NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Phoenix

November 13, 2016

Track:    Phoenix International Raceway
Race:     Can-Am 500
Date:     November 13, 2016

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start:  14th
Finish: 14th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 324/324
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 10th

Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team appeared to have one of the cars to beat in Sunday's Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, but two costly issues getting into his pit stall keep the team from realizing its true potential on the day. After taking the initial green flag from the 14th position, Keselowski blazed some fast laps to meticulously work his way through the field despite a car that was lacking stability on corner entry early in the initial run. Following air pressure and wedge adjustments on the first two pit stops, Keselowski radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that the balance was "perfect" as he raced inside the top five at the halfway point of the event. As Keselowski made his way into his pit stall for his third pit stop of the day, he overshot his pit crew and had to back up, costing precious seconds. He would restart the race from the 12th position, but would make his way back inside the top 10 in a few laps. While running in the eighth position, Keselowski again missed his pit stall on the fifth pit stop of the day at lap 257, losing seven positions as the race went back to green. Unfortunately, he was only able to make up one position before crossing the finish line in the 14th spot.

Quote: "Congratulations to Joey Logano and the No. 22 Ford team on getting to Homestead with a shot at the championship. It was a goal for both he and I to win the Sprint Cup championship in Roger's (Penske) 50th year in motorsports. But I am disappointed in myself with how our race played out today. We had a very fast Miller Lite Ford Fusion, but I missed the pit stall on two separate pit stops. The loss of track position ruined our day, which is unfortunate because I think we could've challenged for the win. We can still leave Homestead next weekend with the most wins in the series and that is our focus."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  4th
Finish:  1st – 3rd win of 2016 and 17th career win
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 324/324
Laps Led: 58
Points Position (behind leader): 1st

Recap:  Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion team punched their ticket to the final round of the NASCAR Chase for the Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS) next weekend by winning Sunday's Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. After starting the race from the fourth position, Logano was able to keep his Ford at the front of the field on the strength of good speed at the start of a run, and a strong showing from his pit crew. Needing to help his driver turn better in the center of the corners, crew chief Todd Gordon adjusted the air pressure in the Goodyear radials all day, with one adjustment to the wedge on the fourth pit stop. Logano was impressive early on in a run, but as the laps progressed he would lose a few positions due to handling, only to make them up on pit road. The finish of the event, however, would provide plenty of drama as over the final, scheduled laps Logano had to feverishly hold off the No. 4 of Kevin Harvick to assure a spot at HMS based on points. However, a caution with one lap remaining set the field up for a green-white-checker, overtime finish. With Logano restarting in the fourth position on the first attempt, two of the lead cars were caught up in an incident in which Logano was able to drive through to take the top spot. He was able to hold the lead through the second attempt at the green-white-checker finish to score the victory to clinch a spot as one of only four drivers that can win the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title at HMS next weekend.

Quote: "This feels so good. I've never felt this good about a win before. There was so much on the line and everyone brings their A-game when it comes to winning championships and this team did it. Man, this feels so good. I had a good restart there at the end and holding off Kyle to try to get this Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion into Miami. We're racing for a championship now. We did exactly what we had to do. We've got to go to Homestead and do the same thing."