Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Report - Kansas
July 24, 2020
Track: Kansas Speedway
Race: Super Start Batteries 400
Date: July 23, 2020
No. 2 Wabash Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 5th
Stage 2: 1st – Fifth stage win of the season
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 30
Point Standings (behind first): 2nd (-97)
- Brad Keselowski won a stage and led 30 laps on his way to a second-place finish Thursday night at Kansas Speedway. Keselowski grabbed his fifth stage win of the 2020 season and racked up his seventh top-five finish. The driver of the Wabash Ford Mustang is second in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 97 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
- Keselowski started seventh and was loose throughout much of Stage 1. He and crew chief Jeremy Bullins improved the balance on the No. 2 Mustang and scored a fifth-place finish when the segment ended on lap 80. Keselowski pitted during the stage caution on lap 83 for four tires and a chassis adjustment and restarted fourth when the race went green on lap 86.
- Armed with a better handling Mustang, Keselowski ran inside the top-five throughout Stage 2. Bullins made the call for right-side tires during a stop under caution on lap 101, which gave Keselowski the lead before he settled into fifth. Another caution on lap 142 set up a round of stops two laps later. Bullins this time called for four tires and Keselowski restarted eighth with 12 laps to go in the stage. Keselowski used the fresher tires to power through the field and pass Ryan Blaney with two laps to go to win the stage.
- The third and final stage was a chaotic, with six cautions in the final 100 laps and three-wide racing on each restart that followed. But Keselowski remained a fixture in the top-five. He took the lead from William Bryon on lap 206 and led the next 15 laps. He was running second when a caution on lap 234 gave him the chance to pit one final time for four tires and a chassis adjustment. Keselowski restarted fourth on lap 245 and made it to second place but couldn't track down Denny Hamlin in the closing laps.
Quotes: "I thought Denny (Hamlin) and I were probably pretty close to equal the second half of the night. It was just a matter of who got out in front. We didn't get out in front on the restarts there and he was able to take advantage and bring home the win. All in all, it was still a really good day for our Wabash Ford Mustang."
No. 12 DEX Imaging Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 4th
Stage 2: 2nd
Laps Completed: 266/267
Laps Led: 14
Point Standings (Behind First): 3rd (-100)
- Ryan Blaney started fourth and finished 20th in Thursday's 400-mile race at Kansas Speedway. The driver of the DEX Imaging Ford Mustang ran in the top-five much of the race until contact with the outside wall and unscheduled pit stop on lap 226 ruined his night.
- Blaney started fourth and would quickly work his way to second by lap two behind teammate Joey Logano. He would remain there until the lap 25 competition caution. Blaney would pit for four tires and an air pressure adjustment on lap 27. He would restart third and fall back to fourth shortly thereafter. He would remain in that position until the end of the stage on lap 80.
- Stage 2 began with Blaney restarting sixth. After working his way back to third he would fall back to fourth after being passed by Denny Hamlin. On lap 131 he would pass teammate Brad Keselowski for third. A pit stop under caution would see Blaney take two right-side tires and come out with the race lead. He would hold on to the lead until the final lap of Stage 2 when Keselowski passed him for the lead, and he would settle for a second-place finish in Stage 2.
- Blaney would restart third for the final stage. After working his way back to as high as third, he would pit under caution for two right-side tires again. Unfortunately, the DEX Imaging Ford would begin to slide through the field and shortly after Blaney would contact the Turn 1 wall causing a flat tire and unscheduled pit stop. The Todd Gordon led crew would make repairs and Blaney would cross the line in 20th-place.
- Blaney now sits third in the NASCAR Cup Series standings, 100 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
Quote: "We had a decent DEX Imaging Ford today. We were loose most of the race and tried to get the car tighten up with the track conditions constantly changing. Unfortunately, I got in the wall and we had to make an unscheduled stop. We'll put this behind us and move on to New Hampshire next week."
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Stage 1: 17th
Stage 2: 11th
Laps Completed: 176/267
Laps Led: 27
Point Standings (Behind First): 6th (-154)
- Joey Logano started second and finished 34th on Sunday afternoon after a lap 175 incident after suffering a flat left front tire just after a restart in the final stage. Logano took the lead on the opening lap and led 27 laps prior to pitting at the competition caution. A pit road penalty set the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang deep in the field and put Logano on offense the remainder of the night, reclaiming position inside the top-10 just before the race-ending accident.
- After starting the race second, Logano claimed the lead on the opening lap, leading the event until the lap 25 competition caution when the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang pitted for four tires and adjustments on the loose handling condition. Unfortunately, Logano was sent to the back for the restart for an uncontrolled tire penalty and would have to race forward with only 50 laps remaining in the stage. Logano was able to race back inside the top-20, finishing 17th at the end of the stage.
- Through the second stage, Logano was able to rebound inside the top-10 but finished the stage in the 11th position, continuing to battle a loose handling condition in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Mustang.
- As the third stage began, Logano was able to make aggressive moves and work to the eighth position. Just prior to the restart, Logano reported something felt awry on the left front of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Mustang. Unfortunately, when the race resumed, the left front tire went flat and Logano made hard contact exiting turn 2, destroying the right front suspension and ending the team's night.
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Quote: "You are coming to the green and swerving your tires and something feels funny and you just aren't sure. I was pretty sure coming off of two and it loaded up and got on the splitter. Just a bummer. I felt like we got our Shell Pennzoil Mustang pretty good that last run. We felt loose that whole time but the last run we were close to where we needed to be. I wish we could have finished it out because I feel like we would have had something."
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