Team Penske Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Report - Kansas

May 13, 2018

Track:                Kansas Speedway
Race:                 KC Masterpiece 400
Date:                 May 12, 2018

No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start: 5th
Stage 1: 3rd   
Stage 2: 24th
Finish: 14th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 0

Driver Point Standings (behind first): 4th (-107)


  • Brad Keselowski started fifth in the KC Masterpiece 400 Saturday night at Kansas Speedway.  Keselowski stayed in the tire tracks of the leaders throughout Stage 1, finishing the 82-lap segment in third position. The driver of the Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion said that the track started to tighten up by the end of the run. He pitted on lap 84 during the stage caution for four tires and restarted third when the race went green on lap 88.
  • Stage 2 was tough stretch for Keselowski and the team. Thinking he had a vibration, Keselowski made an unscheduled stop under green for tires on lap 106. On lap 120 he made another unscheduled stop under green, again for a vibration. The sequence dropped him two laps down to the leaders and when the segment ended on lap 162 he was running in 24th position. Keselowski pitted on lap 164 for four tires and adjustments but was outside the top 20 when Stage 3 began on lap 167.   
  • The final 100-lap segment featured a hardscrabble effort by Keselowski and the No. 2 team to get back onto the lead lap and contend for a respectable finish. He made a scheduled stop for four tires on lap 214, giving him the opportunity to take the wave around to regain a lost lap during the fourth caution on lap 238. The fifth yellow on lap 249 gave the team the opportunity to pit for four tires. He restarted 18th as the first car one lap down on lap 252. Two laps later, Keselowski narrowly missed a seven-car pileup on the frontstretch and received the free pass back onto the lead lap. He restarted 14th for the final nine-lap dash to the finish but couldn't work his way closer to the front.
  • Keselowski was credited with a 14th-place finish in the final rundown. He is fourth in the MENCS driver standings, 107 points behind the leader.

Quotes: "Tonight was a blue collar race for sure. I'm glad we got a solid finish out of what was going to be a bad night at Kansas Speedway."

No. 12 REV Group Ford Fusion – Ryan Blaney

Start: 2nd
Stage 1: 1st
Stage 2: 3rd
Finish: 37th
Status: Accident
Laps Completed: 247/267
Laps Led: 54
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 9th (-138)


  • Ryan Blaney started from the second position Saturday night at Kansas Speedway.
  • In Stage 1, the driver of the REV Group Ford Fusion reported his car's handling started out free. NASCAR elected for a competition caution on lap 30 because of overnight and early morning rain. On the first pit stop, crew chief Jeremy Bullins called for an air pressure adjustment to help the car's overall balance. Quick pit service on the exchange of pit stops put Blaney in the lead on lap 33. He led the next 52 laps to win the segment but had to hold off a strong challenge from Kevin Harvick to win his second stage of the 2018 season.
  • In Stage 2, Blaney battled Harvick and Kyle Larson for the top spot. His car was tight early in a run but built free as the laps ticked off. Blaney ran down both Larson and Harvick, but could not find a way around the two before the segment concluded on lap 162, forcing the young driver to settle for a third-place finish in Stage 2.
  • The third and final stage saw Blaney's car build free early in the run. On a restart on lap 242, Blaney got aero loose and slid up the track, losing several positions in the process. He quickly recovered and then methodically began picking off positions and reeling in race leader Larson. While side-drafting on lap 249, the two cars made contact at the entrance to Turn 1, cutting down Blaney's right front tire and sending his car into the wall, ending his night.
  • Blaney was credited with a 37th place finish and fell to ninth in the Cup Series standings.

Quotes: "I made contact and it cut my right-front down. I hate I got the 42, but it was just hard racing. I just about spun out on the restart. We were making some spots back up and just trying to get back up to the front and I tried too hard. That stinks. We had a really fast car and I hate it for REV. We've led a bunch of laps in both races they've been on our car this year and we ended up wrecked. I thought we made a good gain tonight and where our cars need to be. Hopefully, we can carry that forward into the next upcoming weeks."

No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start: 9th
Stage 1: 4th
Stage 2: 5th     
Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 267/267  
Laps Led: 6
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 2nd (-12)


  • Joey Logano started ninth in the KC Masterpiece 400 at Kansas Speedway. Logano moved forward from the ninth starting spot in the AAA Insurance Ford Fusion, working his way into the top-five by lap 14 and maintaining that position until the competition caution on lap 30. Crew chief Todd Gordon elected to make an air pressure adjustment on the first stop to aid a loose on entry, tight in the center of the corner handling condition.
  • Logano ran inside the top-five until the conclusion of Stage 1. He reported he was still free in clean air, but tight in traffic. The team made wedge and air pressure adjustments on the stop during the stage break caution to give Logano the entry security needed for the second stage. A long run brought a green flag pit stop for the AAA Insurance crew on lap 125 where the team made an air pressure adjustment plus added tape to the nose of the car to help Logano turn better in the corners. He finished fifth when Stage 2 concluded on lap 162.
  • Through the early portion of the final stage, Logano battled a car that was too free on entry and tight in the center. As the segment rolled on, Logano reported the balance had improved, but lacked overall speed to compete with the other race leaders.
  • Logano pitted with less than 60 laps to go with a car that was still too loose. A caution on lap 238 gave Logano the opportunity to pit four tires and adjustments plus the team gained a position on pit road, moving Logano up to fourth position.
  • The sixth and final caution on lap 249 set up a split strategy scenario for the field. Most of the leaders pitted, but Logano and a handful of other competitors remained on the track. Logano cycled into the race lead for the ensuing restart on lap 252, but he dropped to second when Martin Truex Jr. and Erik Jones stacked him three-wide entering Turn 1. However, a multi-car incident would bring out the red flag for extensive cleanup less than a lap into the run.
  • Logano would battle the rest of the race against cars with fresher tires. He overcame the disadvantage to score a third-place finish with the No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion. Logano is second in the MENCS driver standings, 12 points behind the leader.

Quote: "I really just had two bad restarts in a row, which is frustrating to me. As the leader I feel like I probably took the wrong lane, which cost me the lead in the first place, and then the last time I was trying to time him (Truex Jr.) on the bottom and he just read it really well and kind of stopped me, and then I spun the tires. The car behind me wasn't the best of pushers. I just hate being that close. It's a great run for AAA and Team Penske, but when you're that close to winning it's pretty frustrating as a driver and probably as a team we're all probably a little frustrated right now."