Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Report -Road America

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No. 2 Snap-on Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski

Start: 20th
Stage 1: 16th
Stage 2: 11th
Finish: 13th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 62/62
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (ahead of second): 10th (-205)

Notes:  

  • Brad Keselowski collected a 13th-place finish Sunday afternoon at Road American despite several issues that threatened to derail his respectable afternoon. Keselowski overcame a spin, pit road penalty and a malfunctioning driver cooling unit to claim his solid finish. Keselowski remains 10th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 205 points behind leader Denny Hamlin.
  • Keselowski qualified 20th on Sunday morning and used a conservative strategy throughout Stage 1. The driver of the Snap-on Mustang tried to be as smooth as possible and take care of his equipment early in the race. As the opening 14-lap stage drew to a close, several cars on the lead lap began to pit but crew chief Jeremy Bullins kept his driver on the track. The move gave Keselowski a 16th-place finish. He pitted during the stage caution for four tires, but the team was penalized for a crew member over the wall too soon, which shuffled the No. 2 Ford back to 31st on the restart on lap 16.  
  • Keselowski had passed six cars when he spun at the exit of Turn 14 on lap 22. Once again he lost track position but Bullins kept his driver on the track until the stage ended. The strategy moved Keselowski up to 11th when Stage 2 concluded on lap 29. The balance on the No. 2 Mustang needed lateral grip and Bullins made the call during the stage caution for four tires and wedge adjustment. Keselowski restarted 26th when the race went green on lap 32.  
  • The third and final stage saw Keselowski make up positions and be in contention for a top-10 finish as the race drew to a close. He continued to battle not having drive or lateral grip, but Bullins kept adjusting improve the car. Keselowski climbed up to 16th position with eight laps to go and moved into 13th when three leaders were forced to pit for fuel during the final two laps.  

Quote“We had a hard-fought day in our Snap-on Ford. This is a tough track and we fought hard to make the most of our day with what we had.”


No. 12 BODYARMOR Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney

Start: 17th
Stage 1: 17th
Stage 2: 30th
Finish: 20th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 62/62
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (ahead of second): 8th (-195)

Notes:

  • Ryan Blaney started 17th and finished 20th in the No. 12 BODYARMOR Ford Mustang in Sunday afternoon’s Jockey Made in America 250 at Road America. Blaney battled a lack of grip early and suffered damage in the middle of the race after making contact with another competitor while wheel hopping. Blaney caught a lucky break with a caution at lap 42 but was unable to maintain pace with the significant damage.
  • During the opening stage, Blaney struggled with a lack of braking power and overall grip, drive-off and lateral. On the first stop of the race at lap 14, crew chief Todd Gordon called for a significant air pressure change on the No. 12 BODYARMOR Ford Mustang. Blaney had finished the stage in the 17th position, where he began the race. The changes made on the first stop worked as Blaney was able to steadily pass cars during the second stage.
  • With the second stage drawing to a close, the team called the driver to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment on lap 26, pitting prior to the conclusion of Stage 2. Blaney would be scored in the 30th position at the stage end.
  • Blaney began the final stage in the 14th position and was moving forward. Unfortunately, at lap 37, Blaney wheel hopped and made significant impact with the rear of the No. 3 of Austin Dillon. Coming to lap 42, the team elected to pit and were in the box when the caution flag was displayed. The team repaired the damage and sent Blaney back out onto the track.
  • While Blaney restarted on the front row after pitting at lap 42 he dropped steadily, struggling with the BODYARMOR Mustang’s handling following the damage. Blaney would solider on to finish the race in the 20th position.

 
Quote“Lacked some overall grip early in the race, felt like we made some good adjustments but then taking the damage really set us back for the rest of the day. The good news is, we head to Atlanta next week and the last time we were there we won.” 

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano

Start: 14th
Stage 1: 11th
Stage 2: 6th
Finish: 15th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 62/62
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (ahead of second): 5th (-120)

Notes:

  • Joey Logano started 14th and finished 15th in Sunday afternoon’s Jockey Made in America 250 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The driver of the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang struggled throughout the race with handling and braking issues but was aided by solid stops throughout the day by the No. 22 Ford crew, gaining multiple positions on each yellow flag stop.
  • Logano struggled with a tight condition through the carousel while lacking overall rear grip for the majority of the opening laps. Crew chief Paul Wolfe adjusted with two rounds of trackbar and air pressure on the first stop of the race after finishing the opening stage in the 11th position. Quick work by the Shell-Pennzoil crew gained Logano three positions on pit road.
  • During Stage 2, Logano reported the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang was better, still a little on the free side at certain points on the track. The team elected to remain on the track and score stage points for a sixth-place finish. Under the caution, the team elected to pit for an additional trackbar adjustment and four tires.
  • Logano began the final stage in the 21st position and battled briefly inside the top-10, making his last pit stop at lap 44 under caution where the Shell-Pennzoil crew gained four positions while making a trackbar and air pressure adjustment.
  • Late in the race, Logano started struggling with the handling of the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang and dropped back to the 15th position before the completion of the race.

 
Quote“We struggled today overall with handling and braking. The guys on pit road did a great job on each stop, grabbing us positions every time, just needed a little more to be super competitive. We’ll regroup and we’ve got a few weeks before we hit another road course and we’ll be stronger at Watkins Glen.”


No. 33 PIRTEK Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric  

Start: 5th
Stage 1: 29th
Stage 2: 37th
Finish: 38th
Status: Mechanical 
Laps Completed: 35/62
Laps Led:  2
Driver Points: N/A 

Notes:

  • Austin Cindric and the No. 33 PIRTEK Ford Mustang team finished the Jockey Made in America 250 in the 38th position Sunday afternoon at Road America. Before the No. 33 PIRTEK Mustang suffered a mechanical failure on lap 24, the NASCAR Cup Series rookie showed his potential by battling and leading laps. 
  • Cindric showed his speed early after he qualified fifth in his second-ever Cup Series qualifying attempt. During the opening laps of the first 15-lap stage, Cindric settled into the fifth position. He reported his PIRTEK Ford was ok, just needed more grip. Crew chief Miles Stanley elected to pit early on lap 11 for four tires, fuel and tape. Shorty after the caution was displayed with Cindric scored in the 29th position to finish out Stage 1. During the stage caution most of the field came to pit road while Cindric stayed out, allowing him to restart the second stage in the third position.
  • As the green-flag fell to restart the race, Cindric powered his way, three wide for the race lead, putting on an impressive battle between Matt DiBenedetto and Kyle Busch. Cindric recaptured the lead with six-laps remaining in the second stage until misfortune struck and the No. 33 PIRTEK Ford suffered a mechanical failure while leading on lap 24. Cindric drove his PIRTEK Ford to the garage for repairs and rejoined the field in 39th position, 13 laps down and continued to run laps and gain experience before retiring his PIRTEK Ford from the race on lap 48, resulting in a 38th-place finish. 

 
Quote“I only had one wheel drive and when you only have two other ones spinning with 750 horsepower it is a bit challenging. It was quite dramatic taking the lead and then immediately losing everything. Not a weekend I am necessarily happy about. To have the opportunity to show up at this race track with extremely well-prepared race cars and have a shot to win both races is really great for someone in my position. But I want to make the most of it and I put way too much into it to have it go that bad, especially when you get moved out of the lead and then take it back as clean as possible, and then this is all you’ve got. That is racing. That is my motto for the weekend. I appreciate Pirtek and everyone at Road America for coming out to support us. It has been a great weekend.”

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