Team Penske was supposed to be the favorites for Sunday’s South Point 400. They had won three of the last four overall on the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway and had the speed back in their Ford’s again. Unfortunately, they were non factors all race long.
They combined to lead four laps and finished 7-13-14.
Brad Keselowski was off from the drop of the green flag. He was just one of three drivers to score no stage points, but one of the other two ended up winning. Keselowski, was 21st and 13th at the end of the two stages and brought his No. 2 Ford home 13th. That end a streak of 10 straight top 10 finishes on the track for him.
“It just wasn’t the night we wanted,” Keselowskisaid. “It’s a good thing we had a little bit of a points cushion to lean on and we’ll run our best the next two weeks. It could have been a lot worse. It is frustrating but we are certainly not out of it. We still have a pretty good points cushion so we will try to get through these next two weeks and put up a good race and build ourselves a cushion.”
Joey Logano’s nine race streak of top 10’s in Vegas ended too. He only finished 14th. That’s because of that contact with Kyle Busch on Lap 87 which left his No. 22 Ford with a left rear tire rub. They’d have to pit for repairs on Lap 89 and would fall from third to 32nd, -1. It took him until the Lap 249 caution to finally get back on the lead lap. He’d end up going from 24th to 14th though to make up 10 points in the end. That took him from -1 to +11 heading to Talladega next Sunday.
“Unfortunately, we got a little damage there and had to pit for the left-rear tire,” Loganosaid. “You can’t afford to blow a left-rear tire in the playoffs and back the thing in the fence and shoot yourself in the foot. We had to pit and then just no cautions, and then the one time I had a shot at it the 48 just got me, so that was a little unfortunate. Eventually, we got the lucky dog and went around with our Pennzoil Mustang and drove back to 14th. I felt like that second stage, not scoring any stage points there hurts, but we’re still above the cutline and we’ll head on to Talladega and see how that one goes.”
Ryan Blaney finally got going again with a seventh place result, but he’s not playoff eligible anymore.