Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Report – Watkins Glen

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No. 2 Wabash National Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Start: 1st
Stage 1: 11th
Stage 2: 22nd
Finish: 35th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 87/90
Laps Led: 9
Point Standings (behind first): 10th (-239)

Notes: 

  • Brad Keselowski had a tough day in The Go Bowling at The Glen Sunday afternoon at Watkins Glen International. The driver of the Wabash National Ford Mustang had a day filled with misfortune which left him with a 35th-place finish. Keselowski falls to 10th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 239 points behind leader Kyle Larson.
  • Keselowski started on the pole and led the first nine laps before he spun in Turn 10, dropping him to sixth at the time of the competition caution on lap 10. Keselowski pitted one lap later for four tires and restarted 21st when the race went green on lap 12. Over the next eight laps Keselowski hustled his way through traffic to score an 11th-place finish when Stage 1 ended on lap 20. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins made the call to pit for four tires plus a major trackbar adjustment during the stage caution on lap 21. Keselowski restarted 24th when the race went green on lap 22.
  • Misfortune continued for Keselowski in Stage 2. On the restart, he was forced off the track and had to pit under green on lap 23 to remove grass and debris from his Mustang’s front grille. He stopped again under caution on lap 26 to pull packer and repair minor nose damage on his car. Keselowski was credited with a 22nd-place when the stage ended on lap 40 and didn’t pit during the stage caution that followed, restarting 17th on lap 43.
  • Once the race went green, Keselowski held his own, running inside the top 15 until bad luck struck again. He spun at the entrance to Turn 1 on lap 56 and in the process made contact with teammate Joey Logano, which turned Logano sideways. Keselowski then pitted immediately for four tires and damage repair to his right-rear. The sequence of events dropped him a lap down to the leaders. Keselowski couldn’t make up the lost distance and was credited with a 35th-place finish in the final rundown.

Quote: “Not the day we wanted with our Wabash Ford. We’ll bounce back next week at Indy.”


No. 12 DEX Imaging Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Start: 3rd
Stage 1: 27th
Stage 2: 19th
Finish: 14th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 90/90
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first): 8th (-205)

Notes:

  • Ryan Blaney started third and finished 14th in Sunday’s Go Bowling at the Glen. The driver of the No. 12 DEX Imaging Ford Mustang ran inside the top-10 early in the 90-lap race but was forced to rally back after spinning out and losing precious track position. He remains eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 205 points behind leader Kyle Larson.  
  • Blaney ran inside the top-10 for the opening 17 laps of the race before making his first pit stop just prior to the end of Stage 1. He finished 27th when Stage 1 concluded on lap 20 but moved up inside the top-10 when the race went green on lap 22.
  • Blaney spun in the Bus Stop corner moments before the third caution waved on lap 26. Crew chief Todd Gordon called Blaney to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment on the No. 12 Mustang. Blaney fought his way through traffic over the next 13 laps to score a 19th-place finish when Stage 2 ended on lap 40.
  • The driver of the DEX Imaging Ford continued to charge his way back towards the front during the final stage. The team steadily improved the Mustang’s handling and Blaney climbed back towards the top-10. But as the race drew to a close, Blaney reported that his brakes weren’t quite as good as they had been earlier in the race and he struggled for rear drive off the corners. Unfortunately, Blaney couldn’t mount a serious challenge for a top-10 finish and he was credited with 14th-place at the checkered flag.

Quote: “Overall we struggled with some rear grip, then had the wheel-hop spin into the Bus Stop and had to work back from there. I’m really proud of the guys on our DEX Imaging team. They never quit and we’ll go get them next week at Indy.”


No. 22 Verizon 5G Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Start: 2nd
Stage 1: 1st – Fourth Stage Win of 2021
Stage 2: 9th
Finish: 22nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 90/90
Laps Led: 11
Point Standings (behind first): 5th (-157)

Notes:

  • The good news for Joey Logano at Watkins Glen International was the driver of the Verizon 5G Ford Mustang scored his fourth stage win of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. The bad news was he finished 22nd after suffering damage in a Turn 1 collision with teammate Brad Keselowski. The extensive repair work forced Logano to fight back through the remainder of the race, but he was hampered by an absence of a yellow flag after the conclusion of Stage 2.
  • Logano ran second before taking the lead just before the competition caution on lap 10 when Keselowski spun in Turn 10. He was pleased with the overall balance of the No. 22 Verizon 5G Mustang and held firm to the top spot over the next 11 laps to score the win when Stage 1 concluded on lap 20. Crew chief Paul Wolfe made the call to hit pit road during the stage caution for four tires, air pressure and a trackbar adjustment.
  • During Stage 2, the Verizon 5G team struggled to hear Logano on the team’s radio but Logano overcame those issues to score a ninth-place finish when the segment ended on lap 40. In Stage 3, Logano was approaching a green flag pit stop when on lap 56 teammate Brad Keselowski locked up his rear tires entering Turn 1, backing into the right side of the Verizon 5G Mustang, damaging both vehicles.  
  • Logano then made an extended pit stop for repairs and consequently dropped deep into the field. When the dust settled on the costly sequence, Logano was 27th in the running order with 22 laps remaining in the race. He continued to run competitive lap times despite the heavy damage but was hampered by a lack of track position and no cautions during the final stage to bunch up the field. Logano was credited with a 22nd-place finish at the checkered flag.

 
Quote: “We were pretty fast to start the race with our Verizon 5G Mustang. Led some laps and won the first stage, which will help into the playoffs. I got the damage there in Turn 1 and that set us back. A lack of cautions made it pretty difficult to come back from that point.” 

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