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Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Report – Nashville

Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Report
Track: Nashville Superspeedway
Race: Ally 400
Date: June 20, 2021


No. 2 Dent Wizard Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski

Start: 15th
Stage 1: 8th
Stage 2: 20th
Finish: 24th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 299/300
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (ahead of second): 10th (-195)

Notes:

  • Brake problems spoiled Brad Keselowski’s chances for a respectable finish in the Ally 400 Sunday afternoon at Nashville Superspeedway. The driver of the No. 2 Dent Wizard Ford was running just outside the top-10 when the mechanical gremlins struck with 65 laps to go, leaving him with a 24th-place finish in the final rundown. Keselowski remains 10th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 191 points behind leader Denny Hamlin.
  • Keselowski qualified 15th on Sunday morning for the 300-lap race. During Stage 1 he battled a Mustang that was loose on entry and tight two-thirds of the way through the corners. He made a scheduled green flag pit stop on lap 43 and then the second caution waved on lap 47, trapping Keselowski a lap down. He took the wave around during the caution period and rejoined the field at the tail end of the lead lap, restarting 24th on lap 52. He caught a break during the fourth caution on lap 79. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins made the call to stay out during the caution, putting him into position to score stage points. Keselowski restarted fifth with five laps left during the stage and scored an eighth-place finish when Stage 1 ended on lap 90. He pitted for four tires during the stage caution and restarted 19th when the race went green on lap 97.
  • The balance on the Dent Wizard Mustang continued to be difficult for Keselowski during Stage 2. He and Bullins made multiple pit stops for tires and chassis adjustments but nothing made the No. 2 Mustang handle better. Keselowski was still loose on entry and too tight near the exit of the corners. He was credited with a 20th-place finish when Stage 2 ended on lap 185.
  • The Dent Wizard team continued to take swings at making their Mustang better for a brief, and for a brief period in Stage 3 it appeared their hard work was starting to pay off. The balance improved and solid work by the 2 Crew moved Keselowski up the leaderboard. He was up to 13th position when he pitted for four tires and another round of adjustments during the 11th caution on lap 229. Shortly after the race went green Keselowski radioed his team that he was experiencing a brake problem. Keselowski was forced to nurse the car around for the final 65 laps, finishing in the 24th position.

Quotes: “It was a long weekend for our Dent Wizard team. We didn’t have the speed we needed and then had a problem there at the end.”


No. 12 Menards/Duracell Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney

Start: 10th
Stage 1: 38th
Stage 2: 38th
Finish: 38th
Status: Accident
Laps Completed: 53/300
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first): 9th (-174)

Notes:

  • Driving the No. 12 Menards/Duracell Ford Mustang, Ryan Blaney was set to start Sunday’s 400-mile race at Nashville Superspeedway in the 10th position, but damage to the left rear quarter panel forced the team to pit prior to the green flag and start the race from the tail of the field. Blaney raced his way inside the top 25, but a brake failure at lap 53 brought an early ending to the day for the No. 12 Ford Mustang team.
  • On the opening pace lap, the left rear quarter panel of the No. 12 Menards/Duracell Ford Mustang received damage, which forced Blaney to pit lane before the green flag flew to start the race. On the team’s first two scheduled pit stops of the race, crew chief Todd Gordon called for wholesale chassis adjustments after Blaney reported the No. 12 Ford had a significant lack of lateral grip.
  • Blaney experienced some brake fade prior to the first pit stop and the team tried to address the issue by pulling brake tape to increase cooling. However, Blaney had a brake failure at lap 53, which resulted in heavy contact with the wall that ended the race for the No. 12 Menards/Duracell Mustang.

Quote: “It was not a very good start to our day and not a good end, either. We had an issue before the race and had to come and fix it. Then we had some brake trouble and we came in and pulled tape, and then on the restart I’m not sure if I broke a rotor – I think that’s what happened because something exploded into Turn 1 and then no brakes and took a pretty big lick. It’s a shame. Just not a very good day for us and hate that it ended early. I hate it for Menards and everybody in our group and Ford, but we’ll come back strong at Pocono next week.”


No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano

Start: 3rd
Stage 1: 9th
Stage 2: 12th
Finish: 10th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 300/300
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first): 5th (-107)

Notes:

  • Joey Logano started third and finished 10th Sunday at Nashville Superspeedway, driving the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Mustang. Logano battled handling issues throughout most of the race with a car that ran loose on corner entry and tight in the center of the turns. As the No. 22 team made slight gains with each adjustment on the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang during the race, Logano brought home the team’s 10th top-10 result of the season.
  • Logano spent the majority of the opening laps running inside the top five, but he reported that the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang was handling too tight. On the first stop of the race, crew chief Paul Wolfe addressed the handling with tape on the nose and air pressure adjustments on the No. 22 Ford. The team elected to pit again, under caution prior to the end of the stage, making slight adjustments. Logano would finish Stage 1 in the ninth position.
  • During the second stage, Logano continued to run among the top five before the handling faded back to free on corner entry. As a result, Logano fell to the 10th position by lap 154. A caution flag at lap 173 provided an opportunity for the Shell-Pennzoil crew to pit a make a wedge adjustment and install four fresh tires. Logano was running in the 13th position prior to the caution. He finished Stage 2 in 12th place and he reported the car was still too free on entry, but even tighter through the center of the turns. The team elected to pit at the end of the stage to make further adjustments to the No. 22 Ford Mustang.
  • In the final stage, Logano moved back inside the top 10 as multiple restarts generated heat cycles in his Goodyear Racing Eagle tires and improved the corner entry condition. A caution at lap 218 brought the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang down pit road for four tires and a trackbar adjustment.
  • Logano continued to run among the top 10 for the second half of the final stage. He relayed to the team that the handling was too tight on the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang to make forward progress and he also kept his pace steady over the final stint in order to save fuel. Logano crossed the finish line in the 10th position.

Quote: “We just weren’t very good. We just kept grinding and grinding to get every spot we could and did what we could to try and get the best finish. Tenth was the best we were going to do. That’s about where we ran all day anyway after the first few laps. Once we lost our track position that’s where we were.”



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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