Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Recap

Track: Homestead-Miami Speedway
Race: Dixie Vodka 400
Date: October 23, 2022


No. 2 Freightliner Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric

Start: 26th

Race Finish: 19th

Stage 1 Finish: 22nd

Stage 2 Finish: 16th

Laps Led: 0

Point Standings: 13th (-1919)

Race Rundown: Austin Cindric and the No. 2 Freightliner Ford recorded a 19th-place finish after 400 miles at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway. Cindric rolled off the grid 26th and struggled to gain track position through the onset of Stage 1. An early caution allowed the rookie driver to receive four fresh tires for the sprint to the Stage 1 green-and-white checkered. Finishing 22nd, Cindric reported tight conditions and returned to the attention of his Freightliner crew on pit road. Cindric restarted 20th for the 85-lap second segment and remained relatively quiet on the radio through his green flag pit stop on lap 121. Struggling with the short run, the 24-year-old driver received an adjustment to help aid the handling of the No. 2 Ford Mustang under the stage break after finishing 16th. Cindric fell a lap down but was eligible for the wave-around during a caution on Lap 212. The former NASCAR Xfinity Series champion went on to make one final stop before crossing the finish line in the 19th position.

Cindric’s Thoughts: “We struggled to make up track position with our Freightliner Ford Mustang from the beginning of the race. I felt like our short run speed really struggled, but got some great restarts, but wasn’t able to capitalize. Our long run speed in the race at times was really good and was able to make up some spots. I learned plenty and kept it off the wall. Thanks to my guys, we’ll bring a little more short run speed next time.”


No. 12 Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney

Start: 13th

Race Finish: 17th

Stage 1 Finish: 8th

Stage 2 Finish: 4th

Laps Led: 0

Point Standings: 6th (-37)

Race Rundown: Ryan Blaney quickly wheeled the No. 12 Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang into the top-10 in the opening laps of Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Blaney improved seven spots in the first laps to settle into sixth place before suffering from a lack of rear grip as the opening stage progressed, resulting in a ninth-place effort in Stage 1. After restarting seventh to open Stage 2, Blaney made his way into the top-five on lap 91 en route to a fourth-place finish in the stage. Following another round of adjustments during the stage break, Blaney fought his way up to second before a loose handling condition relegated him to third before the start of green flag pit stops. Blaney brought the No. 12 Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang to pit road for four tires and fuel on lap 208 but was involved in an incident exiting pit road to bring out the caution. Blaney was able to get back on the lead lap prior to the last green flag run of the afternoon and settled for a 17th-place finish.

Blaney’s Thoughts: “We were in a decent spot running third on the green flag stop and then I just made a mistake. That is two weeks in a row I made a mistake and it cost us a good run. I couldn’t get back up through the field after that. It was an unfortunate end of the day again, due to a driver mistake again.”


No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano

Start: 17th

Race Finish: 18th

Stage 1 Finish: 10th

Stage 2 Finish: 9th

Laps Led: 0

Point Standings: 1st (+5)

Race Rundown: Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang faded late and finished 18th on Sunday afternoon at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Logano started 17th and, despite struggling in practice and qualifying on Saturday afternoon, raced his way into the top-10 just 10 laps into the race. Logano slipped back outside the top-10 after the first round of pit stops, but again used a super-fast Shell-Pennzoil Mustang to finish 10th in Stage 1. With most of the field fighting a lack of grip on the abrasive track, Logano struggled to maintain the same pace as the leaders during the second stage. Despite coming to pit road a couple of laps before everyone else, Logano’s Mustang didn’t come in until late, but he could muster no more than a ninth-place finish in Stage 2. Restarting the final stage in 13th, Logano quickly drove to sixth. Bad luck struck however when a caution flag flew during a round of green flag pit stops, trapping the No. 22 a lap down. The former champion was able to get the free pass, and restarted the race in the 13th position, eventually driving back to 10th. A late-race caution brought the entire field to pit road. Unfortunately, the short run to the end didn’t suit the No. 22, and Logano would finish 18th.

Logano’s Thoughts: “We had a good car. It was a bit of a wasted car, unfortunately. We had a really fast Shell Pennzoil Mustang. Probably not good enough to beat the 5 but good enough for second or third. We just lost too much track position anytime the caution came out or we went to pit road. We just kept losing spot after spot after spot and couldn’t settle into the top five like we needed to. It was a fast car and that is important. We just need to get a little faster on pit road.”

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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