Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Recap - Bristol

April 18, 2022

Track:  Bristol Motor Speedway – Dirt     
Race:   Food City Dirt Race 
Date:   April 17, 2022

No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Start: 20th
Race Finish: 16th
Stage 1 Finish: 25th
Stage 2 Finish: 28th
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 14th (-102)
Race Rundown: Austin Cindric started 20th and finished 16th Sunday evening in the NASCAR Cup Series dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway in the No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang. Cindric battled a tight Mustang and low visibility for the duration of the event, while rain showers temporarily ceased racing action twice. Once the race resumed for the final time, the Rookie of the Year candidate restarted inside the top-20 and finished 16th, once again coming home the highest finishing Rookie of the Year candidate at the end of the race.
Cindric's Thoughts: "It was a learning night for me, not having a lot of laps on dirt. I feel like I was running my fastest laps of the race right there at the end of the night.  I was able to pull off a couple of slide jobs there at the end of the race and get a couple of positions, so that was pretty fun. I learned a lot from Jeremy (Bullins, crew chief) and his expertise on this stuff."

No. 12 Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Start: 25th
Race Finish: 5th
Stage 1 Finish: 9th
Stage 2 Finish: 9th
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 2nd (-3)  
Race Rundown: Ryan Blaney started 25th and finished fifth in Sunday night's Food City Bristol Dirt Race with the No. 12 Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Mustang. Despite starting mid-pack, Blaney was able to race forward and finish ninth in the opening stage. Blaney continued in the top-10 for the second stage, even after having to restart multiple times on much-disadvantaged inside lane, bringing the No. 12 Mustang to the line in ninth position for the stage end. Blaney and the No. 12 Mustang team would remain on the track and cycle forward into the top-five where he'd battle until rain halted the action with 32 scheduled laps remaining. Over the final laps, Blaney would fight for a top-five finish with teammate Joey Logano, eventually coming home fifth.
Blaney's Thoughts: "It was a pretty decent race for us.  We had to start 25th and come from the back and I thought our car was pretty fast.  I kept having to restart on the bottom and kept losing all the spots we'd gain.  Our car was good enough there at the end.  I thought I was faster than a couple guys ahead of me, but it was a fun race.  I thought the track was really good and you could move around.  The track was pretty wide, so I'm happy we got the whole race in.  That was nice and not a bad day.  We'll just go on."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Start: 10th
Race Finish: 3rd
Stage 1 Finish: 7th
Stage 2 Finish: 7th
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings:  3rd (-21)
Race Rundown: Joey Logano started 10th and finished third in Sunday night's Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Mustang. Logano scored stage points in the opening stage with a seventh-place finish The driver of the No. 22 Mustang maintained in the top-10 most of the second stage before finishing in the seventh position once again. Racing would resume after a rain delay with the No. 22 team electing to stay on the track and restart in the second position. Logano would continue to battle with the race leaders until rain halted the action yet again with 32 scheduled laps remaining, being scored in the third position.  Logano would fall back to fourth, but take advantage of an accident between the leaders coming to the checkers and finishing third.
Logano's Thoughts: "We'll take that.  We weren't fast enough obviously to win.  We had great execution on restarts and kept ourselves towards the front.  Paul made a good call leaving us out.  The tire was coming apart there at the end, but we did what we had to do to stay towards the front.  Track position was so big.  It's so hard to pass and I felt like if I could just get towards the front, I could try to hold them all off and that's what we did with our Mustang.  We were able to get a top three finish with our Shell/Pennzoil car.  It's OK.  We'll take it.  It's not a win, but we've been stringing together some good finishes the last couple of weeks."