a very good job executing when we needed to. We just didn't have enough laps. It seemed like the momentum swung the other way with about three or four laps to go before the caution came out and I was starting to catch the 19 pretty rapidly. Unfortunately, it just started raining and that was the end of the race. It is what it is. We are going to be close. There are a lot of cars close going into Phoenix. It will be entertaining. It will probably be the closest Phoenix race we have ever seen as far as points. It should be a fun one for sure."