Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Recap - Charlotte ROVAL

October 9, 2022

Track:  Charlotte Motor Speedway road course
Race:   Bank of America Roval 400
Date:   October 9, 2022

No. 2 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric

Start: 5th
Race Finish: 21st
Stage 1 Finish: 5th
Stage 2 Finish: 12th
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 11th
Race Rundown: Austin Cindric and the No. 2 Menards/Richmond team netted a 21st-place finish at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course, coming up short of advancing to the Round of 8 after a dicey finish played out in the Round of 12 finale. The NASCAR Cup Series rookie set sail from the fifth position but eventually reported a steering shake that worsened as Stage 1 went on. When the opening segment ended, Cindric collected a handful of points with a fifth-place finish. Cindric restarted deep in the field after many cars elected to pit prior to the end of the segment. The No. 2 pushed through Stage 2, continuing to manage the steering shake and ended the segment 12th. The Team Penske driver navigated various incidents as the intensity elevated in the final stint but was ultimately left with a 21st-place finish.
Cindric's Thoughts: "My guys did a great job all weekend.  We had a long shot, but had a shot at it and kept ourselves in the game.  Obviously, I had a great shot at the end.  That last caution really stung because we would have been in without that last caution.  Old tires against new tires.  I wish we would have had probably some better track position and probably do a few things right here and there, but, overall, great to have a shot, great to be in the playoff picture.  I learned a lot in my rookie season racing against a lot of the best.  I was a bit of a bonehead on the last couple restarts just trying to make something happen with 30-lap worse tires than everybody around me, but, overall, great experience but just a little bit short."

No. 12 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Start: 6th
Race Finish: 26th
Stage 1 Finish: 4th
Stage 2 Finish: 9th
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 5th (-31)
Race Rundown: Ryan Blaney and the No. 12 Discount Tire Ford Mustang team got involved in an accident late in the going on Sunday afternoon at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL and finished a disappointing 26th. After starting sixth, Blaney ran in the fifth position for the entire first stage and finished fourth in an effort to help secure some points in his bid to advance to the next round in the NASCAR Playoffs. Great pit work gained Blaney a few spots on pit road, but with the rest of the field flipping track position, Blaney had to fight back from 25th at the start of Stage 2. Once again, most of the field pitted prior to the end of Stage 2, allowing Blaney and the Discount Tire Mustang to finish ninth to earn a couple more points. After just riding around most of the final stage with a car that was tight in traffic, Blaney and the No. 12 Discount Tire Ford Mustang pitted following a late-race caution. IN the end, a multi-car accident on the green-white-checkered finish included Blaney and the No. 12, resulting in a 26th-place finish. 
Blaney's Thoughts: "It was nice to come in here with decent points and do a good job in the stages.  It's a shame because I thought our car was super fast, but when you're stage points racing you just bury yourself and you're just trying to stay out of everyone else's junk there at the end.  We still ended up getting in other people's junk because people are running you over and spinning you out, but luckily we had a good points cushion.  It seemed to be exciting on the cut line.  We'll go on to next week and it'll be good."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Start: 1st
Race Finish: 18th
Stage 1 Finish: 1st
Stage 2 Finish: 7th
Laps Led: 27
Point Standings: 2nd (-20)
Race Rundown: Joey Logano was involved in the chaos at the end of Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway's ROVAL on Sunday afternoon, relegating the former NASCAR Cup Series Champion to a 18th place finish at the race's end. Logano started on the pole and led every lap in the first stage, pulling away from those behind him, in an effort to grab some crucial stage points and another playoff point. With most of the field pitting before the end of Stage 1, Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team found themselves starting in the back of the pack as the second stage began. As is the case with most road course events, there were a number of teams who pitted, which allowed Logano to stay on the track and grab a seventh-place finish in Stage 2 and more stage points. Throughout the remainder of the race, Logano struggled with passing and ran in the 20s until a late-race caution bunched the field. The ensuing restart resulted in the No. 22 being spun on the backstretch and losing all of his track position. Following a late green-white-checkered finish, Logano was able to bring the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang home in the 18th position and secure his spot in the Round of 8.
Logano's Thoughts: "You've got guys that were onesies, twosies that were gonna barely make it and when you have desperate situations like that, people just send it and it ends up to be a mess.  I'm sure there are a lot of scorecards that everybody kept today and I didn't dump anybody, so that was great.  No one's mad at me (laughing)."