Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Race: Quaker State 400
Date: July 11, 2021
No. 2 MoneyLion Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 11th
Stage 2: 8th
Laps Completed: 260/260
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first): 10th (-213)
- Brad Keselowski scored a 10th-place finish in Sunday afternoon's Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The driver of the MoneyLion Ford grabbed his eighth top-10 of the season and called he and the team's effort "a blue collar day." It was Keselowski's ninth top-10 in 14 starts at Atlanta. He is remains 10th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 213 points behind leader Denny Hamlin.
- Keselowski started 14th in the 260-lap race and was able to move his way up the leaderboard during Stage 1 until the balance of the No. 2 Mustang went away near the end of the opening 80-lap segment. To make matters worse, a lapped car made contact with Keselowski midway through the stage, causing right side damage but he overcame the challenges to post an 11th-place. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins made air pressure adjustments when Keselowski pitted during the stage caution on lap 83. Good work by the 2 Crew moved Keselowski up to ninth for the restart on lap 86.
- In Stage 2 Keselowski held his own and was rewarded with an eighth-place finish. He pitted twice during the segment and by end of the stage on lap 160 the balance on the MoneyLion Ford was loose. Bullins made the call for four tires and another round of air pressure adjustments during the stage caution on lap 163 but the race was red flagged for track repair before going green.
- When the final stage went green on lap 170 after a 19-minute delay, Keselowski used a great restart to climb up to fifth place. Unfortunately, the move was short lived as the loose condition returned to the No. 2 Mustang. Keselowski fell to 10th position when he pitted on lap 193. He made his last stop under green on lap 211 but despite his best-efforts Keselowski could get no closer to the front and was left with a 10th-place finish at the checkered flag.
Quotes: "That was a blue collar day for our MoneyLion team. Our guys had a great day on pit road, and we had a great day on restarts. We just needed a little more speed."
No. 12 Advance Same Day Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 14th
Stage 2: 7th
Laps Completed: 260/260
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first): 8th (-197)
- Ryan Blaney started 14th and rallied forward throughout the race to score his fourth top-five finish of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season and his third top-10 finish in the last four races during Sunday's Quaker State 400 from Atlanta. Blaney battled a No. 12 Advance Same Day Ford Mustang that was tight for the majority of the race but remained disciplined, preserving his tires and bringing home the fifth-place finish.
- On the opening run of the race, Blaney reported the Advance Same Day Ford was a little free through the bumps while chattering the front tires on corner entry. At the competition caution, crew chief Todd Gordon adjusted with air pressure and wedge. Blaney's Mustang swung tight on the second run of the race, resulting in a 14th place result in the opening stage.
- During Stage 2, Blaney reported he was still struggling with the front of the Advance Same Day Mustang but continued to work forward. The team pitted at lap 119 for four tires and a stagger change. Late in the tire run, Blaney began running some of the fastest laps on the track, reporting he needed the front tires to stay with him longer into the run.
- Despite reporting a tight condition, Blaney began working forward after the race resumed from a red flag for track repairs. Blaney continued battling a tight condition but maintained position in the top-10.
- Blaney showed long-run ability, gaining positions and reaching the top-five before the conclusion of the race. The fifth-place finish was the fourth top-five for the No. 12 Ford team on the season and the third top-10 in the last four races.
Quote: "It was definitely a long, hard-working day. We weren't that good, to be honest with you. The front was pretty numb. The rear was stepping out and just kind of all over the place and we worked on it all day and just got a little bit better and a little bit better. That long run there at the end kind of played in our favor. We kind of got going there pretty good at the end, but, overall not a bad day for our Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang and back to running top five, which is good for us. We've been struggling a little bit lately, but proud of everybody on the 12 group today."
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Stage 1: 7th
Stage 2: 21st
Laps Completed: 259/260
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first): 6th (-136)
- Joey Logano started 10th and finished 19th in Sunday's Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Logano battled both loose and tight conditions during the event, but took a small setback when the team was forced to pit early on a green flag cycle for a loose wheel. Logano recovered and was inside the top-15 with five laps remaining when he had to go into “conservation mode” because of a right side tire coming apart.
- On the opening run of the race, Logano battled inside the top-10 reporting he was just a little free, prompting crew chief Paul Wolfe to adjust the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang. Quick pit work by the Shell crew sent Logano back to the track in the fifth position. After the competition yellow, the field restarted but were slowed by a multi-vehicle incident. The heat cycle proved to tighten the Mustang up, prompting the team to go back on the wedge adjustment from the first stop.
- During the second stage, Logano pitted for a potential loose wheel at lap 105 with the team taking four tires and being just inside the fuel window. The driver of the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang faded to 21st in the run but managed to hold the lead lap at the conclusion of Stage 2. On the stage ending stop the team elected to adjust the car to help the overall performance of the car.
- In the final stage, Logano reported the rear of the car was too free while the front tires wouldn't turn well enough. The team elected to pit at lap 209 for a potential final stop of the race. In the final five laps, Logano felt a right-side tire starting to come apart and was forced into a conservative mode to finish the remaining laps, dropping to the 19th position at the checkered flag.
Quote: "We weren't bad today overall from a handing perspective, I'd say we just lacked some overall speed and put ourselves a touch behind when we had to pit early in the second stage. We had a better run going than where we finished but the last five laps I started to have a right side tire come apart."