Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano anxious to see how the new Penske Ford works in the Valley of the Sun.
A TOP-FIVE START: Defending Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski enters the second weekend of the season firmly inside the top five in points. Keselowski was able to race his way to a fourth-place finish in the Daytona 500 despite a car that was involved in several incidents. This was a result of a “never say die” attitude by the Miller Lite Ford team.
LIFEHOUSE IN THE HOUSE: Ricky Woolstenhulme Jr., the drummer of the band Lifehouse, and his wife will be guests of the Miller Lite Ford team this weekend in Phoenix.
PHOENIX OWES HIM: Joey Logano has had an up-and-down relationship with Phoenix International Raceway. Heading into last year’s penultimate event, Logano had finished in the top 11 in three of the last four races at Phoenix. During last year’s fall race, Logano was headed for a top-three run before he was caught up in the late-race accident between Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer, which unfortunately knocked Logano out of action.
TV STAR: During his time in Phoenix, Logano will be filming a commercial for NASCAR Nationwide Series sponsor Discount Tire, along with Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski, that will air nationally later this year. The Coca-Cola commercial featuring Logano debuted during the Daytona 500 to much fanfare.
BETTER THAN RESULTS: Logano finished Daytona with the 10th-best driver rating, which demonstrated how strong the Shell-Pennzoil team ran during the race. However, fuel pump issues and a lack of drafting partners over the race’s final laps kept Logano from a sure top-10 finish.
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD
WHAT KIND OF MOMENTUM BOOST DO YOU HAVE AFTER SUNDAY’S DAYTONA 500? “I think our performance on Sunday says a lot about our team. I think it shows that we still have that same fire that made us champions last year. We had plenty of excuses to come out of Daytona with a terrible finish, but we kept our heads about us. We continued to work on the car and got it to where it was pretty fast at the end of the race. It feels good to come out of there with a decent points day and not in a hole.”
HOW DO YOU THINK THE NEW CAR WILL PERFORM AT PHOENIX? “I think we’re all anxious to see how the car performs this weekend when we all get on the track together. It’s our first true test. We were fortunate to take the Miller Lite Ford to Phoenix for a Goodyear tire test last year and I came away feeling positive about how it will race. On top of that, Phoenix has had a couple years to cure so we should see the groove widen out a bit. I’m expecting a good race.”
JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 SHELL-PENNZOIL FORD
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS AFTER THE FIRST GEN-6 RACE? “I thought the race was good. It is very hard to tell at Daytona because the cars are always going to race different at the restrictor- plate tracks. I think once we get to Phoenix and Vegas we will see a better representation as to how these cars will handle and the racing they will put on. They look really cool for sure. Some of the coolest looking racecars out there now.”
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR DAYTONA PERFORMANCE? “I’m happy about the team’s performance for sure, but I’m not happy with the finish. It was just circumstances there though. We had a fast Shell-Pennzoil Ford and we were headed to the front there at the end of the race. We just lost our drafting partners and couldn’t get in the top line and fell back. But we were fast all weekend long and had good finishes. (Crew chief) Todd (Gordon) and myself had good communication and the team worked their butts off. Overall, I’m really happy with the weekend.”