Team Penske Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Report - Talladega

April 29, 2018

Track:      Talladega Superspeedway
Race:       GEICO 500
Date:       April 29, 2018

No. 2 Snap-on Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start: 10th
Stage 1: 1st   
Stage 2: 16th
Finish: 33rd
Status: Accident
Laps Completed: 165/188
Laps Led: 21
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 6th (-130)


  • Brad Keselowski started in the 10th position and wasted little time getting to the front. Keselowski took the lead on lap 44 and held off teammate Joey Logano to win Stage 1. He made a stop for right-side tires and fuel on lap 58 and excellent pit work by his Team Penske crew kept Keselowski in the lead when the race restarted on lap 61.
  • Keselowski was leading Stage 2 on lap 67 when he made a scheduled pit stop for fuel only but penalized for excessive speed entering pit road and served a pass through penalty one lap later. He was able to make up the lost distance thanks to a timely caution on lap 72 and took the wave around back onto the lead lap. Keselowski briefly ran inside the top-10 but handling woes dropped him to 16th position when the segment concluded on lap 110. He pitted on lap 113 for four tires and fuel and he restarted 11th when final stage began on lap 116.
  • In Stage 3, Keselowski and the Snap-on team had worked their way into contention for a top-five finish. He ran near the front of the lead draft until he got squeezed out of line on lap 164 and he fell midway through the lead pack. Three laps later he was involved in the 14-car accident in Turn 3 that would end his afternoon.
  • He was credited with a 33rd-place finish in the final rundown. Keselowski is sixth in the MENCS driver standings, 130 points behind the leader.

Quotes: "There was just a wreck in front of me and I couldn't make any sense really of what happened and we just got into it."

No. 12 Menards / Richmond Ford Fusion – Ryan Blaney

Start: 23rd
Stage 1: 7th
Stage 2: 3rd
Finish: 18th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 188/188
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 8th (-134)


  • Ryan Blaney started from the 23th position in his No. 12 Menards/Richmond Ford Fusion in Sunday's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
  • During the first run on Stage 1, Blaney reported his Ford was a little tight off the turns. Several of Ford teams pitted together on lap 13, a strategic move to have enough fuel to make it to the end of the first segment. After the cycle of pit stops, Blaney was up to seventh in the running order – the position where he finished when Stage 1 concluded on lap 55.
  • Blaney raced near the top-five during the entirety of Stage 2. He made a pit stop on lap 68 and managed blend back into the lead pack. He finished the segment in third-place behind teammates Paul Menard and Joey Logano.
  • Unfortunately, Blaney's chances for a top-10 finish went away when he was caught up in a multiple car accident in Turn 3 on lap 167, damaging the left-rear corner of his car. He made several pit stops during the final caution period for repairs to his Menards/Richmond Ford Fusion. The team made sufficient repairs and Blaney soldiered home for an 18th-place finish. He remains eighth the MENCS driver standings, 134 points behind the leader.

Quote: "I thought had a really good Menards/Richmond Ford Fusion today. We sacrificed some qualifying speed to focus on having a good driving car in the race. I felt like we were in a decent position towards in the end to move to the front. Unfortunately I thought I had the accident in turn 3 cleared but Brad (Keselowski) wasn't able to get stopped and ran in the back of me. We managed to finish the race and congratulations to Joey (Logano) and the entire No. 22 team on the victory. Restrictor-plate racing is all about being in the right spot at the right time and for that moment we weren't."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil / Autotrader Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start: 9th
Stage 1: 2nd
Stage 2: 2nd     
Finish: 1st
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 188/188  
Laps Led: 70
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 2nd (-30)


  • Joey Logano started ninth in Sunday afternoon's 500-mile race at Talladega Superspeedway in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil/Autotrader Ford Fusion, but moved inside the top-five on lap 1. The team made a fuel-only pit stop on lap 13 to position themselves to finish of the opening stage.
  • Logano finished Stage 1 second behind teammate Brad Keselowski. Logano reported that his car was free to take off but then got tighter during the run. Despite the tight handling condition, Logano felt he was better than anyone through track's tri-oval.
  • The team stuck to the same strategy to open Stage 2 second stage that they successfully used for their second place finish in the first segment. Logano pitted on lap 66 for fuel only, and once again the strategy worked. Logano stretched his fuel mileage to the end of the segment, once again scoring a second-place finish.  
  • During the opening laps of Stage 3, Logano was squeezed out of line in the lead draft, dropping back to 16th position. He worked his way back to the front of the lead pack, passing Denny Hamlin for the lead with 50 laps to go.
  • From that point in the race, Logano led 48 of the final 50 laps and survived two chaotic restarts on laps 159 and 171 to score the victory. He held off Kurt Busch by a scant .127 seconds to win for the third time at Talladega Superspeedway and claimed his 19th career Cup victory.
  • Logano and the Shell-Pennzoil/Autotrader Ford team led the event four times for a total of 70 laps, more than any other driver.

Quote: "I had a very fast Shell-Pennzoil/Autotrader Ford all day. The Fords dominated today. I am so proud to be in a Blue Oval with Roush Yates horsepower under the hood. That is a huge deal and such a big part of our victory today. At the end, you are racing and don't know what will happen. You just hope to get in the right lanes at the right time and make the right moves. It is always exciting to win at a superspeedway, especially Talladega because you never know you've got it until you cross the line. After waiting a full year since our last win it feels so good to get back in victory lane and get our 22 team into the playoffs. It feels really good to get those playoff points and now we will make a run at a championship."