Team Penske Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Report – The Clash

Team Penske Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Report
Track: Daytona International Speedway
Race: The Clash
Date: February 11, 2018

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski
Start: 17th
Finish: 1st (1st win in The Clash at Daytona)
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 75/75
Laps Led: 43

Notes:

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· Brad Keselowski won the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway, his first win in the season-opening exhibition event.
· Keselowski’s win is the fourth for Team Penske: Rusty Wallace (1998), Kurt Busch (2011) and Joey Logano (2017).
· Keselowski took the lead for the first time on lap 28 thanks to a great pit call by crew chief Paul Wolfe. Keselowski pitted under green on lap 26 before the competition caution one lap later. The move gave Keselowski the lead for the restart on lap 29.
· The driver of the Miller Lite Ford grabbed the lead for the final time when he passed Chase Elliott on lap 39. From there Keselowski held off Penske teammates Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney, edging Logano to the finish line by .102 seconds.

Quote: “I was worried about the run but the car was way overheating there at the end and I was more worried about it blowing up than anything else. Doug Yates and his guys did a good job giving me something real durable to take all that and keep digging. I am really proud of the whole effort here. What a way to start speedweeks, putting the Miller Lite Ford in Victory Lane. I am really proud of my team. It means a lot. I have never won anything here during speedweeks and I feel like I have choked them away to be quite honest. You need one to break through. Hopefully this is our breakthrough.”

 

No. 12 Menards/Peak Ford Fusion – Ryan Blaney
Start: 15th
Finish: 4th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 75/75
Laps Led: 0

Notes:

This was Blaney’s first start in The Clash.
Blaney reported his car was a little free to start the event.
The team made a slight air pressure adjustment and changed two tires on their only pit stop.
Blaney rode in 2nd-place behind teammate Keselowski for much of the event and made a move for the lead which proved unsuccessful.

Quotes: “I was just really trying to time the run and that is what I was messing with with Joey behind me. I thought we were in a good spot. Even though Brad is one of the best at doing this, I thought we had a good chance at it. We had a decent run through the trio val and I probably didn’t pull out at a very good time. I thought it was enough but I got hung out. I should know better than that. I need to learn from that. I am proud of our team today, Menards and Peak, our first race with them. I think we learned a bunch for next week. I hope we can apply it.”

 

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano

Start: 3rd
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 75/75
Laps Led: 1

Notes:

· Joey Logano started third and finished second in The Clash at Daytona.
· Logano started the race just slightly free when he was being pushed in the draft, resulting in small track bar adjustments throughout the race.
· The 22 Shell-Pennzoil crew pitted the Ford Fusion one time in the event, that stop came at lap 24.
· Through the second half of the event, Logano ran in third behind teammates Ryan Blaney and eventual race winner Brad Keselowski.
· On the final lap, Logano moved to the second position and had a strong push coming from the No. 41 Ford of Kurt Busch before a multiple vehicle incident occurred, ending Logano’s chance at victory.
· With the second place result, Logano is averaging a 1.5 finishing position over his last two starts in The Clash.

Quote: “It is fun when you are up there running and you don’t know what is going to happen. The suspense keeps building as you are running single-file. Three to go, two to go, here comes the white flag. When do you make the move? Do you make a move? Sometimes you make and it is never the right thing. Everything has to time out just right. You are waiting to see what everyone else is going to do and you are thinking about the type of people they are and what the possible moves are they will make. Then as soon as we hit the white flag Blaney was able to go to the bottom, I had to stay on top because I would have gotten passed by the 48. I thought I would get a good push on the backstretch. The 41 had a hell of a run. Then they wadded them up.”

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