Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Recap - Michigan

August 7, 2022

Track:  Michigan International Speedway 
Race:   FireKeepers Casino 400
Date:   August 7, 2022

No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Start: 5th
Race Finish: 37th
Stage 1 Finish: 37th
Stage 2 Finish: 37th
Laps Led: 0
Points Standings: 16th (-316)

Race Rundown: Austin Cindric and the No. 2 Discount Tire team crashed early in the FireKeepers Casino 400, and was credited with a 37th-place finish at Michigan International Speedway. Cindric and the No. 2 Ford Mustang were seemingly destined for a strong performance in the 200-lap race, as the NASCAR Cup Series rookie qualified fifth. Shortly after receiving right-side tires and fuel under the competition caution, a multi-car incident ensued on lap 25, sending the Team Penske driver hard into the wall, resulting in a 37th-place finish.

Cindric's Thoughts: "I don't know what started all of it.  I saw the 15 car sideways and everything stacked up.  I got tagged in the left-rear and shoved me up the racetrack and then got turned head-on into the fence.  It looked like the 15 just got loose and backed everybody up and then got ran into the back.  It's not Ty's fault, just everybody stacking up.  Obviously, it was a complete mess.  I hit the outside wall head-on.  I'm glad to be OK.  It's such a waste to do all of this and finish last.  It's pretty unfortunate.  I hate it for the guys on the team and for Discount Tire."

No. 12 Menards/Cardell Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney

Start: 24th
Race Finish: 5th
Stage 1 Finish: 16th
Stage 2 Finish: 20th
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 2nd (-119)

Race Rundown: Ryan Blaney finished fifth in the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway, keeping his NASCAR Playoffs hopes alive.  Piloting the No. 12 Menards/Cardell Cabinetry Mustang, Blaney rolled off the grid 24th in the lineup, but was able to gain some track position early through the opening segment to finish Stage 1 in the 16th position, all while working to tame a Mustang that was tight in traffic. The Team Penske driver muscled through Stage 2, undergoing an extended pit stop to raise the front heights and perform a stagger adjustment. He ultimately finished Stage 2 in the 20th position on the scoring pylon. The Irish Hills saw a relatively calm Stage 3, with Blaney making his final stop of the day with under 50 laps to go. Receiving wedge and air-pressure adjustments to aid the handling, Blaney forged ahead to the top-five as the remaining laps clicked away, ultimately recording his eighth top-five finish of the season and keeping his spot at second in the season-long point standings. 

Blaney's Thoughts: "We ran 20th all day long and just struggled a lot and worked on it a ton and got a little bit better and better there and ended up with a decent finish out of it.  It was big gains from where we started. We just couldn't really go anywhere and was stuck in 20th.  Jonathan worked on it a lot all day and props to him for getting it better and better throughout the day and having a car that could run fourth or fifth at the end of the day.  That's something to be proud of.  We made some good out of it and proud of the progress we made."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Start: 4th
Race Finish: 4th
Stage 1 Finish: 9th
Stage 2 Finish: 10th
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 6th (-174)

Race Rundown: A workman's-like day for Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang ended with a fourth-place finish in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at race Michigan International Speedway. Logano reported early the balance of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Mustang was tight in traffic. The former champion would pit at the competition caution and managed to position himself for a ninth-place finish in Stage 1. Solid adjustments and better track position would allow Logano bring home a 10th-place finish in Stage 2. He would restart inside the top-five for the final run to the checkered flag. A nifty move on the final restart would have Logano as high as second place. However, try as he might, he would give up to spots late, but manage to bring home a fourth-place finish. 

Logano's Thoughts: "That was a hard-fought one, that's for sure.  The boys did a good job executing today, keeping us towards the front.  Paul had some good strategy.  I had a car that was about where it finished.  If you put us further back, that's probably where we would finish, but we had some good track position and good restarts – some good choosing – so Coleman did a good job upstairs helping me out with the right lanes.  It was an execution day, which is playoff type racing.  I feel good about what we did today as the playoffs come around the corner."