Brad Keselowski lights up Daytona Beach with his first Daytona win and marking Team Penske’s 100th overall NASCAR Sprint Cup win. As the exclusive engine builder of the NASCAR Ford FR9 V8 race engine, Roush Yates Engines in partnership with Ford Performance powered the No. 2 Ford Fusion to victory lane at the legendary Daytona International Speedway.
From the pole position, Greg Biffle, driver of the Roush Fenway Racing No. 16 led the field to start the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola race, followed by teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the No. 17 and the No. 2 Brad Keselowski of Team Penske in fourth and fifth positions respectively. Biffle secured the pole with a time of 192.955 mph. The Ford teams came out with a mission to win. All twelve Ford teams ran strong all night, leading a total of 123 laps out of the 161 recorded, and the majority by race winner No. 2 with a total of 115. The July 4th weekend race packed its own fireworks on a the 2.5 mile tri-oval track known for high speed where bump drafting and three wide racing pushes the limits of both car and driver. With 26 different lead changes, 13 different leaders and five cautions, the ‘Big One’ taking out as many as 19 cars and quickly changed the strategy of the race.
With 16 laps left, Keselowski No. 2 made a bold move from the outside and crossed over behind the No.18 of Kyle Busch to take the inside lane and the lead. It was a drag race to the finish when a late caution came out with three laps to go, which positioned Team Penske teammates Keselowski and Logano on the outside, one behind the other. With a little push from Logano and the Roush Yates Engines power of the Ford FR9 V8 race engine the No. 2 was able to keep the lead. Keselowski went on to take the checkered flag and capture his first Daytona win in his 20 starts. Making this the fourth restrictor-plate win for the No. 2 with Roush Yates Engines. With winning Las Vegas and Talladega Brad finds himself in second place on overall driver points board and Logano in a close fourth place position.
“We are working together…,” said Roger Penske, team owner of Team Penske. “We put our arms around him (Doug Yates) and their people, every one of them over there is doing a great job. And their people integrated into our systems and into our team and to me could not ask for anything better. Great reliability and great speed and I think you saw it gives us a real good chance as we go into the Chase.”
The blue oval topped the field at Daytona, finishing six cars in the top 15 with No. 2/P1, No. 6/P3, No. 22/P4, No. 17/P5, No.16 P8, No. 21/P14 and to round out the top 15 with Subway Firecracker 250 winner, Aric Almirola in the No. 43.
“Daytona is a very special place for our family,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “To win here is extra special and to be able to celebrate with Team Penske on their 100th win and Aric’s Xfinity win is quite an achievement for the Roush Yates Engines team.”
Marking the half way point of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series schedule with a double win gives the Ford Performance and Roush Yates Engines teams’ great momentum going into the last half of the season and into the Chase.