Track: Texas Motor Speedway
Race: AAA Texas 500
Date: November 3, 2019
No. 2 Wurth Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 39th
Stage 2: 39th
Laps Completed: 52/334
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 9th (-1768)
- Brad Keselowski would like to have lap 53 back from Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway. An uncharacteristic mistake resulted in an incident that forced him from the race to finish in the 39th position.
- Keselowski led the Team Penske qualifying effort on Saturday evening by slotting into the eighth position to start the event. He radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that he was too loose on corner entry, but otherwise happy with the handling of the No. 2 Wurth Ford Mustang.
- An early four-tire pit stop placed Keselowski back in the running order, but those positions were made up during a rash of early cautions that saw him cycle to the fifth position when the race resumed on lap 48.
- Unfortunately, the handling was still not to his liking and Keselowski was doing all he could to maintain track position while dropping through the field. He decided to try the higher groove in turns 3 and 4, but the traction compound had not activated to improve the grip level. As a result, Keselowski made hard contact with the outside wall to end his day prematurely.
Quote: "I just busted my butt. I feel terrible for Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.), he didn't deserve to get caught up in it. I was just real loose and trying to make something happen. When you are getting passed by other cars you kind of lose your confidence and you try something, and I knew better. My butt told me I would wreck if I do that. I was getting passed and swung for the fence and I hit it. It just sucks. I am kind of embarrassed to do that. I was just trying to make something happen for this Wurth team and swung too hard."
No. 12 Wabash National Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 9th
Stage 2: 14th
Laps Completed: 334/334
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first): 6th (-45)
- A challenging day for Ryan Blaney resulted in an eighth-place finish Sunday evening at Texas Motor Speedway. The driver of the Wabash National Ford Mustang scored his 10th top-10 finish of 2019 and remains sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings, 45 points behind leader Martin Truex Jr. and 23 points behind fourth place Joey Logano for the final transfer spot.
- Blaney started 15th and reported early the balance of his Ford Mustang was tight. An early caution on lap 16 would see him visit pit road for the first time for fuel-only. Restarting outside the top-25, Blaney would begin to work his way back toward the front. A caution on lap 44 would see the High Point, N.C. native return to pit road fuel-only again, reporting his car had swung to the loose side in traffic. The strategy gained Blaney eight spots on pit road.
- The caution would waive again shortly after the restart and Blaney would pit on lap 57 for four tires and an air pressure adjustment reporting his car was still too tight. The rash of early cautions would continue on lap 73 and 82 with crew chief Jeremy Bullins electing to race for much-needed stage points. In what would be a one lap sprint to the stage conclusion, Blaney would bring home a ninth-place finish in Stage 1. Under the stage caution he would pit for right side tires and fuel.
- Stage 2 would run caution free and Blaney would report the balance of the Wabash Ford was loose on entry, middle and tight off. Running outside the top-10 for most of the stage, Blaney would come to pit road on lap 151 for fuel-only. He would work his way up into the top-15 bringing home a 14th-place finish in Stage 2. During the stage break, the Wabash crew would make significant air pressure and track bar adjustments along with four new tires as Blaney reported he needed more overall grip and was loose.
- Blaney began final stage restarting 14th. A caution 10 laps later on lap 187 would see the Wabash crew elect to come down pit road to top-off fuel. He would continue around the 12th position for the majority of run until green flag pit stops began. A timely caution for a spin by Bubba Wallace trapped several of the frontrunners down one lap. Running seventh, Blaney would pit for four tires along with another track bar and air pressure adjustment for front turn and rear security. Strong service by the Wabash crew would gain Blaney one position up to sixth for the restart on lap 248.
- The final 86 laps would be run under green. Blaney would eventually give up a position to Alex Bowman on lap 291. He would visit pit road for the final time on lap 309 for fuel-only along with both a track bar and wedge adjustment. Returning the track in eighth position he would hold off Kurt Busch and bring home his 10th top-10 finish of 2019.
Quote: "It was a long night. We struggled all night with track position and then I felt like even when we got a little bit of it, we still weren't very good. We tried a lot of things tonight and they didn't really work. Unfortunately, we didn't really get many stage points and the No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) winning didn't help our cause, but we have to run better than that anyway."
No. 22 AAA Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Stage 1: 23rd
Stage 2: 5th
Laps Completed: 324/324
Laps Led: 5
Point Standings (behind first): 4th (-22)
- Joey Logano started 11th and finished fourth after an up and down day in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Logano failed to collect stage points in the Stage 1 after suffering damage on a restart, despite running inside the top-10 for most of the stage. The AAA Racing crew would rally back in Stage 2, finishing fifth and ultimately bringing the car home in the fourth position.
- Logano worked from the 11th position to seventh before the first caution flag on lap 8. Under caution, Logano reported the AAA Ford Mustang was good working through traffic. A caution flag on lap 14 set the team up for a trip to pit road to take a splash of fuel in hopes of making it to the end of the first stage. Restarting 21st, he worked his way to 14th in the opening three laps following the caution.
- Logano reported the AAA Mustang took a swing to the free side, slowing his forward progress through the field. However, a caution on lap 43 set the team up for an opportunity to hit pit road and make a substantial air pressure adjustment to work on the handling. Unfortunately, the handling on the AAA Ford Mustang didn't improve. The team elected to pit again on lap 73 under caution, this time taking four tires and additional air pressure adjustments. Logano had to return to pit road near the end of the first stage to repair damage to the left rear suffered during a restart.
- The No. 22 AAA Ford would take the green flag for Stage 2 in the 13th position with all repairs complete. As the run continued, Logano worked solidly inside the top-10, reporting his Ford Mustang was a little tight in turn 1. The team elected to make their green flag pit stop on lap 148, taking right side tires and fuel to finish the stage. Logano rallied to finish Stage 2 in the fifth position. The AAA Ford Mustang would come to pit road following the stage for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.
- As the first run of the final stage wrapped up, Logano had cycled forward, reaching the lead before a caution flag would bring the AAA Ford Mustang back to pit lane for a four-tire stop. Logano reported that he was tight running the high line through the first run. With varying pit strategies, Logano would line up in the fifth position for the restart. As the laps winded down, he continued to run in the fourth position, reporting a loss of overall grip.
- The team would relinquish the fourth position to pit on lap 306, taking right side tires and fuel. As the green flag stops cycled through, Logano would regain the fourth position and hold off a late surge from Alex Bowman, bringing home a fourth-place finish.
- Logano's finish kept the team in the fourth and final transfer position, 20 points ahead of the cutoff as the series heads to the penultimate race of the season at ISM Raceway.
Quote: "It is going to be a good battle for sure. We are racing for that last spot just in case someone behind us outside of the top-four wins. It will be a good time. Obviously, the No. 18 team is good, and Kyle (Busch) is a good driver, but I think we are a great team and they are beatable just like everybody else."