Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Report-Las Vegas

March 3, 2019

Track:                Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Race:                 Pennzoil 400
Date:                 March 3, 2019


No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski/Austin Cindric

Start: 19th
Stage 1: 10th
Stage 2: 4th
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 17

Driver Point Standings (behind first): 5th (-18)


  • Brad Keselowski scored a second-place finish in the Pennzoil 400 Sunday afternoon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway behind teammate Joey Logano.  The driver of the Discount Tire Ford Mustang came close to pulling off the win. On the final lap of the race, Keselowski dived under Logano between Turns 3 and 4 but couldn't complete the pass, crossing the finish line one car length behind Logano. Keselowski claimed his second top-five in three races this season and moved up to fifth in the MENCS driver standings, 18 points behind the leader.      
  • Keselowski started 19th and in the Stage 1, crew chief Paul Wolfe elected to keep his driver on the track until most of the other leaders pitted. He stopped under green on lap 59 for four tires but was able to scramble his way back to 10th-place when the segment concluded on lap 80.  During the stage caution, Wolfe elected to pit for right-side tires only, giving Keselowski the lead when the race went green on lap 87. 
  • The driver of the Discount Tire Ford held the lead for the next 13 laps before his Mustang grew tighter in the center of the corner as the run progressed. Keselowski was seventh when he made a scheduled green flag pit stop on lap 124. He rallied over the next 36 laps to score a fourth-place finish when Stage 2 ended on lap 160. During the stage caution on lap 163, Keselowski pitted for four tires and restarted sixth on lap 167. 
  • Over the final 100 laps, Keselowski stayed inside the top-five. He climbed up to third-place before making his final scheduled pit stop under green on lap 215. He passed Kevin Harvick on lap 227 of the 267-lap event to pick off second-place. On lap 240, Keselowski grabbed the lead from Joey Logano and led the next four laps before Logano passed him for good on lap 244. On the final lap, Keselowski was able to make one final attempt to pass Logano but came up just short.   


"That was a pretty good race.  I passed Joey with the lapped traffic, caught a break there, and then lapped traffic cost me the lead and he pulled a good slide job. I tried to pull it back but I was a touch too nice to him. I'd liked to have had one more lap. It was a good battle. We were both fighting really hard for the top lane. It really seemed to come down to what the lapped cars were going to do. If they messed with the leader then the second-place guy would get a really good and that just kept happening over and over again. It was a pretty good day for our Discount Tire team and for Team Penske."


No. 12 Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney

Start: 13th
Stage 1: 30th
Stage 2: 28th
Finish: 22nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 266/267
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind leader): 15th (-64)


  • Early race misfortune hit Ryan Blaney at the No. 12 Menards/Pennzoil team during Sunday's Pennzoil 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Blaney fought all-day to regain lost track position after an unscheduled pit stop on lap 50, but a lack of cautions hindered his ability to regain a lead lap position.
  • Blaney started 13th and quickly began picking off spots towards the front in stage 1. He reported to crew chief Jeremy Bullins that the balance of his Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang was loose throughout the turns. Blaney came to pit road for his first round of service on lap 45 for 4 tires, fuel and a major air pressure adjustment.
  • Shortly after returning to the track, Blaney radioed to his crew he had a tire going down. He returned to pit road on lap 50 and the crew changed all four tires again. After careful inspection the team and Goodyear engineers discovered the valve stem had been knocked off the left rear wheel. Blaney would return to the track and subsequently finish 30th in stage 1.
  • The No. 12 opted to take the waive-around under the stage 1 break, putting the Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang on the tail end of one lap down. He fought hard to remain on the tail of one lap down and in the process passed additional cars one or more laps down. Blaney would fight a tight race car at the end and would finish 28th in stage 2.
  • Under the stage 2 break, Blaney pitted with for 4 tires, fuel and an another major air pressure adjustment. He would be in the free pass position for much of the final stage, but the lack cautions did allow the No. 12 team to cash in on the free pass back on the lead lap. The team would opt to run long on the second-to-last run of the race, but came to pit road on lap 226 for their final round of service. When the checkered flag waived, Blaney crossed the line in 22nd place.


"A really frustrating day for our Menards/Pennzoil team. We had a really good car but just couldn't overcome the unscheduled pit stop early in the race. I hope this is the end of our bad luck and we have a good run next week in Phoenix."


No. 22 Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano

Start:  10th
Stage 1: 3rd 
Stage 2: 1st – First stage win of 2019                              
Finish: 1st – 22nd career MENCS victory
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 86
Point Standings (ahead of second): 1st (+2) 


  • Joey Logano scored his 22nd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory in Sunday afternoon's Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, securing his place in the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
  • Logano initially dropped to the 13th position in the No. 22 Pennzoil Ford Mustang. but by lap 30 had raced his way inside the top-five to the fourth position. Through the first run, the Pennzoil Mustang was described as free, but only slightly, featuring good balance all the way around the 1.5-mile speedway.
  • As the green flag pit cycle started, crew chief Todd Gordon elected to run long, cycling Logano to the lead at lap 43, leading for seven laps before pitting. The team elected to make no changes to the car, sending Logano back to the track with four fresh tires to finish the stage. Logano was able to finish the first stage in the third position. The team elected to make an air pressure adjustment on the second stop of the race to give a little more drivability to the No. 22 Pennzoil Ford Mustang.
  • Logano had a spirited battle with teammate Brad Keselowski at the beginning of the second stage to take the lead early on in the run. Logano was able to lead until lap 120 when the handling of the Pennzoil Mustang went extremely tight. The tight condition forced him to relinquish the lead just before pitting at lap 124. The team made an air pressure adjustment on the stop, looking to free the car up in clean air.
  • Logano was able to grab the lead after the rest of the leaders pitted, maintaining the lead to the end of Stage 2, grabbing the No. 22 team's first stage win of the 2019 season. Under caution, he reported that at the end of the run the splitter had gotten off the race track, but needed that to happen earlier in the run to help the turn of the Pennzoil Mustang.
  • Through the opening laps of the third stage, Logano settled into the third position, trailing the two leaders, but remaining quiet on the radio feeling out the adjustments from the previous pit stop. Logano was finally able to work forward and re-take the lead on lap 210 as the field neared potentially the last pit stop of the afternoon.
  • The Pennzoil Crew executed on the final pit stop, positioning Logano for a battle to the finish, which featured all green flag racing. In the closing laps, Logano would fend off last week's winner and teammate Brad Keselowski to race to his 22nd career victory and secure a place in the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.


"Oh, there was no debate, I was going to tear up the landscaping here.  The talk was last night we had a big PENNZOIL dinner, and the talk was I was going to do some donuts in the grass at the end of the race.  At the end of the race, not during the race.  So to be able to do that was super cool.  Great photo op, but I'm all about the big smokey burn?out, so I said, well, I've got to do the big smokey burn?out first, and I also didn't want to go through the grass and have the splitter dig in and completely destroy everything and go flipping ?? I thought ?? I just saw it going wrong in my mind.  I said, I've got to do a cool burnout, which I thought was super cool, I don't know if you guys saw it, but I got dizzy, and that was neat, and then I made a couple donuts in the grass.  That was cool."