Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Report - Texas

March 31, 2019

Track:                Texas Motor Speedway 
Race:                 O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
Date:                 March 31, 2019

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski

Start: 12th
Stage 1: 17th
Stage 2: 38th
Finish: 36th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 279/334
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 6th (-73)


  • Mechanical problems ruined any chance Brad Keselowski had for a good finish in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Sunday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway. The driver of the Miller Lite Ford Mustang was lined up fifth for the restart following the conclusion of Stage 1 when Keselowski reported his car simply wouldn't go. He coasted to pit road on lap 91 where the No. 2 crew worked feverishly to make repairs.
  • Keselowski ultimately spent time in the garage area where the team replaced both rear axles and the rear gear. He returned to the race 56 laps later and was able to finish the event, collecting a 36th-place finish. Keselowski dropped one position in the MENCS standings, falling to sixth-place, 73 points behind the leader.   
  • The driver of the Miller Lite Ford started 12th in the 334-lap, 500-mile event. Keselowski was loose throughout Stage 1 and made a scheduled green flag stop for four tires on lap 79, six laps from the finish of the segment. He finished 17th in the stage but didn't pit during the stage caution, moving up to fifth position for the restart. Unfortunately, misfortune struck before Keselowski had a chance to take advantage of the track position. 


"Something broke out of nowhere. We weren't going very fast or anything and something in the back of the Miller Lite Ford broke and it wouldn't go. It's one of those really important parts, as Kenny Schrader would say."

No. 12 Menards/Cardell Cabinetry Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney

Start: 13th
Stage 1: 5th
Stage 2: 2nd
Finish: 37th
Status: Engine
Laps Completed: 225/334
Laps Led: 45
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 8th (-91)


  • Bad luck ruined a strong run for Ryan Blaney and the No. 12 Menards/Cardell Cabinetry Ford Mustang team during Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway. Blaney led 45 laps on the day, but mechanical issues ended his day 109 laps from the finish.
  • Blaney started 13th in the 500-mile event and drove his way inside the top-10 within the first 25 laps of the race. He reported the handling of his Ford Mustang was pretty good, needing only a better exit off Turns 1 and 2.
  • The first round of pit stops came under green on lap 69. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins made the call for right-side tires, fuel and a slight air pressure adjustment. Blaney came up just short in a battle with Austin Dillion for fourth in the closing laps of Stage 1. Under the stage caution, the No. 12 team continued to make changes to aid center turn with four tires, fuel, additional air pressure adjustments and tape on the nose.
  • Throughout Stage 2, Blaney reported he still needed to turn better in the center of the corners. The third caution on lap 150 came during a cycle of green flag pit stops, which shuffled the running order. The No 12 team pitted for four tires, fuel plus a track bar adjustment during the yellow. When racing resumed on lap 158, Blaney would have a spirited battle with Daniel Suarez for second-place before completing the pass. Once he cleared Suarez, Blaney quickly began closing in on race leader Denny Hamlin but Stage 2 ended before he could make a move for the lead. Excellent pit work by the No. 12 team gave Blaney the lead on lap 173 during a round of pit stops following the conclusion of Stage 2.
  • He led the next 45 laps, fighting off a serious challenges by Suarez for the lead. As the tires began to wear and the leaders began to work lap traffic, Blaney slowly began extending the lead to over 1.5 seconds. He made a scheduled green flag stop on lap 219 for four tires and an air pressure adjustment. 
  • But immediately following his visit to pit road, the No. 12 Ford Mustang experienced a terminal engine problem, sending him to the garage and ending a promising day for Blaney. He would be credited with a 37th-place finish position in the final running order.


"A part broke off and leaked all the water out, so that's the way it goes. It just seems that's the way this season is going. We've had a shot to win pretty much every race and something happens. I want to actually start finishing where we should. It's just one of those days."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano

Start:  8th
Stage 1: 1st – (Second Stage Win of 2019)
Stage 2: 15th                                
Finish: 17th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 333/334
Laps Led: 8
Point Standings (behind first): 4th (-35)

  • Joey Logano started eighth in Sunday's 500-mile race at Texas Motor Speedway, but quickly moved up to third before the first caution on lap 14. Logano liked the changes crew chief Todd Gordon and the team made to the No. 22 Ford Mustang after final practice, specifically the improved balance. On the restart, Logano moved up to second, just behind race leader Jimmie Johnson. 
  • Throughout the opening 50 laps, Logano said the balance on the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang was good, but started to swing tight. Gordon called for an air pressure adjustment on the right-rear for the first stop. Logano made up time on the race leader, ultimately cycling into the lead on lap 83 during a sequence of green flag pit stops and holding on for his second stage win of the season when the segment ended on lap 85. 
  • Logano continued the top-five run in Stage 2, working to the second position before pitting at lap 145. The third caution of the race on lap 150 was ill timed for Logano, putting him a lap down, but he was the recipient of the free pass back to the lead lap. He pitted during the yellow with Gordon calling for track bar change and a four-tire stop. Unfortunately, NASCAR ruled the team had an uncontrolled right-rear tire on the stop, which dropped Logano to the back of the field.
  • More misfortune struck when Logano returned to the track and the hood began collapsing at speed in clean air. The crew made multiple attempts to repair it under the Stage 2 caution using adhesive patches to hold it in place. Despite their sour luck, Logano was able to keep the Shell-Pennzoil Ford in contention for the free pass back onto the lead lap.
  • The team continued to make repairs during the fifth and final caution on lap 256. The work and adjustments worked, as the handling of the No. 22 Ford Mustang greatly improved as the race roared to conclusion. Logano maintained free pass position but never got a caution to cash in and make up the lost distance. He was credited with a 17th-place finish. 


"We had race winning speed early in the race with the Shell-Pennzoil Ford and that's the positive that you take from today. We've continued to show up with fast cars at every type of race track and that's a really good thing. Unfortunately, we just had something break up under the hood and had to spend time fixing that and really hurt the aerodynamics of our Ford Mustang."