Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Recap - Phoenix

March 13, 2022

Track:  Phoenix Raceway  
Race:   Ruoff Mortgage 500
Date:   March 13, 2022

No. 2 Autotrader Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Start: 8th
Race Finish: 24th
Stage 1 Finish: 14th
Stage 2 Finish: 25th
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 8th (-20)
Race Rundown:
Austin Cindric started eighth and finished 24th in Sunday’s 312-lap race at Phoenix Raceway. In his first NASCAR Cup Series start at the Avondale, AZ track, the two-time Phoenix Raceway XFINITY Series winner battled handling challenges on his No. 2 Autotrader Ford Mustang all afternoon long.  However, Cindric and crew chief Jeremy Bullins were able to make successful changes all afternoon long to get the No. 2 more competitive, but had to settle for a 24th-place finish as the checkers flew.  The Rookie of the Year points leader now sits eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, 20 points behind leader Joey Logano. 
Cindric’s Thoughts: "Obviously not the day we were looking for in Phoenix in the Autotrader Ford Mustang.  We learned some things to prioritize a little bit better.  We got down the wrong path in trying to free the car up and put ourselves behind getting a lap down. We were never able to recover from that.  Plenty of lessons there. It’s just a shame, as I thought we would be a little better today."

No. 12 Menards/Maytag Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney

Start: 1st
Race Finish: 4th
Stage 1 Finish: 13th
Stage 2 Finish:  1st
Laps Led: 143
Point Standings: 7th (-18)
Race Rundown:
Ryan Blaney lead a race high 143 laps in Sunday afternoon’s Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway in the No. 12 Menards/Maytag Ford Mustang, finishing fourth after starting from the pole. Blaney had great short- to mid-run speed, especially in clean air from the race lead. Around the midway point, the team started to experience a vibration with the front tires, which impeded the driver’s forward progress in the closing laps. Blaney persevered for another top-five result and heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway next week, where he’s the defending race winner.
Blaney’s Thoughts: "I lost the lead there on pit road and just could never get back. I just didn’t have quite the speed and was kind of too tight. I could drive up through the field and make good spots and nobody could really do that. You would just get really tight behind people. Not a bad day. A good recovery from last week. We had a fast car, just a shame we couldn’t contend more for the win. It is cool to see Briscoe get his first win and we will go on to next week."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano

Start: 10th
Race Finish: 8th
Stage 1 Finish: 9th
Stage 2 Finish: 10th
Laps Led: 4
Point Standings: 1st (+4)
Race Rundown: Joey Logano started 10th and finished eighth in Sunday afternoon’s Ruoff Mortgage 500 from Phoenix Raceway in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang. Logano hovered around the back half of the top-10 for most of the afternoon, plagued by a lack of track position. Solid work by the Shell-Pennzoil crew on pit road and solid adjustments by crew chief Paul Wolfe on Logano’s Ford Mustang throughout the race kept him in the hunt for all 312 laps.
Logano’s Thoughts: "Hard fought day most of the afternoon. Felt like we were as good on the longer runs until the very end as anyone around us we just lacked a little fire-off speed. Feel like each race we keep learning more and more about this Next Gen car and what it’s going to take to be competitive week-in and week-out."