Team Penske Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Report from Texas

April 9, 2018

Track:                Texas Motor Speedway

Race:                 O'Reilly Auto Parts 500

Date:                 April 8, 2018


No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start: 11th

Stage 1: 8th   

Stage 2: 7th

Finish: 33rd

Status: Accident

Laps Completed: 178/334

Laps Led: 0

Driver Point Standings (behind leader): 7th (-79)


  • Brad Keselowski was credited with a 33rd-place finish Sunday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway after being involved in an accident on lap 178 of the 334-lap event. Denny Hamlin spun in traffic following a restart between Turns 3 and 4 and into Keselowski, causing heavy damage the left-front of the Miller Lite Ford and ending his afternoon. The incident brought out the fifth caution of the race and forced a red flag delay for eleven minutes for track clean up. 
  • Keselowski is now seventh in the MENCS driver standings, 79 points behind the leader.
  • The accident spoiled what was another solid day for Keselowski.  He started 11th and ran solidly inside the top-10 during Stage 1 with a car loose on entry and tight in the center of the corners. Keselowski finished eighth in the opening stage on lap 85 and pitted one lap later for four tires and adjustments. He restarted seventh when Stage 2 began on lap 90.
  • Keselowski said his car was loose on corner entry and tight in the center throughout the second stage but he continued to run inside the top 10. He finished Stage 2 in seventh-place when the segment concluded on lap 170.  Keselowski pitted on lap 173 for four tires and adjustments and lined up 12th when the race went green on lap 177. One lap later his afternoon was over after being involved in the accident with Hamlin. 

Quotes: "Somebody got loose and the next thing I knew there was a big mess in front of me. It was either pick left or pick right and I made a quick decision to pick right and it was the wrong decision. I hate it for everybody on the team. We were right in that fifth to 10th range with the Miller Lite Ford and we just didn't make it through. Not much you can do, just pick up the pieces and move on."


No. 12 Menards/Richmond Ford Fusion – Ryan Blaney

Start: 4th

Stage 1: 14th

Stage 2: 16th

Finish: 5th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 334/334

Laps Led: 0

Driver Point Standings (behind first): 3rd (-51)


  • Ryan Blaney started fourth and finished fifth in Sunday's 500-mile race at Texas Motor Speedway. Blaney ran the majority of the first stage inside the top-five before the first round of green flag pit stops.
  • He reported the Menards/Richmond Ford Fusion was tight in both the center and exit of the turns. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins called for a wedge and air pressure adjustment on the first pit stop. Unfortunately the No. 12 team was penalized for an uncontrolled tire, putting Blaney at the tail end of the lead lap at the conclusion of Stage 1.
  • Blaney managed to recover from the penalty thanks to a fast pit stop that got him back inside the top-10 near the end of Stage 2. But on lap 141, Blaney made an unscheduled pit stop for a loose wheel, and once fell a lap down.
  • Blaney received the free pass back on the lead lap during the fifth caution on lap 179, which also prompted a brief red flag delay. The No. 12 Ford received some minor nose damage in the incident that was repaired on later pit stops.
  • Blaney rallied over the last 23 laps for a fifth place finish, his third top-five of 2018 and career-best Texas Cup finish.

Quote"That was a long day. It is a good thing it was 500 miles because we needed every bit of it. We started out good then we had the uncontrolled tire and had to come back in. We worked really hard to get back up there. We got the lucky dog and we were getting back up toward the front then had a loose right-front wheel and had to pit again. We got the lucky dog again and then I got in that wreck and had a bunch of nose damage. It was a long day that felt like it would never end, but everyone did a good job on this Menards Ford Fusion to get back and have a solid finish. It stinks not getting any stage points. We had a good car. It just shows the strength of this team and hopefully we can keep showing our speed in the coming weeks."


No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  7th

Stage 1:  4th

Stage 2: 3rd      

Finish: 6th

Status:  Running

Laps Completed: 334/334

Laps Led: 0

Driver Point Standings (behind first):   2nd (-38)


  • Joey Logano started seventh in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, but was inside the top-five within the first lap, thanks to starting in the preferred inside lane. Through the first 40 laps of the opening stage, Logano ran inside the top-five, as high as fourth, but reported the Shell-Pennzoil Ford was too tight in the center of the turns, while being too loose on entry. 
  • Logano continued to run top-three lap times throughout the long green flag period to end the first stage in the fourth position. The team adjusted on the car with a slight air pressure and stagger adjustment.
  • Throughout Stage 2, the Shell-Pennzoil Ford continued to run in the top-five, ultimately finishing third in the segment. A vibration with 10 laps remaining continued to intensify until the green-checkered flag. Crew chief Todd Gordon called for four tires and a wedge adjustment to help work on the tight handling condition. In making the wedge adjustment, unfortunately, the team dropped four positions on the stop.
  • Through the opening portion of the final stage, Logano ran inside the top-five, but still needed a little more center turn in his Ford Fusion. During the second half of the final stage, the team suffered a slow pit stop due to an issue on the right front and lost several positions. When the caution flag was displayed on lap 302, Logano and the No. 22 team found themselves a lap down with only four cars on the lead lap due to varying pit strategy. The team elected to take the wave around to regain their lost lap. Logano reported he was still really fast through turns 1 and 2, but lacked overall grip in turns 3 and 4.
  • Over the final 20 laps Logano rallied from 10th to finish sixth, his sixth top-10 finish of the season and moved up to the second position in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver points.

Quote"We scored some stage points, finishing fourth and third in the stages but at the end the caution came out and kind of bit us. We just didn't pass enough cars at the end to get back up there. We made some good changes at the end. My Shell-Pennzoil Ford was pretty good and probably could have ran third but that caution came and those guys were hoping for that and they got track position on us."