Track: Daytona International Speedway
Race: Coke Zero Sugar 400
Date: August 29, 2020
No. 2 PIRTEK Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 15th
Stage 2: 6th
Laps Completed: 164/164
Laps Led: 1
Point Standings (behind first): 3rd (-28)
- Brad Keselowski used a different strategy Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway and was rewarded with a 10th-place finish. The driver of the PIRTEK Ford claimed his 19th top-10 finish of the 2020 season in the Coke Zero Sugar 400. Keselowski finished the NASCAR regular season third in points and will begin the Cup Series Playoffs as the third seed, 28 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
- Keselowski started fourth but was shuffled out of line on lap 16, four laps before the competition caution on lap 20. He was 13th when he pitted on lap 22 for four tires and restarted 16th when the race went green on lap 24. Keselowski didn't have any luck making his way to the front, so he patiently stayed in line near the tail end of the lead draft. He made a late recovery to finish 15th when Stage 1 ended on lap 50. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins made the call to pit one lap before the race went green, on lap 54, for four tires and a right-rear wedge adjustment – a move designed to help Keselowski make it to the end of the next stage. The driver of the PIRTEK Ford restarted in 30th position when the race went green on lap 55.
- The Chevrolet drivers pitted as group on lap 65, moving Keselowski was up to 22nd. For the next 25 laps he patiently ran single-file in the draft. On lap 90, Keselowski was safely inside his window to finish the stage on fuel, so he surged to the front, moving from 14th to fourth on lap 91. With one lap to go in the stage, Keselowski survived a frantic scramble for position at the front of the lead draft to score a sixth-place finish. He pitted during the stage caution on lap 102 for four tires and air pressure adjustments and restarted sixth when the race went green on lap 105.
- For much of the final stage of the race, Keselowski stayed near the back of the lead pack, a move designed to keep him out of trouble. The strategy worked as Keselowski avoided multi-car accidents on laps 152 and 159, the latter which forced the race to finish in NASCAR Overtime. Keselowski restarted 14th on lap 162 and rallied back over the final lap to claim his top-10.
Quotes: "We used a different strategy tonight and it worked. We stayed out of trouble and scored a top-10 finish with our PIRTEK Ford. The playoffs start next week and we're ready."
No. 12 BODYARMOR Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 4th
Stage 2: 9th
Laps Completed: 164/164
Laps Led: 1
Point Standings (Behind First): 7th (-44)
- Ryan Blaney started ninth and finished sixth in Saturday night's Coke Zero Sugar 400 at the Daytona International Speedway. The driver of the BODYARMOR Ford Mustang managed a couple late race restarts to bring home his 11th top-10 finish of 2020.
- Blaney would fall back from his ninth starting position to 16th when the competition caution waived on lap 20. Blaney would pit on lap 22 for right side tires and fuel. After restarting 22nd he would work with teammate Joey Logano, driving his way up to fourth when Stage 1 concluded on lap 50.
- Blaney would restart 20th after routine service and topping off for fuel. He and his fellow Fords would then go into fuel conservation mode to run the entire stage without pitting. After running as high second, he would finish Stage 2 in the ninth position
- The final stage began with Blaney restarting 29th after routine service and topping off for fuel. He would drive his way back into the top-five by lap 125. He would pit on lap 131 for fuel only and managed to avoid multiple wrecks in the closing lap to come home with a sixth-place finish.
- Blaney will begin the NASCAR Playoffs as the seventh seed beginning next Sunday night at Darlington Raceway.
Quote: "It was a solid night for our Strawberry/Banana BODYARMOR Ford Mustang team. We managed to stay out of trouble all night and bring home a solid finish. Proud of everybody on this team and now we will set our sights on the NASCAR playoffs."
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Mustang – Joey Logano
Stage 1: 1st – Fifth stage win of 2020
Stage 2: 1st – Sixth stage win of 2020
Laps Completed: 158/164
Laps Led: 36
Point Standings (Behind First): 4th (-35)
- Joey Logano started third and won the opening two stages of Saturday night's Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway, before a late race cut-tire ended the day for the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang. Logano led the race on six different occasions for 36 laps, ultimately finishing 27th.
- After starting third, Logano faded back in the field, battling an extremely loose Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang. At the competition caution, crew chief Paul Wolfe adjusted the No. 22 Ford with two rounds of trackbar. The adjustments proved successful as Logano drove to the race lead with drafting help from teammate Ryan Blaney. Logano maintained the lead for 15 laps and scored his fifth stage win of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Season.
- Logano spent the opening portion of the second stage in a fuel conservation mode with the rest of the Ford Performance competitors. However, with 11 laps remaining in the stage, crew chief Paul Wolfe gave the go-ahead to spotter TJ Majors, prompting Logano to pull out of line and drive straight to the lead. Logano drove off to win the second stage, claiming his sixth stage win of the season.
- In the final stage, Logano claimed the lead and maintained until lap 131 when the Ford Performance contingent hit pit road for a fuel only stop. In the late stages, Logano was in position, taking the lead with two laps remaining, before contact cut the right rear tire and triggered a multi-vehicle incident in turn 1.
- Logano enters the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs as the fourth seed having accumulated 22 playoff points through the regular season.
Quote: "We had a really fast Shell-Pennzoil Mustang tonight. Guys were great on pit road and we did what we needed to do. We scored two stage wins for playoff points. At the end there it was just super speedway racing, Denny (Hamlin) caught me just a little off-center and that sent me up into the 43 car and then the right rear got cut."