Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Report – Dover

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No. 2 WURTH #Thanks2Teachers Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Start: 15th
Stage 1: 10th
Stage 2: 8th
Finish: 16th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 400/400
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first):  9th (-170)
 
Notes: 

  • An extra pit stop under caution with just under 100 laps to go spoiled a solid run by Brad Keselowski Sunday afternoon at Dover International Speedway. Keselowski lost track position in the exchange and was left with a 16th-place finish in the final rundown. The driver of the WURTH #Thanks2Teachers Ford Mustang is ninth in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, 170 points behind leader Denny Hamlin.
  • During the opening laps of the 400-lap race, Keselowski was pleased with his No. 2 Ford Mustang. He worked his way from his 15th-place starting position to 10th at the time of the competition caution on lap 35. Keselowski pitted for four tires and restarted sixth when the race went green on lap 40. From there, the driver of the WURTH Ford did a respectable job and claimed a 10th-place finish when the segment ended on lap 120. Keselowski pitted during the stage caution on lap 123 for four tires and adjustments and restarted 11th on lap 129.
  • The balance on the car was a handful for Keselowski in Stage 2, wrestling the same issues as earlier in the race. He pitted for four tires and a round of adjustments under caution on lap 173 and the changes appeared to improve the car’s handling. On lap 194, Keselowski was racing teammate Joey Logano for position when he slipped sideways off Turn 2. He recovered from the close call to finish eighth when Stage 2 concluded. He pitted during the stage caution for four tires and adjustments and restarted eighth on lap 248.  
  • The third and final stage was disappointing for Keselowski and the WURTH team. Shortly after the stage went green Keselowski again got loose in Turn 2, this time under Kevin Harvick but once again he kept his Mustang in a straight line. Needing both front turn and stability, Keselowski pitted on lap 304 for four tires and adjustments. Unfortunately, a lug nut got caught between the left-front wheel and the brake caliper and Keselowski was forced to pit again before the race went green. The extra stop shuffled Keselowski back to 16th-position in the running order and despite his best efforts couldn’t get closer to the front. 

 
Quotes: “We had an okay day going in the Wurth Ford prior to the problem on pit road. After that we just weren’t able to recover.”

 
No. 12 Menards/Cardell Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney

Start: 7th
Stage 1: 3rd
Stage 2: 16th
Finish: 12th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 400/400
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first): 6th (-136)
 
Notes:

  • Ryan Blaney started seventh and finished 12th at Dover International Speedway despite running inside the top-five for the majority of the first and second stages in the No. 12 Menards/Cardell Ford Mustang. Blaney suffered damage from a piece of debris, forcing multiple pit stops and putting the No. 12 Ford team in recovery mode for the remainder of the race.
  • In the opening laps, Blaney kept pace with the race leaders and, after the competition caution at lap 40, quick pit work and a better handling Menards/Cardell Mustang allowed the driver to move into the top five. Blaney maintained a top-five position through the remainder of the stage, making a late charge to the third position with significant long -un speed.
  • Blaney suffered nose damage to the Menards/Cardell Mustang at the end of the first stage that had to be repaired during the second stage. Unfortunately, the team also had to repair duct work damaged by the debris, which put the team at the tail end of the lead lap. Blaney was able to climb back to the 16th position before the conclusion of the stage, reporting he needed both air pressure and trackbar adjusted on the upcoming stop.
  • Blaney continued to march forward at the beginning of the final stage, working his way towards the top-10 with his repaired Mustang. Inside of 100 laps remaining, Blaney powered back into the top-10, with another caution flag being displayed at lap 314 while being scored in the eighth position.
  • As the laps clicked away, so did the handling on the No. 12 Menards/Cardell Mustang with Blaney slipping back to the 12th position. The finish was a disappointing result after the team ran inside the top-five through the opening stages.  He remains sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings.

 
Quote:  “We had a fast Menards/Cardell Ford Mustang to start the race, the once we got the damage from the debris and lost our track position it was a battle for the rest of the race. Tough to pass and then there at the end just sort of lost the handle on it.”
 
 
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Start: 9th
Stage 1: 7th
Stage 2: 18th
Finish: 5th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 400/400
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first): 4th (-132)

Notes:

  • Joey Logano started ninth and finished fifth in Sunday afternoon’s 400-mile race at Dover International Speedway. Logano battled mid-race adversity, needing repairs to the nose of the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang before fighting back for the top-five result.
  • On the opening run of the race, Logano reported the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang was slightly free on entry and exit and lacked a little center turn. During the first stop of the race, the team adjusted the car with air pressure and trackbar. Logano maintained in the top-10 through the opening stage, finishing seventh.
  • Over the course of the second stage, Logano reported that the tape had come off the nose of the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang, resulting in temperatures dropping and hurting the front turn. On a lap 172 caution, the team attempted to get more tape on the nose but didn’t get the full amount they wanted. The handling woes resulted in Logano falling outside the top-10. After an 18th-place result in the second stage, the team made an extended stop to work on the front grill.
  • Following grill repairs, Logano reported the handling of the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang was significantly improved allowing the driver to work his way back into the top-15. Logano continued his rebound reaching the 12th position before a lap-312 caution. Logano reached the top-10 after with 60 laps remaining in the event.
  • Logano would use fresher tires and adjustments in the closing laps to work forward in the field. With seven laps remaining, Logano moved into the fifth position where he’d finish the race. The top-five result seemed unlikely at the beginning of the third stage when Logano was marred in the back of the top-20.

 
Quote:  “We’ll take a top five after everything that happened there.  They did a good job fixing it.  I don’t know, I hit something at some point that went through the grille and just lost a ton of downforce trying to fix that, and then we got it fixed there the last run and the Shell/Pennzoil Mustang was a rocketship and started rolling up through the field pretty nice and just ran out of time.  I had the 24 in front of me and thought I could maybe get him.  I’d like to have another restart and see what can happen.  The boys on pit road are so good, maybe grab a couple there and a good restart and maybe the day looks a little bit different, but all things considered Jonathan Hassler did a great job up on the box recovering from a hard day.  Think about the days you don’t have your crew chief and then there’s adversity.  It just makes it even harder, but everyone did a great job sticking together.  It shows that we have a really strong team here.”

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