Brad Keselowski had a much needed day on Sunday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In fact, all of his teammates did in the Pennzoil 400. Keselowski and Joey Logano crashed each other while battling for the win on the final lap of the Daytona 500. That crash collected teammate Austin Cindric. They’d finish 12-13-15 after what should have been a 1-2 result.
Also, Ryan Blaney was collected in that Lap 13 “Big One” earlier in the day and finished 30th.
For the road course race at Daytona, they went 2-5-15. Neither Logano (2nd) or Keselowski (5th) had rather stellar days. Each had to strategize their ways to top fives.
Last weekend in Homestead, all three cars faltered as the race went on. Keselowski led the way in 16th. Logano was a disappointing 25th with Blaney in 29th. So, for them to all three come away with a top 10 finish in Sunday’s race on the 1.5 mile Nevada oval, it was a solid outing.
“Yeah, I think there is certainly an expectation when we come to Vegas that we’ll run really well,” Keselowski said. “I try not to take anything for granted there. For whatever reason, we’ve just always been really good here at Team Penske. This year was no exception.”
Keselowski, finished runner-up for Penske’s second runner-up result in the last three races. It was Keselowski’s second top five result in the last three races on the season including four top three finishes in his last six tries in Vegas. Also, he now has had a top 10 in 11 of his last 12 Vegas starts overall.
Logano also has 11 top 10’s in his last 12 Vegas tries but saw his two race win streak come to an end in the spring race. Still, he finished ninth when it was all said and done.
“We just weren’t as fast as we wanted to be today,” Logano said. “There’s a little bit of confusion at the moment to figure out exactly where it is and what we need to do better. There are two different theories and hopefully we can figure out what those are, but, overall, we tried some strategy stuff to get up there in a stage, led a couple laps, but fell off on the older tires, and then tried some more strategy stuff with tires to try to pass two cars and it just seemed like we were a ninth-place car. That’s where we ran most of the day. That’s where we were on restarts. That’s where we were on the long runs, it’s just where we were. We’ve got a little bit of work to do to make up that difference, but it’s a top-10 finish. Hopefully, it keeps us up towards the front in points. We didn’t get many stage points. I’m not sure where we’re at yet, but we’ll head off to Phoenix.”
Blaney came from midpack to the front early. He was third in Stage 1 and fifth in Stage 2. That’s exactly to where he’d finish for his fourth top five result in his last seven Vegas tries.
“I thought it was a pretty solid day all day,” Blaney said. “We had to start pretty far in the back from our bad finish last week, and was able to make it up to ninth, I think, before the comp caution and got third in the first stage and then like fifth in the second and ended up fifth. I thought we could have run second or third. The 5 was really the fastest one all day long. It didn’t matter where he was he just drove through the field, but, overall, a really good effort by our group. We really needed that after having three pretty bad races to start off the year. It’s nice to kind of finally get a good run and just a no problem day, just having a solid car and working on it throughout the day. I’m really proud of Todd and the whole 12 bunch and nice to get a good finish. Now we can get rolling here.”
Blaney, now has seven top seven results in his last nine Vegas tries now too.