NASCAR Cup Series Race Report - Michigan

August 13, 2018

Track:                 Michigan International Speedway    
Race:                   Consumers Energy 400
Date:                   August 12, 2018

No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start: 18th
Stage 1: 9th
Stage 2: 9th
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind leader): 7th (-277) 


  • Brad Keselowski rebounded from a loose wheel to score a second-place finish in the Consumers Energy 400 Sunday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. The driver of the No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Fusion grabbed his sixth top-five and equaled his best finish of the season. Keselowski also matched his best finish at Michigan which came in the August race in 2012. He is seventh in the MENCS driver standings, 277 points behind the leader.  
  • Keselowski qualified 18th in the 200-lap, 400-mile race. He steadily worked his way through traffic and into the top-10 by the conclusion of Stage 1 on lap 60.  His No. 2 Ford Fusion was consistently loose on corner entry throughout the run and tight in the center of the corners. Crew chief Paul Wolfe made the call for right-side tires only during the competition caution on lap 27. Keselowski restarted 12th on lap 29 and worked his way up to ninth-place over the next 31 laps. During the stage caution, Keselowski pitted on lap 63 for four tires and adjustments and restarted ninth when the race went green on lap 66.
  • On lap 74 Keselowski reported that he felt a loose wheel. Two laps later the fifth caution slowed the race, giving the Discount Tire team the opportunity to pit.  He made a four-tire stop for tires and fuel on lap 76 and restarted 21st when the race restarted on lap 79. Once again Keselowski sliced his way through traffic, climbing into the top-10 by lap 92 and scoring a ninth-place finish when Stage 2 ended on lap 120. He pitted during the stage caution on lap 123 for four tires and adjustments when lined up 10th for the restart on lap 126.
  • Keselowski used a good restart at the beginning of Stage 3 to pick up three positions in one green flag lap. He did the same thing on the restart following the sixth and final caution on lap 143, this time moving up to third position. He said his car was too tight in the center and loose off but he kept the leaders in sight. On lap 171, Wolfe called his driver to pit road for his final stop under green for four tires. When the cycle of green flag stops was complete on lap 184, Keselowski was in third and in hot pursuit of second-place Austin Dillon. He chased Dillon down and passed his rival for the position with two laps to go. 

Quote: "It's nice to just be able to have a mostly clean race and to be able to kind of get the finish we deserve.  It's important to get what you have out of your car, and although we might not have race?winning speed, you still need to execute. So with that in mind, that's good for everybody's morale at Team Penske and on the Discount Tire team. Of course we want to break through and win. We're not where we need to be to just win on pure speed against those guys week in and week out.  We've just got to find it. As a team, we have to find that little bit of performance. We know it's possible, and it's up to us to make it happen."

No. 12 Menards/Knauf Institution Ford Fusion – Ryan Blaney

Start: 8th
Stage 1: 3rd
Stage 2: 3rd
Finish: 5th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 8th (-299) 


  • Ryan Blaney qualified the No. 12 Menards/Knauf Insulation Ford Fusion in eighth position for the Consumers Energy 400 at the Michigan International Speedway.
  • Blaney drove his Ford Fusion into the top-five during the first 20 laps of the race. He reported early to crew chief Jeremy Bullins that his car was tight in both the center of the turns and off. During the competition caution on lap 27, Blaney pitted for right-side tires and a wedge adjustment.
  • Blaney restarted third and settled in over the next 30 laps inside the top-three. He reported that the two-tire change made his car loose plus he experience some slight front end chatter. Blaney ultimately finished third in Stage 1, collecting valuable stage points.
  • The next stop for Blaney came on lap 63 during the stage caution. Bullins and the Menards crew made larger adjustments including wedge and air pressure to help the Menards Ford with front grip. Bullins instructed Blaney to save fuel at every opportunity.
  • Despite being on new tires, Blaney reported similar handling characteristics. He restarted fourth and quickly drove back up to third. He said his car was tight middle and exit, but the adjustments did help with security on corner entry.
  • Blaney made his final stop under green on lap 173, taking right-side tires and fuel. He returned to the track but was too tight, falling from third to fifth, where he ultimately finished.
  • Blaney scored a fifth-place finish, his fifth top-five of 2018  - his personal best in the Cup Series) and moved up two spots to eighth in the MENCS driver standings. 

Quote: "It was a good showing for us today. All weekend I thought we were pretty strong. There were a couple cars better than us all day and a couple that got better at the end. The track kind of changed in the second half of the race and our car lost a little bit of speed but I am happy with fifth.  The last two weeks that have been a struggle for us. It is good to get back on the right track. Hopefully we can keep this going here for the next few weeks and then into the Playoffs."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:  8th
Stage 1: 11th
Stage 2: 6th              
Finish: 10th  
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 1
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 6th (-263)   


  • Joey Logano qualified eighth for the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway, but was forced to start from the rear of the field after the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion team changed the left front shock during the opening pace lap.
  • With the caution flag displayed for the second time on lap 17, crew chief Todd Gordon elected to pit for four tires. Teams were unable to add fuel prior to the lap 25 competition caution so during the competition caution, the team made a fuel-only stop, which moved Logano up to 15th position.
  • Throughout the closing laps of the first stage, Logano reported that the Shell-Pennzoil Ford was pretty good all the way around, just slightly free entering and exiting the turns. Gordon made the call for an air pressure adjustment on the third stop of the afternoon at the conclusion of Stage 1. The team elected to pit for fuel only on lap 76 during the fourth caution of the event.
  • Throughout the second stage, Logano stayed within the top-10, running as high as sixth before the caution at lap 122. Logano reported that the previous air pressure adjustments had allowed the Shell-Pennzoil Ford to maintain the positive handling conditions deeper into the run. With the driver feedback, Gordon called for an additional air pressure adjustment on the left -front of the car.
  • Logano was forced to pit during the sixth and final caution during Stage 3 after making contact with Kyle Larson. The Shell-Pennzoil team made repairs to the right-front of the No. 22 Ford and in addition to a four-tire stop. With the repairs and the tires, Logano was able to drive forward from the 16th position, reaching the top-10 before many of the leaders started to pit during a cycle of green flag stops.
  • Logano continued moving forward, briefly moving into the lead before making his final stop for two-tires and fuel. He returned to the track and brought home the Shell-Pennzoil Ford home in the 10th position.

Quote: "It is frustrating. I felt like we finished 10th with a fifth place car today. I couldn't restart very well and I lost spots on every restart. I am proud of the Shell-Pennzoil team. Everyone did a good job. I just wasn't able to get anything going on the restarts and that made life really difficult today."