NASCAR Cup
NASCAR Cup
17 May
-
17 May
Event finished
20 May
-
20 May
Event finished
23 May
-
24 May
Event finished
27 May
-
28 May
Event finished
31 May
-
31 May
Event finished
07 Jun
-
07 Jun
Race in
5 days
10 Jun
-
10 Jun
Next event in
7 days
14 Jun
-
14 Jun
Next event in
11 days
R
Talladega
21 Jun
-
21 Jun
Next event in
18 days
R
26 Jun
-
28 Jun
Next event in
23 days
R
Indianapolis
03 Jul
-
05 Jul
Next event in
30 days
R
Kentucky
09 Jul
-
11 Jul
Next event in
36 days
R
17 Jul
-
19 Jul
Next event in
44 days
R
Michigan II
07 Aug
-
09 Aug
Next event in
65 days
R
Watkins Glen
14 Aug
-
16 Aug
Next event in
72 days
R
Dover II
21 Aug
-
23 Aug
Next event in
79 days
R
Daytona II
27 Aug
-
29 Aug
Next event in
85 days
R
Darlington III
06 Sep
-
06 Sep
Next event in
95 days
R
Richmond II
10 Sep
-
12 Sep
Next event in
99 days
R
Bristol II
17 Sep
-
19 Sep
Next event in
106 days
R
Las Vegas II
25 Sep
-
27 Sep
Next event in
114 days
R
Talladega II
02 Oct
-
04 Oct
Next event in
121 days
R
Charlotte III
09 Oct
-
11 Oct
Next event in
128 days
R
Kansas II
16 Oct
-
18 Oct
Next event in
135 days
R
Texas II
23 Oct
-
25 Oct
Next event in
142 days
R
Martinsville II
30 Oct
-
01 Nov
Next event in
149 days
R
Phoenix II
06 Nov
-
08 Nov
Next event in
156 days

Is Penske already a favorite for the 2019 NASCAR Cup title?

shares
comments
Is Penske already a favorite for the 2019 NASCAR Cup title?
By:
Mar 5, 2019, 9:47 PM

Only three weeks into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season may be too early to name a favorite for the title, but Team Penske is making a good case.

Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Discount Tire and Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Menards/Pennzoil Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Pennzoil, celebrates victory lane after winning the Pennzoil 400.
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Menards/Pennzoil Ford and Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Pennzoil
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Pennzoil celebrates his win with a burnout
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Shell Pennzoil, Todd Gordon
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang wins
Winner Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang
Winner Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang
Race Winner Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Pennzoil
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Pennzoil celebrates his win
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Pennzoil celebrates his win with a burnout
Todd Gordon and Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Shell Pennzoil

With the debut of a new model car in the Ford Mustang and a plethora of new aero rules – which vary at times from race-to-race – Penske has already seen two of its three Cup drivers win two of first three races.

Most teams – including Penske – have not even gotten a full grasp on the effects of the new rules, nor even seen some of the combinations debut yet in on-track action.

But with two of its teams already locked in the playoffs that sure does look like an excellent advantage for Penske to have over the competition during the 23 remaining races in the regular season.

Denny Hamlin locked himself into the playoffs with a victory in the Daytona 500, and Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have followed in the following two races.

The most impressive feat of the back-to-back wins with Penske is they came on tracks which debuted parts or all of this year’s new aero rules. Daytona was run on the same rules as last season.

Still a lot to learn from new aero package

Even so, Logano’s crew chief, Todd Gordon, was adamant there is still much for Penske teams to learn in the races to come and that may seem a bit daunting to its competition, many of which are still trying to come to terms with a new car or new rules – or both.

“If you ever quit learning, you’d better quit because you’re going to get passed. It’s a new package. It’s something new that we’ve all got to kind to grasp around,” Gordon said after Logano’s win Sunday at Las Vegas.

“I think you see comers and goers and we're all trying to sort it out. It’s a unique situation because we’ve got a new package that we don’t know what we’ve really needed out of it, and we’re going to the West Coast swing where you've got to build your cars ahead of time.

“It’s something we’ve got to continue to learn on, and we’ll learn as we get to different race tracks because this is a race track that doesn’t have a lot of (tire) fall off. Atlanta did have a lot, and California is going to be its own creature.  Every race track we go to has got a new learning curve.”

With Keselowski and Logano’s teams already locked in the playoffs, it opens the door for both teams to experiment a little more in the coming months.

 We’ve got to continue to push to get better because we know all of those guys are

Todd Gordon, Joey Logano's crew chief

While some of their competition are still coming to grasps to get their cars to perform best now, Penske has the ability to focus a little bit more down the road toward the playoffs.

It also allows them some more freedom to experiment in areas like qualifying, which was a learning experience for everyone at Las Vegas.

Gordon knows, though, that while his team may be looking ahead, the competition is already back at their headquarters taking the data from the past two races and making improvements themselves.

“I think you’ll continue to see teams make changes to what they think, and now we’ve got two data points and we’ve got a week before we go to California with the drag duct package (again),” Gordon said.

“I think you’ll see that evolve for everybody. I think even us, it’s going to evolve again, and we’ll sit down and have the meetings to talk about where we thought we were good and where we think we can be better and I would expect every one of our competitors to be doing the same thing.

“It’s how we race. We’ve got to continue to push to get better because we know all of those guys are, as well.”

In the coming weeks, it’s likely some other teams will hit on something with the new rules and find their way to Victory Lane as well.

Considering Penske has won the first two outings with the new aero rules – while also working with a new car model – it’s hard not to see the organization as a cut above the rest – at least for the time being.

Read Also:

Next article
On 25th anniversary, Kyle Petty Charity Ride will be longest yet

Previous article

On 25th anniversary, Kyle Petty Charity Ride will be longest yet

Next article

NASCAR Heat 3 Survey: Fans make your voices heard

NASCAR Heat 3 Survey: Fans make your voices heard
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Brad Keselowski , Joey Logano
Teams Team Penske
Author Jim Utter