NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report - Alsco 300

July 9, 2016

Track:    Kentucky Motor Speedway
Race:     Alsco 300
Date:     July 8, 2016

No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski

Start:  10th
Finish: 10th
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  201/201
Laps Led:  0
Owner's Points Position (behind leader):  7th (-72 pts.)

Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang team started 10th and finished 10th in Saturday night's Alsco 300 at Kentucky Motor Speedway. As the race began, Keselowski – a three-time winner in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Kentucky – radioed that he was fighting a tight-handling condition in turns 3 and 4. Despite the handling, he was able to make his way up to the seventh position before the NASCAR-mandated competition caution at lap 25 to allow teams to check tire wear on a track that had taken a lot of rain over the course of the day. Crew chief Brian Wilson made an air pressure adjustment under the yellow flag and Keselowski returned to the track in the same position. The adjustments freed up the Ford Mustang and Keselowski was nearly able to race into the top five. However, as the race progressed, the handling continued to deteriorate as the teams continued to monitor the tire wear. The 2010 series champion tried to move his line around, especially in turns 3 and 4, to try and find the speed necessary to make his way to the front. As the laps wound down a final yellow flag flew at lap 196 with Keselowski in the seventh position, allowing Wilson to bring his driver down pit road for a two-tire stop while the leaders remained on track. Unfortunately, Keselowski was not able to get up to speed quickly and dropped several positions before taking the checkered flag in the 10th position.

Quote: "We just lacked a little speed tonight with the Discount Tire Ford. Once we got settled out we were probably good enough to run right behind them on speed, but we just had trouble on restarts. That kind of hurt Ryan (Blaney) and I both there at the end."

No. 12 Snap-on Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney

Start:  6th 
Finish:   8th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 201/201
Laps Led:  0
Owner’s Points Position:  N/A

Recap: Ryan Blaney and the No. 12 Snap-on Ford Mustang ran inside the top-10 all night in Friday's Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway and finished in the eighth position after posting some of the fastest lap times of the night. Blaney and the Snap-on team started the 300-mile event from the sixth position and once the race started, Blaney quickly communicated he was building tight throughout the run. On lap 26, Blaney brought his Ford to pit road from the sixth position for adjustments under the competition caution and would restart ninth. By lap 74, Blaney was racing in the top-five but still fought a tight-handling Ford. On lap 106, crew chief Greg Erwin called Blaney to short pit and made more adjustments to free up his Mustang. On take-off, Blaney's Ford was still tight but came to him on the long run and eventually he began laying down the fastest speeds of the night while racing with the leaders. On lap 179, Blaney and the No. 20 of Erik Jones were in a tight battle for position on the restart, causing him fall to the seventh position. Shortly after, the caution waved for the last time setting up overtime. Blaney would finish eighth by the end of the race.

Quote "It's really hard to pass. I thought we were our best at one point of the race late and we got to the tail end of the top three and we couldn't pass anybody. It was too tight, so restarts were really, really key to try and make positions. The 20 ran us down on the apron and that wasn't very cool, but whatever.  Props to everybody on this team. Greg Erwin and the guys did a great job. I can't thank Snap-on and Ford and Discount Tire enough for what they do.  It's unfortunate, but we'll get them next time."