Track: Dover International Speedway
Race: Drydene 311 (Race II)
Date: August 23, 2020
No. 2 WURTH Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 5th
Stage 2: 10th
Laps Completed: 311/311
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first): 3rd (-160)
- Brad Keselowski scored an eighth-place finish in the Drydene 311 on Sunday afternoon at Dover International Speedway. The driver of the WURTH Ford Mustang racked up his 18th top-10 finish in 25 races this season and finished with back-to-back top-10 finishes at the one-mile Delaware speedway. Keselowski claimed his 10th top-10 at Dover and remains third in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 160 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
- Keselowski started 12th and was up to fifth by lap 22. He pitted during the second caution on lap 34 for right-side tires and restarted fifth on lap 39. Keselowski briefly ran as high as third before scoring a fifth-place finish when Stage 1 concluded on lap 70. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins made the call to pit during the stage caution on lap 73 for four tires and Keselowski returned to the track in fifth position. Two laps later the race was halted for 12 minutes for track repair before resuming on lap 78.
- In the opening laps of Stage 2, Keselowski struggled with a loose-handling Ford, falling to eighth when the fourth caution came out on lap 101. Keselowski pitted during the yellow for four tires and a track bar adjustment and restarted eighth on lap 106. He ran seventh early in the run but as the laps ticked off the balance on the No. 2 Ford began to fade. Keselowski finished 10th when the second stage concluded on lap 185 and during the stage caution for four tires and adjustments. He restarted 11th when the race went green on lap 192.
- Once again Keselowski had his hands full with an ill-handing Mustang. After battling Jimmie Johnson for the 10th position shortly after the stage began, Keselowski was 13th at the time of the sixth caution on lap 217. He pitted one lap later for four tires and adjustments and restarted 13th on lap 221.
- That seemed to be where the driver of the WURTH Ford was destined to finish until the seventh and final caution on lap 291 brought him down pit road for four tires and a track bar adjustment. Solid work on the pit lane moved him up to 10th position when the race went green on lap 294. Following a good restart, Keselowski moved to ninth on lap 295. Two laps later grabbed eighth and held firm to the position over the final 14 laps to claim his top-10 finish.
Quotes: "Obviously if we knew what was going on there we would copy it the best we could. I agree that the No. 4 car has been the best car for the last six years and some could argue that the No. 18 has been with them a couple years. They deserve credit for that success. They deserve credit for being fast and putting all those pieces of the puzzle together. When you have that kind of speed you try to keep the band together and keep them motivated and something you can do as a driver quite honestly it comes down to the team and management in the company that you drive for and the crew chief. Especially in these latest of times, shoot, I haven't seen my team but for a few minutes here and there every weekend so there isn't much I am going to do to lead them and guide them because of the environment. Fast cars go fast. When you have a fast car and you are experienced you show up and try not to mess it up. You try to execute your perfect day. Restarts, getting out of the box, trying to give the feedback to make the car better throughout the race, you know. You put a great car with a great driver and you will get dominance like that. Kevin (Harvick) is a great driver and that is a great car."
No. 12 Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 2nd
Stage 2: 5th
Laps Completed: 311/311
Laps Led: 37
Point Standings (Behind First): 6th (-223)
- Ryan Blaney started seventh and finished 12th in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway. The driver of the Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang nearly won the first stage and ran inside the top-five most of the day before fading late. Blaney led three times for 37 laps, which marked the first time he had led in a Cup Series race at Dover.
- Blaney moved from his seventh starting position to fourth prior to an early caution on lap 7. On the restart Blaney would continue his march to the front, eventually moving to second. A lap 34 caution would see Blaney stay out and lead until lap 68 when Kevin Harvick passed him for the eventual stage win, with Blaney crossing the line in second.
- Following a short red flag for track repairs, Blaney would restart second for Stage 2. He would report to crew chief Todd Gordon that the adjustments on the Advance Auto Parts Ford did improve the loose-handling from the first run. Restarting third after a lap 101 caution, Blaney would lose two spots late to come home with a fifth-place finish in Stage 2.
- The final stage began with Blaney running in the sixth position. Battling much of the same handling from earlier in the event, Blaney would steadily fall back through the field to 12th. A late caution would see Blaney and the leaders come to pit road for four tires and adjustments. When racing resumed Blaney restarted 12th and remained there when the checkered flag waived.
- Blaney now sits sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings, 223 points behind Harvick, the series leader, who clinched the regular season title today.
Quote: "I feel like we made improvements over yesterday with our Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang. We nearly won Stage 1, but I was too loose to hold off Kevin (Harvick). Unfortunately, we fought loose near the end of the race and just couldn't make up ground we lost. We'll put this behind us and get ready to close out the regular season next week in Daytona."
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Stage 1: 6th
Stage 2: 2nd
Laps Completed: 311/311
Laps Led: 15
Point Standings (Behind First): 5th (-205)
- Joey Logano started 13th and led 12 laps, running primarily inside the top-five throughout the 311-lap race at Dover International Speedway before ultimately finishing sixth in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang. Logano showed the pace of eventual race winner Kevin Harvick, often matching the lap times during the second and final stage of the event. Unfortunately, a late caution flag would spoil a presumptive runner-up finish, relegating Logano just outside the top-five.
- After an eventful start to the race that included an early pit stop, Logano settled in and worked forward inside the top 10, reaching the sixth position before the end of the opening stage. Logano had reported the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang was a little free overall but could swing to the tight side from the center of the corner to corner exit. Solid pit work by the Shell-Pennzoil crew gained Logano six spots over the first two stops of the race and positioned the No. 22 Ford in the fourth position to begin the second stage.
- The Shell-Pennzoil pit crew continued their strong day into the second stage. After pitting from the third position they were able to put their driver in the lead. Logano would maintain the lead of the race before surrendering the top spot to Kevin Harvick later in the stage. Logano finished the second stage in the second position, leading crew chief Paul Wolfe to call for no adjustments on the stage-ending stop.
- With a caution flag, Logano pitted at lap 218 for four tires, fuel and tape on the nose, with the balance of the car being close to neutral overall. Prior to the caution flag, Logano had been running lap times faster than the race leading No. 4 Ford Mustang.
- Logano spent the majority of the final stage running in the second position, swapping fastest laps with the race leader. A caution flag with 23 laps remaining set the field up for a return to pit road for a final stop of the event. Unfortunately, a pit road issue dropped Logano to the fifth position for the restart. Logano fell one position to sixth on the opening lap and reported the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang took a swing to the tight side in the closing laps.
Quote: "Sixth obviously wasn't the result we should have had today, we ran a lot better than that overall. Proud of the way the guys on this Shell-Pennzoil team were able to work on our car after yesterday's race and we improved a lot for today. I think that shows what we're capable of. Still need a little more speed but we're getting there more and more."