Track: Bristol Motor Speedway
Race: Food City 500
Date: April 16, 2018
No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 1st
Stage 2: 1st
Laps Completed: 495/500
Laps Led: 67
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 5th (-94)
- Brad Keselowski won Stage 1, a chaotic 125-lap segment that featured five cautions and two red flag delays. He was racing teammate Ryan Blaney for the lead on lap 117 when a five-car accident among a group of lapped cars happened just in front of the two leaders. Keselowski cleanly made it through the incident and held on during a one-lap green flag dash to end the segment.
- In Stage 2, Keselowski used a crafty pit call by crew chief Paul Wolfe to win the segment. Keselowski was 14th under caution on lap 213 when Wolfe made the decision to pit for left-side tires, moving Keselowski up to third when the race went green on lap 217. He briefly fell to seventh on the restart but rallied back, taking the lead on lap 244 and holding off Kyle Busch for the stage win.
- Keselowski’s strong run was spoiled by a cut tire. He was running fifth with 80 laps to go in the 500-lap event when he began falling back through the pack. As the laps ticked off toward the conclusion of the event, Keselowski gamely tried to hold on, but on lap 471 his left front tire went down and he brushed the wall in Turn 2, bringing out the final caution of the race on lap 471.
- He was able to nurse his car back to pit road where Wolfe and the Discount Tire team hastily made repairs. Keselowski was credited with a 23rd place finish. Keselowski is fifth in the MENCS driver standings, 94 points behind the leader.
Quotes: “The tire came apart on that restart and we were trying to bring it on home, but it just didn’t come together.”
No. 12 REV Ford Fusion – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 35th
Stage 2: 35th
Laps Completed: 117/500
Laps Led: 100
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 6th (-98)
- Ryan Blaney started fourth and finished 35th in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
- Blaney took the lead from pole-sitter Kyle Busch on lap 16 and led twice for 100 laps – the first laps he’s led in a Cup race at Bristol.
- On lap 47, the race was stopped for 25 minutes due to brief rain shower.
- The only pit stop of the race for the No. 12 team came on lap 56. Blaney reported the REV Ford Fusion was tight in the center and loose off. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins called for a track bar adjustment to go with four tires and fuel.
- With just eight laps remaining in Stage 1, race leader Blaney was catching a pack of lapped traffic. Two cars made contact causing a third car to slide up the track in front of the No. 12’s path. The damage proved to be too significant, bringing an end to the day for Blaney.
Quote: “I didn’t see much to be honest with you. By the time I could see anything they were already turned right and there was nowhere to go. Seeing the replay it looked like people not that were not cleared were clearing themselves and then wrecking and taking the leader out and that’s unfortunate. Our car was pretty good. We just got held up there. We might not have been as strong at the end of that run, but I thought we could have at least held on for that stage and never got the chance. The positives you look at is that we had a good car and that’s something to hold your head high about.”
No. 22 Autotrader Ford Fusion – Joey Logano
Stage 1: 13th
Stage 2: 16th
Laps Completed: 500/500
Laps Led: 1
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 2nd (-59)
- Joey Logano started 10th in the No. 22 Autotrader Ford Fusion in Sunday afternoon’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Logano wasted no time moving forward, taking advantage of multiple early restarts on the outside line moving his way to the second position by lap 22.
- The red flag was displayed at lap 47 for rain and Logano told the team he needed more center turn but couldn’t be any looser. On the restart, Logano quickly moved to the second position after restarting eighth. With a late caution, the team elected to pit, which resulted in Logano finishing 13th in Stage 1.
- Following the second rain delay of the race, Logano ran inside the top-five for much of the run before dropping to sixth prior to the third caution for rain was displayed. Crew chief Todd Gordon called for an air pressure adjustment on the next stop.
- When the race resumed on Monday afternoon, Logano pitted to repair some right-front fender damage and restarted 14th on lap 217. During the 34-lap run to the completion of Stage 2, Logano found himself stuck in the outside lane and fell back to 18th. On the ensuing pit stop, excellent work by the team moved Logano up to the 11th position to begin the final stage.
- During the final 100 laps of the race, Logano described the car as tight. Logano felt he had superior center-turn, but struggled on corner-exit, leading to further air pressure adjustments on the final two stops of the stage.
- The handling improved through the final run, but Logano ran out of laps and was credited with a ninth-place finish.
Quote: “We had some things from an execution standpoint we could clean up after this weekend. I feel like we still had a top-five car and, unfortunately, just didn’t get the result to show for it. The guys on the Autotrader Ford Fusion team worked really hard this weekend, battled weather the last two days and didn’t give up. We’ll go to Richmond in a couple of days and look to continue getting stronger. That’s been a good track for us in the past, and the way our cars are running, it should be again.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!