Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Report - Kansas
October 19, 2020
Track: Kansas Speedway
Race: Hollywood Casino 400
Date: October 18, 2020
No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 2nd
Stage 2: 6th
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 6
Point Standings (behind first): 3rd (-33)
- Brad Keselowski scored a fourth-place finish in the Hollywood Casino 400 Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. Keselowski grabbed his 21st top-10 finish in 33 races this season and his 12th in 22 races at Kansas. The driver of the Discount Tire Ford is third in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 33 points behind the leader Kevin Harvick and eight above the Championship 4 cutline.
- Keselowski started eighth and was running seventh at the time of the competition caution on lap 25. The Discount Tire Ford was loose from the center of the corner off and crew chief Jeremy Bullins opted to for four tires and a track bar adjustment. He restarted eighth on lap 30 and fought his way through traffic to finish second when the stage ended on lap 80. Keselowski pitted during the stage caution for four tires and a left-rear wedge adjustment and restarted fifth on lap 86.
- He was one of the final cars to pit during a round of green flag stops midway through Stage 2, moving into the lead on lap 125 and leading the next six laps before making his scheduled pit stop on lap 131. The third caution came out on lap 145 before the cycle was complete. Keselowski stayed out and restarted third when the race went green on lap 149, 11 laps before the segment concluded. He survived the restart to finish sixth when Stage 2 ended on lap 160. Keselowski pitted during the stage caution on lap 163 for four tires and restarted ninth when the race went green on lap 167.
- As the laps ticked off in final segment, Keselowski moved into serious contention for the win. He was up to second-place with 70 laps to go. He pitted under cation on lap 201 for four tires and restarted fifth on lap 205 but didn't have enough fuel to make it to the finish. The sixth and final caution on lap 222 allowed Keselowski and others to make a final stop for tires and to take on enough fuel to make it to the distance. He ran as high has third with 30 laps to go but could get any close to the leader and slipped back to fourth position in the closing laps.
Quotes: "We were really strong and were right there all day. We'd like to win obviously and transfer through to the next round but if we run like this, we'll get another win. Our Discount Tire Ford was really fast all day, just didn't quite have enough there at the end. I feel like if we had the lead, we could have won but it just wasn't in the cards. The last two stops there I just lost a little bit. All in all, it was really solid and if we can run like we'll get a win and move on to Phoenix."
No. 12 Menards/Moen Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 4th
Stage 2: 3rd
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first): 11th (-1910)
- Ryan Blaney started ninth and finished seventh in Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at the Kansas Speedway. The driver of the Menards/Moen Ford Mustang ran amongst the leaders the entire day before sliding back to seventh in the final 30 laps. Blaney collected his 14 top-10 finish of the 2020 season.
- After starting ninth, Blaney would make his way up to fifth by the lap 25 competition caution. He would report to crew chief Todd Gordon the balance of the Menards Ford was tight center and loose off. He would pit on lap 26 taking four tires along with an air pressure adjustment and tape on the nose. After restarting sixth he would make his way up as high as third before setting into a fourth-place finish in Stage 1.
- Strong pit service by the Menards crew enabled Blaney to restart second when Stage 2 began on lap 87. He would report an improvement in the balance and would pit under green on lap 125 for four tires and no changes. A caution on lap 145 would see Blaney remain on the track. A 10-lap run to the Stage 2 conclusion would see Blaney come home in the third position.
- The final stage would see Blaney restart in the eighth position. By lap 190, he would work his way back up to third. The final caution of the day would waive on lap 222, where Blaney would take four tires and an additional air pressure adjustment. After restarting fourth, Blaney would begin to fall back as the balance of his Menards Ford shifting to the tight side. By lap 240, he would settle into seventh were he would finish at the end of the day.
- Blaney sits 11th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings heading to Texas Motor Speedway next Sunday.
Quote: "We had a really good Menards/Moen Ford today. I think at points we had a race winning car but just lost the balance late, which stinks. Congratulations to Joey (Logano) and the No. 22 on making it to Phoenix. We'll try a get a win next week in Texas. We had a great car there in the first race this year."
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Stage 1: 9th
Stage 2: 14th
Finish: 1st – 26th career NASCAR Cup Series victory
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 47
Point Standings (Behind First): 5th (-51) – Clinched a spot in the Championship 4
- Joey Logano held off a hard-charging Kevin Harvick to win the Hollywood Casino 400 Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. Logano took the lead for the final time on 223 and held off Harvick over the next 45 laps, crossing the finish line .312 seconds ahead the No. 4 Ford. With the victory, Logano clinched a spot in the Championship 4 and will race for his second NASCAR Cup Series title November 8 at Phoenix Raceway, reaching the title race for the fourth time in seven years. Logano used speedy service from his Shell-Pennzoil pit crew to grab the lead on the final round of pit stops and then held off Harvick down the stretch for the win.
- The driver of the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford started the race on the free side but ran inside the top-five until the competition caution on lap 25. Crew chief Paul Wolfe made the call for four tires and an air pressure change during the stop but Logano continued to battle a loose-handling Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang. He dropped to ninth position when Stage 1 ended on lap 80. During the stage caution, the crew made more adjustments with air pressure and wedge to give Logano more security on both corner entry and exit.
- Logano continued to build loose during the early laps of Stage 2 and nearly dropped outside the top-10. Midway through the segment Wolfe made the call for a major trackbar adjustment during a green flag stop. During the third caution with just 15 laps to go in the second stage, Logano returned to pit road for a four-tire stop. Logano was credited with a 14th-place finish at the end of the stage and during the stage caution, Wolfe made the call for two tires, moving Logano up to second-place for the restart on lap 168. The gutsy call for track position worked. Logano was running sixth at the time of the fifth caution on lap 199.
- Logano restarted fourth and moved to the second position with 60 laps remaining in the event. A caution flag displayed with 45 laps remaining brought the field back to pit road where quick work by the Shell-Pennzoil crew moved Logano into the lead for the restart on lap 223.
- From there, Logano protected his lead against a fast closing Kevin Harvick. The two Ford Performance drivers were never separated by more than a second until the checkered flag was displayed, with the driver of the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford taking the checkered flag and collecting his 26th career victory.
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Quote: "You come into this race knowing that if you can win this thing you have an amazing advantage. The same thing happened in 2018 when we raced for the win at Martinsville knowing that we have two races to battle for nothing but the championship. I can't believe it. Especially the way the beginning of the race was going and running back there not scoring stage points. It was a good strategy by Paul and good pit stops and now this Shell Pennzoil Mustang is going to race for a championship at Phoenix."
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