Team Penske and LTi Printing Partner Up For 2018

Ryan Blaney

Team Penske announced a new partnership today with LTi Printing, one of the nation’s leaders in print and print related solutions.

As part of the multi-year agreement that begins with the 2018 season, LTi Printing will be featured as the primary sponsor on Team Penske’s championship-winning No. 22 Ford Mustang team for two races in the 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS), including the event at Pocono Raceway in June and at Iowa Speedway in late July. LTi Printing will also be an associate sponsor on the No. 22 NXS Ford for the rest of the 2018 season.

LTi will also provide printing services to Team Penske while the partnership will create strategic business-to-business opportunities for the industry-leading printers among the Penske Corporation companies and Team Penske’s diverse partner portfolio.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with Team Penske and their NASCAR XFINITY Series program this coming year,” said Mike Frost, President of LTi Printing. “Team Penske has a proven record of success both on the track, but also in fostering solid business-to-business relationships off the track.  And for us, offering such a diverse portfolio of print products and solutions allows us to be relevant to almost any Team Penske partner. After some time in the NASCAR Truck Series, we are very excited for the move to the XFINITY Series and to have the opportunity to partner with a world class racing organization like Team Penske.”

Team Penske and its partners will have access to a wide-range of printed products and services through the new partnership. LTi Printing focuses on high quality commercial print, folding cartons, pressure sensitive labels, digital printing, and fulfillment. With its branding on the No. 22 Ford Mustang next season, LTi Printing will experience unique exposure and marketing opportunities with a team that just earned its fourth NASCAR XFINITY Series Owners’ Championship.

“We welcome LTi Printing as a new partner to Team Penske and we certainly see the opportunities that exist within this new relationship,” said Roger Penske. “We believe Team Penske can help provide value to LTi through brand exposure as a race team sponsor along with a direct connection to world-class companies, and we are excited to help create solutions for our partners with a first-class printing services provider.”

LTi Printing will make the transition to Team Penske in 2018 after serving as a sponsor with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) team owned by Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski this season. The company was also the entitlement sponsor for the NCWTS race at Michigan International Speedway this August – the LTi Printing 200.

About LTi Printing

LTi Printing was founded in Sturgis, Michigan in 1983 and is based on four business principles: its customers, employees, community and stakeholders. The family owned company specializes in packaging, commercial print, labels, digital print, mailing and fulfillment. Among the variety of industries served by LTi Printing are healthcare, manufacturing, food & beverage, nutraceutical, universities, sports marketing and children’s toys. LTi Printing utilizes industry-leading equipment in both production and graphic technologies and is ISO certified.

About Team Penske
Team Penske is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have produced more than 470 major race wins, over 540 pole positions and 32 Championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition. Over the course of its 52-year 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. For 2018, Team Penske will compete in the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. 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.

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

PPG Bolsters Its Sponsorship With Team Penske In 2018

Ryan Blaney

Bringing new opportunities to one of the most enduring partnerships in racing, Team Penske announced today that PPG is expanding its relationship with the organization in 2018.

Team Penske and PPG will celebrate their 34th season together in 2018 with the company reaffirming its commitment by becoming a primary sponsor of the team’s No. 12 Ford Fusion driven by Ryan Blaney in six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) races next season.

As part of the enhanced program, PPG will also serve as an associate sponsor for Blaney – one of NASCAR’s up and coming young stars – and the No. 12 Ford for the balance of the MENCS season. The company will also continue as an associate sponsor on all Team Penske cars competing in the Verizon IndyCar Series and both DJR Team Penske entries racing in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

“PPG has been a trusted and valued partner with Team Penske for over 30 years as one of our longest-tenured sponsors,” said Roger Penske. “It has been exciting to see the partnership grow over the last three plus decades and we will work together as we continue to build the PPG brand through an increased presence with our team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.”

The No. 12 PPG Ford Fusion will compete with Blaney in the 2018 MENCS races at Auto Club Speedway, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the road course events at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International, the NASCAR Playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the fall Playoff event at Phoenix International Raceway.

“Having Ryan Blaney behind the wheel of a Team Penske car sponsored by PPG is going to make for a thrilling season – one we’re really looking forward to,” said John Outcalt, PPG, vice president, global automotive refinish. “Penske and PPG have always had a winning tradition. Together we’ve shown we’re a force to be reckoned with. And with Ryan on the track, we’re looking to add to our joint legacy.”

Team Penske and PPG established their partnership in 1984 through PPG’s participation in motorsports and sponsorship of the PPG Cup from 1979 to 1999 in the CART Series, where Penske Racing teams competed. The opportunities between the two companies started with PPG providing paint for Penske’s race cars. Over the years, the relationship has grown and PPG has become Penske Corporation’s largest supplier of refinish coatings for its racing, truck leasing and automotive collision repair subsidiaries.

“It’s great to see some of our current partners step up and become a part of the No. 12 team for next year and beyond,” said Blaney, who will turn 24 during the off-season. “PPG is a name and that everyone recognizes. They’ve been a part of Team Penske for a long time, so it’s great to see them strengthen their support of our group. I’m excited to see the PPG car on the track the first time.”

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

About PPG
PPG: WE PROTECT AND BEAUTIFY THE WORLD™
At PPG (NYSE:PPG), we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that our customers have trusted for more than 130 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $14.3 billion in 2016. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit www.ppg.com.
We protect and beautify the world is a trademark and the PPG Logo is a registered trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc

About Team Penske
Team Penske is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have produced more than 470 major race wins, over 540 pole positions and 32 Championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition. Over the course of its 52-year 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. For 2018, Team Penske will compete in the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. 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.

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

Here Charter, Charter!

Chris Buescher
Another key piece to 2018 that still needs to be announced is which teams will have the 36 guaranteed positions for each race. Those go to teams with NASCAR-issued charters.

The Furniture Row Racing #77 team charter has been sold to JTG Daugherty Racing for its #37 car.

Among those teams that need a charter for 2018: #12-Team Penske (Blaney), #21-Wood Brothers Racing (Menard) and #72-TriStar Motorsports (Cole Whitt).

Teams that currently have extra charters for next year include Roush Fenway Racing (it gets back the one leased to JTG), Richard Petty Motorsports (it gets back the one leased to Go Fas Racing, which gets back the charter it leased to the Wood Brothers) and Front Row Motorsports (it gets back the one leased to TriStar). If RCR doesn’t field the #27 car, RCR also would have a charter available for lease or sale.

Teams are allowed to lease out a charter for one year but then must use it or sell it over a five-year period. There is no limit as far as how many years a team can lease a charter from various organizations to keep the guaranteed spot in the field, it just can’t be the same charter year-to-year.

The pieces of the puzzle are slowing starting to make their way on puzzle board for 2018.

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

DXC Technology, Team Penske And Simon Pagenoud Partner For 2018

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske announced today that it has reached an extension agreement with DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC) for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

In its first season as a motorsports sponsor in 2017, DXC Technology built on an established presence with Team Penske’s successful Verizon IndyCar Series program and 2016 series champion, Simon Pagenaud, driver of the No. 22 Dallara/Chevrolet. DXC Technology celebrated with Pagenaud in Victory Lane of the season-ending series race in Sonoma, California, to claim its first INDYCAR win.

For the 2018 season, DXC Technology will return and serve as the primary sponsor on Pagenaud’s car for six races, which will begin with the Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 15. DXC Technology will also continue as an associate sponsor on the remaining races for the No. 22 team.

“Team Penske is excited to grow the partnership with DXC Technology for 2018,” said Roger Penske. “This is a technology-dependent sport and we were able to integrate DXC into our INDYCAR program this season and we will be ready to take our performance, and hopefully our results, to the next level with them in 2018.”

DXC Technology was the primary sponsor aboard Pagenaud’s car for six races in the company’s first year with the team in 2017, including the memorable win in the season finale at Sonoma Raceway.

“I enjoyed working with DXC Technology and representing their brand this past season,” said Pagenaud. “DXC Technology shares a similar philosophy with us at Team Penske, which is to strive for excellence. We are very proud to work together relentlessly toward further limits in our respective industries. We were excited to get a win with them in Sonoma and everyone at Team Penske wants to build on that as we welcome them back for 2018.”

DXC Technology is the world’s leading independent, end-to-end IT services company. Formed by the 2017 merger of CSC and the Enterprise Services business of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the company has more than 155,000 employees across 70 countries, serving some 6,000 clients. Its mission is to lead digital transformation for clients by tapping into global talent, developing powerful next-generation IT solutions and leveraging extensive partner relationships.

“Our partnership with Team Penske provides a great opportunity for DXC Technology,” said Mike Lawrie, DXC Technology chairman, president and CEO. “Performance and reputation make Team Penske the type of organization with which we want to align. Like us, they strive for excellence in everything they do and work diligently to provide value for both sides of the relationship.”

The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season opens on March 11 in the Streets of St. Petersburg in Florida, the 1.8-mile temporary circuit set up on city streets and a runway of Albert Whitted Airport.

Read how Team Penske and DXC Technology collaborated to enhance the engineering process with a “digital transformation workshop” designed to optimize the team’s engineering software: How a championship-winning race team cut engineering cycles by 30 percent.

 

 About DXC Technology

DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC) is the world’s leading business transformation company, helping clients harness the power of innovation to thrive on change. Born of the merger of CSC and the Enterprise Services business of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, DXC serves nearly 6,000 private and public sector enterprises across 70 countries. DXC’s technology independence, global talent, expertise and extensive alliance of partners combine to deliver the most powerful end-to-end next-generation IT services and solutions. DXC is recognized among best corporate citizens globally. For more information, visit https://www.dxc.technology.

 

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 31 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.

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!

Team Penske Grabs Fourth NXS Owners Championship

Ryan Blaney

Track:    Homestead-Miami Speedway

Race:     Ford EcoBoost 300

Date:     November 18, 2017

 

No. 22  REV Group Ford Mustang – Sam Hornish Jr.

Start:    8th

Finish:   2nd

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 200/200

Laps Led: 0

Owner Points Position (leading by): 1st – Fourth NASCAR XFINITY Series Owner Championship

Recap: Sam Hornish Jr. raced his way to the second position and claimed Team Penske’s fourth NASCAR XFINITY Series Owner Championship in Saturday night’s Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the No. 22 REV Group Ford Mustang. While the team reached the ultimate goal at the end of the event, the race began with tension as Hornish reported the brakes on the No. 22 Ford Mustang were going soft in the opening twenty laps. Hornish moved from the eighth position inside the top-five despite the soft brakes and tight handling condition. When the first caution flag of the race was displayed at lap 18, crew chief Greg Erwin elected to leave the car on the track, as did the rest of the lead competitors. When the race resumed, the handling of the Mustang continued to deteriorate and Hornish dropped out of the top-10, concluding the first stage in the 13th position. To complicate matters, Hornish reported the brakes were starting to get extremely soft, making it difficult to carry speed into the corners and get the car to rotate. On the first stop of the day, Erwin elected to adjust with air pressure and added a piece of tape to the nose of the REV Group Mustang. During the opening 20 laps of the second stage, Hornish began moving forward, running the fastest laps on the track, quickly climbing back inside the top-five. At lap 73, Hornish reported to the team he hadn’t used the brakes in 20 laps, confirming that the adjustments had indeed helped the handling of the REV Mustang. Hornish finished the second stage in the second position, despite needing more center turn. On the second stop of the race, the team made a track bar adjustment and air pressure, making a minor swing on the handling of the car as conditions began to cool with the sun setting over turn 1 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Through the opening run of the final stage, Hornish ran consistently in the second position, maintaining the leaders pace while building a gap to the cars behind him also vying for the owner title. At lap 144, crew chief Greg Erwin called the No. 22 REV Ford to pit road for four tires and an air pressure  adjustment, hoping to give Hornish the center turn he needed for the rest of the race. After the green flag pit cycle, the team returned to the second position, running one position ahead of the No. 18 for the owner’s championship. Through the third run of the day, Erwin continued to remind Hornish to preserve the tires should the race go green to completion. In the last forty laps, spotter Joey Meier, who will spot for Brad Keselowski tomorrow as he chases his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title, worked on giving Hornish targeted lap times as the team worked to manage the gap behind to the other owners title competitors. The race remained green with Hornish running in the second position to the checkered flag and to the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Owner Championship. The championship marked the 31st national title for Team Penske, in 51 years of motorsports.

Quote: “Great day. It didn’t look really good after the first stint. I didn’t have any brakes left. Not sure what happened. We’ve been having a little bit of a brake issue. I may have rode them too hard trying to get the car to do what I wanted it to do. The Ford Mustang came to life after we were able to make some changes on it on the first stop. I basically didn’t use any brakes on the last 155 laps. It was great that we didn’t have a bunch of restarts. I felt that if we did we might have had to makes some adjustment to run with Cole. Congratulations on Cole (Custer) in winning his first race and William (Byron) for winning the championship. (They) brought me down here to take care of the car and make sure we got our goal accomplished and I felt that we did a good job doing that. As a racecar driver you always want a little more. You want to win the race. Just really happy. Looking forward in getting home tomorrow to see my wife and kids. I just want to thank everyone at Penske for putting me in this car. Thanks to Roger, Tim Cindric and the guys for giving me this opportunity.”

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!

REV Group To Sponsor Ryan Blaney And The Team Penske No. 12 In 2018

Ryan Blaney
Team Penske has announced an enhanced partnership agreement for 2018 with REV Group, a leading manufacturer of specialty vehicle brands serving the commercial, fire and emergency and recreational markets. REV, a Team Penske partner in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) and the Verizon IndyCar Series since 2016, will showcase its brands as the company steps up to become a sponsor for the team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) in 2018.

REV will be the primary sponsor of the No. 12 Ford Fusion and driver Ryan Blaney for two races next season, including the spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway and the fall race at Talladega Superspeedway. REV will also be featured as an associate sponsor on the No. 12 Ford Fusion for the rest of the team’s 2018 MENCS races.

In addition, REV will continue its association with the team’s INDYCAR program – as a full-season associate sponsor on the No. 1 of Josef Newgarden and the No. 3 of Helio Castroneves during the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 during the month of May.

“We are always looking for ways to give our partners more exposure and teaming REV up with Ryan Blaney in the Cup Series was a perfect opportunity,” said Roger Penske.  “We’ve been able to build a great relationship with the entire REV organization over the last couple of years.  Tim Sullivan, Marcus Berto and their entire group do a fantastic job leveraging their partnership to bring in guests and help expand their business-to-business opportunities.”

REV has featured its Fleetwood RV brand with Team Penske since 2016 as primary sponsor of four NXS races on the No. 22 Ford Mustang, including the season finale event at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Joey Logano took REV to their first victory as a Team Penske primary sponsor at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this year. The company has also sponsored three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Castroneves and was the primary sponsor of the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet at several races over the last two seasons.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to continue our association with Team Penske in 2018,” said REV Group President and CEO, Tim Sullivan. “We are very excited to be associated with two of Team Penske’s young guns next year.  We have supported Ryan Blaney in the XFINITY Series the past two years and we look forward to continue that as he moves to the No. 12 in the Cup Series next season. We are equally excited to have newly-crowned INDYCAR Series Champion Josef Newgarden become a part of the REV family.  And of course, the master Helio Castroneves as he strives for number four at Indy.”

At just 23 years old, Blaney is a key pillar to NASCAR’s youth movement. Currently racing in his second full-time season for the legendary Wood Brothers Racing team, Blaney captured his first MENCS career pole at Kansas Speedway, as well as his first Cup Series career win at Pocono Raceway this season. The victory at Pocono earned Blaney a coveted spot in the 2017 MENCS Playoffs for the first time in his young career.

“It will be great to have REV on board with No. 12 Ford Fusion next season,” said Blaney.  “They have been an important sponsor for Team Penske’s XFINITY Series program and growing the relationship and taking it to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series level is exciting.  Not only that, but I’ve utilized one of their motorhomes each weekend at the track and I love it.  It’s great to see a partner continue to build their program with us year after year.  We’ll be working hard to bring REV to the Cup Series Victory Lane in 2018.”

REV has had a strong presence in the motorsports industry for years. In the area of track safety, REV fire trucks and ambulances are used at race tracks around the country. In addition, race fans and general consumers utilize REV vehicles including their extensive list of bus brands, mobility vans, street sweepers, yard trucks and popular recreational vehicles. The partnership with Team Penske continues to provide visibility and activation opportunities for these REV brands in the racing community.

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 REV Group

REV Group, Inc., formerly Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV), is manufacturer of industry-leading specialty vehicle brands serving commercial, fire & emergency and recreation markets. Within the commercial division, REV offers a full line of buses, terminal trucks, sweepers and mobility conversion vehicles. The fire & emergency division offers a complete line of fire apparatus and ambulance vehicles. Within the recreation vehicle division, the company produces motorized RVs under several of the industry’s most iconic brands. For more information about REV visit www.revgroup.com, or to view a short video about the REV rebranding effort, visit: www.revgroup.com/video.

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!