Team Penske NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report - Richmond

September 13, 2015

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Report
Track:  Richmond International Raceway
Race:   Federated Auto Parts 400
Date:   September 12, 2015
No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski
Start:  3rd
Finish: 8th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 400/400
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader):  4 (- 115)
Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford started third and finished eighth Saturday night in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway, the final race before the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. For the first three-quarters of the race, Keselowski’s Ford Fusion lacked turn in the center. Crew chief Paul Wolfe made adjustments on the car throughout the night and the Miller Lite machine improved for the latter portion of the race. However, upon exiting the pits after a lap 291 stop, Keselowski was judged as too fast exiting the pit lane and dropped from sixth to 12th and was placed at the tail of the field. The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion made a strong charge over the last 100 laps to climb back into the top five and finish up eighth on the night. The top-10, his ninth consecutive top-10 finish, saw Keselowski finish the regular season fourth in the points standings, 105 points out of the lead.  With the Chase for the Sprint Cup starting, Keselowski now finds himself seeded ninth to begin the 10-week playoff.

Quote: “That 20 car was fast. He was a rocket. We were just doing all we could to keep up and didn’t have enough to keep up. Toward the end I thought we were probably a second or third place car and I was trying to get more than I should have on pit road and got us a speeding penalty. We drove back up to eighth but needed more laps to get to second or third but it was a good effort and were real happy to be in the Chase.”
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano
Start:  1st (13th-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole)
Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  400/400
Laps Led:  25
Points Position (behind first): 2nd (-30)
Recap:  Joey Logano had a fast No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion, led 25 laps and drove to a solid third-place finish on Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.  Logano started on the pole - his 15th-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole and his fifth of the season – and jumped out to the lead and led the first 14 laps of the event before falling back to second.  Logano ran in the top two for the first 120 laps before falling back through the field after staying out on older tires during an early pit stop.  Logano dropped as far as 11th before eventually settling down and climbing back into the tail end of the top-10.  Once Logano was able to pit and get fresh tires, he began to make his charge back toward the front, working his way to fifth by lap 230 and third by lap 280.  Logano got back to second following a round of pit stops on lap 292 and battled eventual race winner Matt Kenseth for the lead over the remainder of the race.  Unfortunately, Logano couldn’t make a pass for the lead to stick and slipped to third on the final restart, picking up his 16th top-five finish of the season.  Based on his three wins this season, Logano will now start the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup as the fourth seed and will be just three points back of the leaders heading into Chicagoland Speedway next weekend.
Quote:  “It was a really great run for us tonight. I thought we were decent in practice but didn’t think we would be that good. We weren’t in the beginning part of the race but then as we kept going I felt like we got our Shell Pennzoil Ford faster and Todd made great adjustments. We got behind on a strategy call when we stayed out and we hung pretty good and I think we were 10th at the end of that run and then worked our way back toward the front. We had a shot at the win at the end but those restarts. We don’t know what the rules are on the restarts because they are different every week. Once week it is not okay to jump the start and the next week it is okay to jump. I try to understand the rules but I can’t figure it out. We will all be lost together.”