Keselowski Is Interested In Future Cup Ownership

Brad Keselowski
Although Brad Keselowski elected to shutter his racing operation following the 2017 Camping World Truck Series season, on Friday he gifted BKR Truck Series drivers Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric with the F150s from their respective inaugural wins.

Hopefully, Keselowski’s hiatus from team ownership is temporary. Like his mentor Dale Earnhardt Jr., Keselowski provided an opportunity for a number of drivers to hone their skills in NASCAR’s feeder series before moving on to the next level. Ryan Blaney, Daniel Hemric, Tyler Reddick and now Briscoe and Cindric have all come through BKR.

And with ever-aging ownership in the Monster Energy Cup Series, NASCAR needs to cultivate its next generation of team owners. Just looking at the Championship 4, Barney Visser, who owns Furniture Row Racing, is in his mid-60s. Gene Haas, the principal owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, turned 65 last month. Joe Gibbs turned 77 last week, and Keselowski’s owner, Roger Penske, celebrated his 80th birthday in February.

Keselowski’s foray into the cultivation of aspiring talent full-time started with Parker Kligerman in 2011. While he was only able to keep the operation afloat for seven seasons, it remains Keselowski’s dream to revive BKR one day and perhaps have the organization blossom into a NASCAR Cup operation.

“Absolutely. It’s 100 percent my dream,” Keselowski told Motorsport.com. “There’s a lot of things that have to happen to make that a possibility-including the support of a manufacturer and the health of the sport being at a high point. But it’s my intention to get to that position in the long-term future.”

Currently, Keselowski has no intentions of selling the BKR building. It is indeed his hope to return to an ownership role when he hangs up his helmet for the last time.

“It’s going to be up to my generation as not just only as owners or pit crew members or drivers but also fans to take this sport to the next generation as it has been handed to us,” Keselowski said.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Team Penske Recaps The Ford EcoBoost 400

Joey Logano

Track:                  Homestead-Miami Speedway

Race:                   Ford EcoBoost 400

Date:                   November 19, 2017

 

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start: 5th

Finish: 7th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 267/267

Laps Led: 1

Point Standings (behind leader): 4th

Recap: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team came into Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway as one of four teams that could end the night as the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) champions, but a seventh-place finish resulted in a fourth-place finish in the final series standings. A solid qualifying effort on Friday night saw Keselowski take the green flag from the fifth position, and a quick caution on lap five gave crew chief Paul Wolfe an opportunity to put four, fresh Goodyear tires on the Ford Fusion to gain track position on the other playoff teams that did not elect to pit. The strategy worked as Keselowski restarted from the 15th position on lap 10 but quickly drove into the second spot by lap 30. When teams all began making green flag pit stops around lap 40 this strategy placed the Miller Lite team on the same pit cycle as the other playoff teams, albeit with better track position. As a result, Keselowski will finish the first, 80-lap stage in the second position. The biggest handling issue on the day for Keselowski was looseness on corner entry and Wolfe made several air pressure and wedge adjustments to help his driver contend for the team’s second MENCS title. After starting the second, 80-lap stage from the second position after a solid pit stop by the Miller Lite crew, Keselowski settled into the top five and would remain there to finish fifth in the stage. The final, 107-lap stage would setup the run to the championship and Keselowski began this portion of the race from the seventh position. With his driver still dealing with a loose-handling condition on corner entry, Wolfe called for a short-pit on lap 198 that brought most of the other playoff competitors to pit road as well. The short pit placed Keselowski back inside the top five and he radioed to Wolfe that the handling was improving. Unfortunately the Miller Lite Ford was a bit off the pace to the other championship contenders over the final run and would cross the finish line in the seventh position, the team’s 21st top-10 finish in 2017.

Quote: “You know, it was a hard‑fought battle with a long night, but might not have gotten the result we wanted with the Miller Lite Ford Fusion. Of course the result you want is to win the race, win the championship, but the effort was phenomenal, and I was really proud of our group for everything they put into that, trying to be the best with this package. We weren’t quite best in class, but we ran up front.”

 

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start: 19th

Finish:  6th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 267/267

Laps Led:  0

Point Standings (behind leader):  17th

 

Recap:  Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion started 18th and finished sixth in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the season finale for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.  Logano worked his way forward at the start of the event, battling a car that was tight on throttle and loose at corner exit. Fortunately, the race was slowed on the sixth lap for a single car incident. Crew chief Todd Gordon elected to bring the Shell-Pennzoil Ford to pit lane for a four tire stop with a wedge adjustment. As expected, the advantage from sticker tires allowed Logano to race from the 17th position to the top-five in six laps. The Shell-Pennzoil Ford ran inside the top-five, reaching the fourth position before pitting under green at lap 39. As the green flag stops cycled through, Logano returned to the running order in the fifth position. The adjustments made under the stop were in the right direction as Logano reported the Shell-Pennzoil Ford was tighter overall through the long green flag stretch to end the first stage. However, at the stage break, Logano reported that the car was too tight in the center of the corner, hurting entry and exit. Gordon elected to go back on the adjustments from the first stop slightly, as Logano went from fifth to ninth by the end of the stage. Logano restarted ninth and quickly moved to seventh in the opening lap of the second stage, the adjustments worked to give the driver more speed at the start of the run. The stage continued to run green, bringing Logano and the Shell-Pennzoil Ford back to pit road at lap 120 for a green flag adjustment. The team made an air pressure adjustment, continuing to look for corner entry security. Logano cycled out into the fifth position but then settle to seventh by lap 128. On lap 136, Logano reported the brakes were pulsating slightly, more like they were too cold versus a wear issue. Logano also reported the balance was the best it had been all race, letting Todd Gordon know he would continue asking for more entry security and center turn throughout the night. At the end of the second stage, Logano brought the Shell-Pennzoil Ford to pit road in the eighth position, quick pit work by the crew sent the team back to the track in the sixth position. With a great restart, Logano put the high line to use, moving the Shell-Pennzoil Ford to the fourth position. As the opening run to the final stage ran green, Logano settled into the sixth position, but reported that the car had started coming to him over the course of the run, saying he was only slightly loose on corner entry and exit. As darkness continued to set on Homestead-Miami Speedway, Logano continued to assert himself in the top-five. A lap 227 caution flag setup the Shell-Pennzoil crew for a potential final stop of the night. Todd Gordon again called for a piece of tape to be added to the nose, slight air pressure attempting to give Logano more security and center turn. A quick stop again gained the team a position leaving pit road, putting the Shell-Pennzoil Ford on the outside of the second row for the restart. Logano would settle into the third position after the restart, running lap times as fast as the two cars in front of him. As the run went on, Logano began losing rear grip hurting the car on corner exit. Logano would ultimately finish in the sixth position, caping of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.

 

Quote  “That was a good night for the Shell-Pennzoil Ford team. We never quit through the whole year and we end it on a strong note. It is always important to have a good run at Homestead because you have the whole offseason to think about it. I wanted that top-five but just wasn’t quick enough up by the wall. I don’t know why our cars don’t go fast up against the wall. The 4 couldn’t do it either. Maybe it is something we are doing. I am not sure. Altogether, I am proud of getting a sixth place run out of a car that we thought we would struggle to finish 20th with. We made good changes and had something to race with and get to head off on a good note.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Could “Blazingly Bad” Brad Be The Underdog This Weekend?

Brad Keselowski

According to the metrics and the odds makers, Brad Keselowski is at the bottom of the totem pole entering Sunday’s Ford Eco-Boost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

After all, he squeaked into the Championship 4 race on points, when Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin renewed their burgeoning rivalry last Sunday at Phoenix Raceway to the detriment of Hamlin, whose charge toward the final four ended in a heap of bent sheet metal against the Turn 3 wall.

Keselowski was the beneficiary of Hamlin’s demise. And though he had won at Talladega to advance to the Round of 8, Keselowski comes to Miami as a decided underdog. Conventional wisdom says it will probably take a victory at Homestead to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title, and the Las Vegas betting odds for the 2012 champion to win the race average between 8- and 10-to-1.

Favorite Martin Truex Jr., on the other hand is priced at 5-to-2, and both Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are trending around 7-to-2.

Keselowski’s underdog status is understandable, given that he hasn’t won a race on an intermediate track since the second event of the season at Atlanta. And with a final four spot on the line at Phoenix, his car was a study in mediocrity on the one-mile oval.

But Keselowski says he won’t really know if he’s a long shot until the cars get on track on Friday.

“I’ll have a much better answer for that Saturday after all the practice is done,” Keselowski said on Thursday during Championship 4 media day at the Loews Hotel. “Sitting here at this moment right now, it’s kind of like everybody’s got a poker hand, and you haven’t seen any cards.

“The cards will start to get played Friday, and then qualifying on Friday night, and again Saturday with race practices and Happy Hours and so forth. I need to see some more cards before I can tell you. I know Vegas likes to have odds and all that going into it, but this is a very dynamic sport. And although it may not seem like it until you step away from it, things change all the time…

“Who has speed and who doesn’t have speed changes a lot.”

Underdog or not, Keselowski is playing with house money, considering the way he slid into the Championship 4. After Hamlin scored 19 points in the first two stages at Phoenix and pulled even with the Team Penske driver in points, Hamlin was comfortably ahead of Keselowski and in apparent control until Elliott ran Hamlin into the outside wall late in the race.

When Elliott subsequently took the lead, he was threatening to eliminate Keselowski by winning the race, but Kenseth delivered a gift to the 2012 champion by passing Elliott for the win. Keselowski was in the final four by the skin of his teeth after living through a broad range of emotions during the race.

“I thought, ‘If it’s meant to be, it’s going to happen; if it’s not meant to be, it’s not going to happen’—I’m just for damn sure not going to be the one that doesn’t make it happen,” Keselowski said. “I didn’t want to be the guy that ran it into the wall, or ran the brakes off of it or blew a tire and screwed it up.

“When Denny blew a tire, I think I said, ‘Oh, my goodness.’ I couldn’t believe it. Then it looked like Chase was going to win, and I was like, ‘I guess, again, it wasn’t meant to be.’ And then he got passed there at the end… There was certainly some unease with all that, but I can’t spend too much time looking in the mirror.

“I’ve got to look out the windshield at this weekend and just be thankful for what I have.”

For his part, Truex embraces the favorite’s role because it reflects the level of success he’s had this season, a run that includes a series-best seven victories—six on 1.5-mile intermediate tracks.

Truex and his team won’t let outside expectations influence his approach to Championship Weekend. Nevertheless, his confidence level is exponentially higher than it was in 2015, when he finished 12th in the season finale and fourth in the championship standings.

“It doesn’t change the outcome in any way, so we don’t even think about it,” Truex said of his favorite’s status. “Our focus is to come in here and do the best job we can do. I feel like the team’s done a great job of preparing. I feel like we’re in a lot better spot, obviously, than last time. Being the favorite is great from that standpoint.

“We feel like we’re in a lot better position now than when we came here in ’15, when we were like, ‘We don’t have enough speed…’ From that point of view, I feel like we’re in the best position possible, but you’ve still got to execute. You’ve still got to bring the right stuff. It’s a good position to be in, but it doesn’t guarantee anything.”

Four drivers, one race, one champion.

Who will be the last man standing?

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Brad Keselowski Rolls The Bones One Last Time

Brad Keselowski

Brad Keselowski’s numbers:

1 – Number of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships owned by Brad Keselowski (2012).

1 – Sunday marks Brad Keselowski’s first appearance in the Championship 4.

2 – Number of top-five finishes Brad Keselowski has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

3 – Number of wins Brad Keselowski has during the 2017 season; including one during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs – (Atlanta, Martinsville-1, Talladega-2).

5 – Brad Keselowski’s career Playoff wins

8 – Number of stage wins Brad Keselowski has posted during the 2017 season.

8.2 – Brad Keselowski’s average finish during the first nine races of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

12.6 – Brad Keselowski’s average finish during the 2017 season.

15.9 – Brad Keselowski’s average finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

15 – Number of top-five finishes Brad Keselowski has logged during the 2017 season.

20 – Number of top-10 finishes Brad Keselowski has tallied this season.

88.5 – Brad Keselowski’s Homestead driver rating – 10th-best in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

95.9 – Brad Keselowski’s 2017 driver rating – sixth-best in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

671 (8.1%) – Total number of fastest laps run by Brad Keselowski in the 2017 season – fourth-best in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

 

First Time’s A Charm? Keselowski Revved Up For First Championship 4

Surprisingly, Brad Keselowski will compete in his first Championship 4 as he goes for his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio).

If Keselowski can take home the title, he’d become the 16th driver to win multiple championships in the 69-year history of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, joining Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Lee Petty, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Tony Stewart, Herb Thomas, Tim Flock, Buck Baker, Joe Weatherly, Ned Jarret and Terry Labonte.

In nine career starts at Homestead, Keselowski claims no wins, two top fives, three top 10s and a 15.9 average finish – all low totals among the Championship 4.

He earned his way to Homestead on points, navigating his way through the Round of 8 with a fourth-place showing at Martinsville, fifth-place result at Texas and 16th-place performance at Phoenix.

 

Keselowski Better At Homestead Lately

Brad Keselowski’s Homestead track record might not be as strong as the rest of the Championship 4, but he’s run well there lately. He wrecked out of the race last year, but in the three previous races, he finished third twice (2015 and 2014) and sixth (2013). He also led 86 laps in the 2015 event.

Coors Light Pole Qualifying shouldn’t be an issue for Keselowski. He’s started from a top-five position in five of his last six Homestead starts. In the one race where he didn’t qualify in the top five, he started eighth on the grid.

 

Stellar Playoff Performance

Even casual NASCAR observers know Brad Keselowski has a flair for the dramatic.

It’s no surprise he’s elevated his performance during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. He’s posted an average finish of 8.2 in the postseason – second among Championship 4 drivers (Martin Truex Jr., 4.7; Kevin Harvick. 10.9; Kyle Busch, 12.2).

The Rochester Hills, Michigan native won Talladega-2 and has finished no lower than 16th in the Playoffs.

Consistency is nice, but a top-five finish probably won’t be enough to clinch the title. Keselowski’s best 2017 postseason finishes other than his Talladega win are fourth (New Hampshire and Martinsville), fifth (Texas) and sixth (Chicagoland).

 

Second Championship For Penske

A Brad Keselowski title would mark the second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship for Team Penske. It won its first crown with Keselowski in 2012.

Team Penske has been in the Championship 4 twice before with Joey Logano. In his two Championship 4 appearances, Logano finished fourth at Homestead last year and 16th there in 2014.

Team Penske, owned by legendary entrepreneur Roger Penske, is competing in its 34th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. It made its first start in NASCAR competition in 1972, fielding an AMC Matador for Mark Donohue at Riverside (Calif.) Raceway.

Team Penske has won 107 races in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition.

Keselowski At Intermediate Tracks

Since his breakout 2011 season, Brad Keselowski ranks second in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with wins at 1.5-mile tracks with 10. The only driver with more is Jimmie Johnson, who has 13. Coincidentally, Keselowski is followed in the stat category over that timeframe by Championship 4 competitors Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. (tied for third-most, 8) and Kyle Busch (fourth-most, 7).

Although he has more wins at intermediate tracks since 2011, Keselowski’s 1,968 laps led at 1.5 or 1.54-mile circuits trails Johnson (2,817), Harvick (2,746), Truex (2,716) and Busch (2,375).

Wolfe/Keselowski Already A Championship Pairing

The No. 2 Ford crew chief Paul Wolfe and Brad Keselowski have experienced success ever since they were paired together in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2010. That season, Wolfe guided Keselowski and the No. 22 team to six wins, 26 top fives and 29 top 10s on the way to a NASCAR XFINITY Series title.

Wolfe moved up to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to work with Keselowski in 2011 and the partnership continued to be a smashing success. Keselowski, who did not log a single top five in his first full-time season with Penske in 2010, won three races, tallied 10 top fives and 23 top 10s under the tutelage of Wolfe.

The next year with Wolfe, Keselowski won five races, including two in the Playoffs to earn the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.

With Wolfe on the box, Keselowski has 23 wins, 85 top fives, 135 top 10s and a 13.7 average finish in 244 starts.

An ex-racer himself with 16 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts to his name, Wolfe began his crew chief career in 2006 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Fitz Racing. He joined CJM Racing in 2009 before moving to Team Penske in 2010.

Wolfe, a native of Milford, N.Y., began racing at 11 years old.

 

Daughter And Wife Will Be Able To Celebrate Championship

Brad Keselowski won his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship as a 28-year-old in 2012. Since then, he’s achieved some milestones in his personal life. Keselowski will be able to celebrate a second title with his wife Paige, and daughter Scarlett.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Team Penske Ran Mid Pack All Day At Phoenix

Joey Logano and Daniel Suarez
Track:                  Phoenix International Raceway

Race:                   Can-Am 500

Date:                   November 12, 2017

 

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start: 16th

Finish: 16th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 312/312

Laps Led: 0

Point Standing (behind leader): 4th (-0)

 

Recap:  It may not have been the performance they wanted, but with a 16th-place finish in Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team will head to Ford Championship Weekend next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS) with an opportunity to race for their second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) championship. Keselowski began the race from the 16th position and early on in the event Keselowski radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that he was struggling on the one-mile desert oval. Wolfe made big adjustments to the Ford following the team’s 18th-place finish in the first, 75-lap stage to help the loose in and tight in the center handling condition. While the condition was slightly improved during the second, 75-lap stage, Keselowski was only able to muster a 13th-place finish, meaning the team had scored no stage points during the event as found themselves on the outside looking in to the Championship 4 at that point in the race. However, the driver and team never gave up on the day and would be rewarded for their efforts when the No. 11 of Denny Hamlin – one of their main competitors for the final playoff spot at HMS – cut down a tire on lap 276 to send him into the garage and place the No. 2 Ford team back into the Championship 4. The team still needed to run well and when the No. 20 of Matt Kenseth passed the No. 24 of Chase Elliott – another contender for the final playoff spot – on lap 303 to score the win, the Miller Lite crew was able to celebrate their opportunity to win a second MENCS title to go along with the one they captured in 2012. Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Busch will compete next weekend in a winner-takes-all duel on the 1.5-mile oval in south Florida. This will be Keselowski’s first appearance in the final race of the season in the elimination-style format that was introduced in 2014, but the third-consecutive year that Team Penske has been represented in the championship race.

 

Quote: “We overcame a lot of obstacles and jumped a lot of hurdles today. I am glad I don’t have to relive this day, that is for sure. I am just looking forward to going to Homestead with this Miller Lite Ford team. This feels a little bit like Christmas. Sometimes you need a little luck on your side. Today we had that. It wasn’t by any means where we wanted to run. We wanted to run up front and have a shot for the win. That wasn’t in the cards. We tried to run the smartest race we could and survive and it ended up paying off in the end. We probably should have been locked in after Martinsville with the effort we put in that weekend so if this is a little bit of redemption then I am happy for all these guys. We’ve had a good year and they deserve a shot at another championship. We have that now and we will make the most of it.”

 

 

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start: 9th

Finish: 12th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 312/312

Laps Led: 0

Point Standing (behind leader):  17th

 

Recap: Joey Logano started ninth and finished 12th in Sunday afternoon’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. From the drop of the green flag, Logano reported that the handling on his No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion was extremely tight in the center of turns three and four, resulting in the loss of six positions through the opening 20 laps. Logano reported that the handling of his Ford Fusion started to come to him around lap 40. Crew chief Todd Gordon began devising a plan for a adjustments settling on air pressure and tape for the first stop of the afternoon which came at the conclusion of stage one with Logano running in the 15th position. Quick pit work by the Shell-Pennzoil crew netted a gain of five positions for the team on the first stop, positioning Logano to restart in the 10th position to begin the second stage of the event. Through the second stage, the handling was still too tight in the center of turns three and four, resulting in Logano dropping back to the 14th position by lap 110. Logano concluded the second stage in the 14th position, reporting that the car had developed a loose condition on throttle, but maintained the tight handling issues in the center of the turns. Gordon elected to adjust with wedge and air pressure on the second stop of the day, unfortunately, a lugnut jammed in the gun on the stop, resulting in the loss of four positions. Logano would move forward from the 18th position, climbing as high as 14th in the opening portion of the final stage. However, by lap 178 he had dropped back to the 19th position, reporting that the Shell-Pennzoil Ford was handling worse than it had all afternoon. On the third pit stop at lap 231, Gordon elected to go back on all the previous changes, making a bigger swing at wedge and air pressure adjustments. Logano restarted in the 17th position with 77 laps remaining, moving to the 16th position on the initial start before a quick debris caution flew. Logano reported that he was finally rotating the center of the corner and was only slightly free off. Running as one of the last cars on the lead lap, Gordon elected to bring Logano to pit road for four fresh tires. On the restart, Logano moved to the 15th position, reporting the car was better directionally despite taking off on the splitter. The team pitted one additional time for four tires and air pressure, and Logano finished the race in the 12th position.

 

Quote: “We really struggled today. We didn’t have enough center turn and that hurt our lap times pretty bad. In the third stage we started making some progress on it but it took some really big changes to do that. We’ll move forward and go to Homestead and try to put our Shell-Pennzoil Ford in victory lane one more time in 2017. Happy for Brad and the No. 2 team to have made the championship four.”

TIL NEX TITME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Team Penske Reviews The AAA Texas 500

Brad Keselowski

Track:                  Texas Motor Speedway

Race:                   AAA Texas 500

Date:                   November 5, 2017

 

No. 2 Wurth Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski

Start: 10th

Finish: 5th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 334/334

Laps Led: 0

Point Standings (behind leader): 4th (-57)

 

Recap: If Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Wurth Ford Fusion team are able to lock themselves into Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway in two weeks they will likely point to Sunday’s fifth-place finish in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway as a critical race. After starting the 500-mile event from the 10th position, Keselowski’s day was nearly ended on the first lap after contact from the No. 18 of Kyle Busch resulted in a flat tire that forced Keselowski to pit under the green flag for two left-side tires. The pit stop dropped Keselowski to the 39th position and down one lap to the race leaders, but the 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion refused to give up. He radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that his Ford was loose on corner entry and tight on exit, but he began to work his way through the field to finish 26th in the first, 85-lap segment. The second, 85-lap stage began with Keselowski in the 27th position, but a quick caution flag gave him the “Lucky Dog” award to get back to lead lap racing. With Wolfe adjusting the wedge and air pressure on the No. 2 Ford, Keselowski maneuvered his way into the 14th position by the end of the stage. The final, 164-lap stage is where Keselowski showed the grit and determination that has already made him a champion. Restarting from the 11th position on lap 178, Keselowski powered his way into the top five on lap 189. From there he routinely ran some of the fastest laps of anyone inside the top five. Keselowski would maintain this position through several late caution periods – including one red flag – to score his 15th top-five finish this season. He now holds a 19-point lead over Denny Hamlin heading into the final race of the Round of 8 at Phoenix Raceway next weekend.

 

Quote: “It was a long day for everybody on the Wurth Ford Fusion team. This is the best we ran on a mile-and-a-half in some time, so I’m happy about that. I’m disappointed with the way the race started. It probably cost us 10 or more points, but I’m happy with the rebound. We’ll need to go and have a solid race at Phoenix next week and hope none of the other guys win. It’s doable, but it’s going to be a nail-biter next week for sure.”

 

 

No. 22  AAA Insurance Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start:    36th

Finish:  7th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 334/334

Laps Led: 1

Points Standing (behind leader):  17th (-3299)

 

Recap: Joey Logano started 36th and finished 7th in the No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion in Sunday afternoon’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. From the drop of the green flag, Logano and the No. 22 crew kept their eyes forward as the red, white and blue Ford Fusion worked inside the top-20 in the opening 20 laps. On the first pit stop of the afternoon, crew chief Todd Gordon called for an air pressure adjustment to assist Logano with center turn. The team continued their forward progress, finishing the first stage in the 15th position. On the ensuing pit stop, Gordon elected to take two tires, sending the No. 22 AAA Ford back to the track in the fourth position. Logano would race as high as third on that run, before settling into the sixth position. Unfortunately, on the next pit stop, Logano was deemed too fast entering pit road and had to serve a costly pass through penalty under green-flag conditions. At the end of the second stage, Logano was one lap down to the race leaders, scored in the 21st position. The team elected to take the wave around to regain the lap and, fortunately, a quick caution allowed the team to return to pit road for four tires and fuel, placing them back on the same pit sequence as the race leaders. The team also handed Logano a left-side spot mirror, which the driver was able to reinstall under the yellow flag condition. On the sixth run of the race, Logano battled an extremely loose condition on corner entry, while still struggling with center turn. Gordon elected to have Logano run long on the following run as most of the leaders hit pit road for green-flag stops. Fortunately for the No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford team, a caution was displayed forcing most of the cars to take the wave around, while Logano was able to pit under caution, restarting the race from the fifth position. On the following short run, Logano’s loose condition intensified which also hurt the drive off the corner. When the caution was displayed again, Gordon elected to bring the AAA Insurance Ford to pit road for a wedge adjustment and fuel. The adjustment proved beneficial as Logano was able to race back up to the 11th position when another caution flag brought the field back to pit road. Gordon again called for two tires on the stop, moving the No. 22 AAA Ford to the second position for the restart. Logano continued to run inside the top five, despite several cautions and a red-flag period. Logano would maintain inside the top-five until the closing 10 laps when the handling started to fade on his No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford, bringing home a seventh-place finish.

 

 

Quote:  “We had a great run today with the AAA Insurance Ford Fusion, considering where we started and what we had to overcome. The team executed really well, had fast pit stops and my Todd (Gordon) wasn’t afraid to try some strategy with two tires and gain us track position. I felt like in the later stages of the race we could run at the front fairly well, and that was definitely a positive.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Wurth Group And Team Penske Extend Their Partnership

Image result for brad keselowski wurth car

Team Penske announced today that the Würth Group will continue as a key partner of the team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) for 2018 and beyond. Under the terms of the multi-year extension, Würth will once again adorn the No. 2 Ford Fusion driven by Brad Keselowski as a primary sponsor for three MENCS races – at Auto Club Speedway in March, Dover International Speedway in October and Texas Motor Speedway in early November.

Würth will also continue to serve as a full-season associate sponsor for Team Penske’s No. 2 Ford.

A leading supplier of high-quality automotive parts, cabinet supplies and industrial fasteners servicing over 200,000 customers across the nation, Würth’s partnership with Penske extends beyond motorsports. Würth products are also featured in Penske Automotive Group dealerships and Penske Truck Rental facilities nationwide.

“Our relationship with the Würth Group has been successful and mutually beneficial on many levels and we look forward to continuing our growth together into the future,” said Roger Penske. “They have been able to leverage their partnership in many ways, including customer and employee programs at the track. Würth is a terrific partner, not only for our race teams but also across all our businesses. We are excited about continuing to win with Würth both on and off the track.”

Team Penske and the Würth Group first joined forces in 2012 when the company came on board as an associate sponsor with the team in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The following season, Würth enhanced its partnership as sponsor with the No. 2 team and Keselowski in the Cup Series and the relationship has continued to blossom each season.

While the Würth Group first became involved in NASCAR racing through its partnership with Team Penske, the company has had a presence in motorsports since 1982, serving as a partner in both the DTM and Formula One racing series.

“The Würth Group is excited about our continued alliance with Team Penske,” said Executive Vice President of the Würth Group, Thomas O’Neill. “Team Penske is a premier partnership of which the Würth Group is proud to be a part of. This relationship is an overall benefit to our customers, companies, and the Würth brand in the United States. We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead.”

The 2018 NASCAR Cup Series regular season begins with the 60th anniversary running of the Great American Race, the Daytona 500, on February 18.  Würth’s first primary race will be the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 18.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Some Eye Popping Numbers In The Round Of 8

Martin Truex, Jr.
Is Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points leader Martin Truex Jr. a shoo-in to make the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway?

Maybe. He has a big enough lead that he could clinch a spot in the Championship 4 on Sunday at Texas without winning the AAA Texas 500. If a Playoff driver other than Truex or Kyle Busch takes the checkered flag, Truex can clinch with a lead of 56 points or more over the second-place non-winning Playoff driver.

If Busch or a non-Playoff driver happens to win, Truex will clinch if he holds a lead of 56 points or more over the third-place non-winning Playoff driver.

On the other hand, Truex has three DNFs (did not finish) at both Texas and Phoenix for a total of six. The other seven Playoff drivers have a combined seven DNFs at the two tracks. Though Truex is a strong bet to advance, he’ll have to avoid calamity – and that’s not a guarantee.

Interestingly, the only two Playoff drivers without a DNF at either track are last week’s Martinsville combatants, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott. Hamlin has a combined 47 starts at Texas and Phoenix. Elliott’s sample size is much smaller – three starts at each track.

But if Elliott decides to get some payback for last Sunday’s wreck and has the opportunity to do so, Hamlin’s unblemished streak could end!

Elliott has the best combined average finish at the final two tracks in the Round of 8 – 6.0 at Texas and 9.7 at Phoenix, again with a small sample. The second-best combined average finish belongs to seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, with 8.1 at Texas and 9.0 at Phoenix in 56 starts combined.

The driver who scored the highest number of stage points in the spring races at Texas and Phoenix is Ryan Blaney, who will start eighth in the AAA Texas 500. Blaney claimed seven stage points at Phoenix in March and won the first and second stages at Texas (worth 10 points each) in April before finishing 12th.

In five starts at Texas, however, Blaney has by far the worst average finish (27.6) but has come home 12th in each of the last two races in Fort Worth.

Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski scored the second most stage points on the initial visits to the tracks this year – 23 each.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Discount Tire Joins Up As A Primary Sponsor For The Penske No. 2 Ford

Brad Keslowski

Team Penske and Discount Tire announced today that beginning in 2018, the world’s largest independent tire and wheel retailer will build on its established and successful partnership with the motorsports team and become a primary sponsor of the No. 2 Ford Fusion driven by 2012 champion Brad Keselowski in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS).

Under the new multiyear agreement, Discount Tire will provide primary partnership bookends to the 2018 MENCS season, beginning with the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in February and concluding with Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. Discount Tire will be featured as the primary sponsor of the No. 2 Ford for 10 races while continuing to serve as a prominent associate sponsor for the remainder of the schedule. Discount Tire will also continue as a primary sponsor of the No. 22 Ford Mustang in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) for multiple races in 2018 and beyond.

“Team Penske has enjoyed tremendous success with Discount Tire over the past eight seasons in the NASCAR XFINITY Series,” said Roger Penske. “We won our first NASCAR championship together with the 2010 XFINITY Series title and the company will always have a special place in our history. We are excited for a new challenge with Discount Tire as we look to build on that success with Brad and the No. 2 Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Cup Series.”

 The partnership between Discount Tire and Team Penske began in 2010 with the No. 22 NXS team that won six races and established a series record with 26 top-five finishes on its way to the championship won by Keselowski. The relationship continued to produce titles as the No. 22 Discount Tire team earned three-consecutive NXS Owners’ Championships from 2013-2015. In total during their partnership, five Team Penske drivers have won 33 NXS races in a Discount Tire-sponsored entry, with Keselowski leading the way, posting 23 victories. The No. 22 team is also currently leading the NXS Owners’ Point Standings with three races remaining in the season.

 “Our partnership with Team Penske has been incredibly successful during an exciting time for our company,” said Discount Tire Chairman Bruce T. Halle. “Roger and his team have been wonderful to work with, and of course, all of the wins and championships are fantastic. As we continue to expand Discount Tire across the country, we look forward to celebrating more successes with Brad and all of Team Penske as together we pursue the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship.”

 Since 2010, Discount Tire has expanded into 13 new states and added 175 new neighborhood retail tire stores. Team Penske drivers regularly visit Discount Tire stores to interact with customers and staff, and participate in tire safety campaigns promoted by Discount Tire.

 “Discount Tire has been an important part of my racing life for a long time now,” said Keselowski. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish together and of the relationships I have built over the years. It will be like coming full circle next year, as many of the current guys on the No. 2 Cup team were also with me during our 2010 XFINITY Championship run. It’s great to see this partnership continuing into the Cup Series while still maintaining an important place in the XFINITY Series.”

 The 2018 NASCAR Cup Series regular season begins with the 60th anniversary running of the Great American Race, the Daytona 500, on Sunday, February 18.

 About Team Penske
Team Penske is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports and celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2016. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have produced more than 470 major race wins, over 540 pole positions and 30 National Championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition. In its storied history, the team has also earned 16 Indianapolis 500 victories, two Daytona 500 Championships, a Formula 1 win and overall victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Team Penske currently competes in the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series. The team also races in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, in a partnership with Dick Johnson Racing, as DJR Team Penske. For more information about Team Penske, please visit www.teampenske.com.

 About Discount Tire
Discount Tire, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., is the world’s largest independent tire and wheel retailer. Founded in 1960 by Bruce Halle, the company does business under the trade name Discount Tire in most of the U.S., America’s Tire in parts of California, and as Discount Tire Direct in markets outside the reach of our retail stores. The company currently serves customers as their trusted neighborhood tire retailer at 950 stores in 34 states across the country. Discount Tire sponsors the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and Monster Energy AMA Supercross. For more information about Discount Tire, visit discounttire.com. Like us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/discounttire.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Team Penske And Miller Lite Renew Their Partnership

Brad Keselowski
Team Penske and Miller Lite announced today that the original light beer will continue its relationship with the No. 2 Ford Fusion team and driver Brad Keselowski in 2018 and beyond. The renewal continues a partnership that began on the No. 2 Team Penske Ford in 1991 with driver Rusty Wallace.

The familiar white and blue Miller Lite paint scheme will adorn Keselowski’s car in 11 NASCAR Cup Series races in 2018. Miller Lite will continue to be an associate sponsor for the car and Keselowski throughout the balance of the NASCAR Cup Series season.

“Miller Lite has been a terrific partner with Team Penske for 27 years and we welcome their continued support of the No. 2 Ford team,” said Roger Penske. “There is no question that they have been a tremendous part of our NASCAR success, including winning the 2012 NASCAR Cup Series title together. We look forward to having Miller Lite back with the team as we head into the future.”

One of the most successful partnerships in NASCAR history, Team Penske and the Miller Brewing Company have combined for 65 Cup wins, 20 of which have come with Keselowski behind the wheel. Keselowski also provided the biggest highlight of the Team Penske and Miller Lite partnership when he and the No. 2 team captured the 2012 Cup title in just his third full season of competition.

“The Team Penske partnership is one of the longest in MillerCoors’ history and it continues to be one that gives us a lot of pride,” said Adam Dettman, Director of Sports and Entertainment at Miller Coors. “We are pleased to be able to continue this long-standing relationship and look forward to cheering on Brad in the No. 2.”

Keselowski took over the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion in 2011 – his second full Cup season – and he won his first series race for Team Penske in just his 13th start behind the wheel.

“Many of the biggest moments of my career have involved Miller Lite,” said Keselowski. “We have had a lot of success together and I am very proud to represent them within our sport. Many of the fans who cheer for the No. 2 on a weekly basis do it because of the Miller Lite brand. It’s an iconic look for NASCAR and a mainstay with Team Penske.”

The first primary race for the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion will be the season-opening, non-points Clash at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, February 11.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!