Team Penske Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Report- Las Vegas

March 4, 2018


Track:                  Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Race:                   Pennzoil 400  
Date:                   March 4, 2018



No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start: 8th
Stage 1: 6th
Stage 2: 6th
Finish: 6th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind leader): 7th (-36)


-Brad Keselowski scored a sixth-place finish in the Pennzoli 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Keselowski claimed his second top-10 finish in three races this season and climbed up to seventh in the MENCS driver standings – a gain of five positions.

-Keselowski started eighth at Las Vegas and overcame a loose-handling Ford to score a sixth-place finish at the end of Stage 1. In Stage 2, Keselowski's showed a good bit of short-run speed but the loose condition returned, plus the Discount Tire Ford was a handful in traffic and dirty air.  Keselowski pushed through those obstacles to score a sixth-place finish when the segment ended on lap 162.

-During Stage 3, crew chief Paul Wolfe made a strategy call to short pit in an effort to gain track position. Keselowski pitted under green on lap 217 for four tires and cycled up to second place as other leaders made their scheduled stops. Try as he might, Keselowski couldn't hold off his rivals in the closing laps of the race and was forced to settle for a sixth-place finish.

Quotes: "We had really good short run speed and I thought we would be really good on the long runs today but it turned out we were really good on the short runs. That wasn't at all what I was expecting. The short run speed was really strong but I just couldn't get anywhere to capitalize on it."


No. 12 Menards/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Ryan Blaney

Start: 1st
Stage 1: 4th
Stage 2: 2nd
Finish: 5th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 1
Driver Point Standings (behind leader): 3rd (-4)


-Ryan Blaney started from the pole and finished fifth in Sunday's Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

-Blaney scored his first top-five of 2018 and his career-best at Las Vegas.

-During the first two stages of the race, Blaney fought the balance of the car which started tight and went to the loose side.

-Crew chief Jeremy Bullins made several air pressure adjustments and made significant progress as the day progressed.

-The No. 12 pit crew gained or maintained spots for Blaney each time he visited pit road.

-On the final run to the finish, Blaney's Ford was too tight and he was forced to setting for a fifth-place finish.

-Blaney now sits third in the MENCS driver standings, one point behind teammate Joey Logano and four behind leader Kevin Harvick.

Quote: "I thought it was a solid day for us. We had a pretty decent Ford all day. The first run we weren't great but we got better. I thought our strongest run was right before the last green flag pit stop cycle. We lost a little speed on the last run, but overall it was a good weekend for us. We just need to have good, consistent weekends and hopefully we can do that for the rest of the west coast swing."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start: 10th
Stage 1: 5th
Stage 2: 4th     
Finish:   7th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 25
Driver Points Position (behind first):  2nd (-3)


-Joey Logano started 10th and finished the first stage of Sunday's Pennzoil 400 in the fifth position. Throughout the opening stage, Logano reported the Pennzoil Ford as tight, but he was able to move forward five positions. Quick pit work on the second stop of the afternoon, put the No. 22 Ford into the fourth position to begin the second stage.

-Through the opening run of the second stage, Logano reported the Pennzoil Ford was still too tight in the center of the corner, resulting in a loose corner entry condition when adjusting the track bar. The team made an air pressure adjustment on a green flag stop, but it wasn't quite enough to give Logano the turn in the center of the corner that he needed.

-Logano ran as high as second during the second stage, ultimately finishing in the fourth position at lap 160. The car had swung to a loose entry and exit condition while still being too tight in the center of the turns.

-Extremely fast pit work by the Pennzoil crew gained Joey Logano three positions, moving the No. 22 Ford into the lead for the first time of the event. After nine green flag laps, the caution flag was displayed again, bringing the leaders to pit road. Crew chief Todd Gordon called for a two-tire stop, while other teams went with four. Logano led through the ensuing restart, but later in the run drifted back outside the top-five.

-At lap 224, Logano made a stop for four tires and fuel, reporting the car was tighter in the center and looser on corner entry and exit than it had been in the previous run.

-Logano ultimately finished seventh and is currently second in the MENCS driver standings, three points behind leader Kevin Harvick.

Quotes: "We were better than seventh. We ran up top-five most of the day and got to the lead for a little bit and took two tires. We were the only car that took two and the run went really long and we lost a lot of track position. We never got a caution to kind of reset. We faded back to seventh, but were able to get a couple spots back. Overall we have been solid with the Pennzoil Ford all season and today was a solid race. Our pit crew did a good job. We are second in the points and running strong right now. We just have to find a bit more to be able to beat Kevin."