Friday, Sep 30

Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Recap - Indianapolis

Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Recap - Indianapolis NK Photography Photo

No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric

Start: 2nd

Race Finish: 2nd

Stage 1 Finish: 17th

Stage 2 Finish: 18th

Laps Led: 0

Points Standings: 14th (-291)

 

Race Rundown: Austin Cindric and the No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang team waded through a chaotic finish to the end of the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard to score a second-place finish, his second-consecutive top-10 finish in this event. Cindric – who has strong family ties to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – qualified second for the 82-lap event on Saturday morning. When the race began, he was struggling slightly with the rear of the No. 2 Mustang. Air pressure adjustments to the rear tires were successful in helping with the condition as Cindric did his best to maintain his position in the top 10, but throughout pit cycles he would find himself at the back end of the top 20. Late in the race, however, Cindric began to move back through the field, culminating with a strong move on the final restart of the day when he powered to the third position before crossing the finish line. After the race, the second-place finisher was penalized 30 seconds and Cindric was placed second in the final running order.

 

Cindric’s Thoughts: “It's easy on paper, right? Oh, my gosh, I feel like we probably deserved 10th at best today. There were a few things I was good at, but I needed the whole track to do it and I kind of struggled a bit, probably a little lower than my expectations were today, but those restarts, survival, holy crap. All I can say is "wow." There's no other sport, no other form of racing other than NASCAR that you're going to get that.”

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No. 12 Menards/Moen Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney

Start: 6th

Race Finish: 26th

Stage 1 Finish: 2nd

Stage 2 Finish: 15th

Laps Led: 17

Point Standings: 2nd (-125)

 

Race Rundown: Ryan Blaney and the No. 12 Menards/Moen Ford Mustang had a stellar day ruined by a late-race spin in NASCAR overtime, relegating the veteran driver to a 26th-place finish in the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard.  Blaney slipped back to eighth in the opening laps as cars beat and banged all around him on the tight infield road course. Early on, the Menards Mustang lacked rear grip, but there wasn’t much tire falloff during the first stage. With others pitting, Blaney stayed on the track and finished the first stage in second. Blaney stayed on the track once again during the stage break and took the lead when the race resumed and led nearly the entire second stage until coming to pit road for the first time with two laps to go in the stage. At the start of the final stage, Blaney wasted little time driving his Menards/Moen Mustang to the front, taking the lead on lap 51 before coming into pit on lap 54 for fuel only. Once all cars cycled through their final stops, Blaney found himself running second for the latter part of the race on tires much older than those around him. Several late cautions forced NASCAR overtime, and Blaney found himself on the bad end of a spin going into turn one. By the time he got the Menards Ford righted, he ended up 26th at the checkered flag.

Blaney’s Thoughts: “That’s all people do at the end of these things, just dive in there and wreck you.  I don’t know who shoved who and I don’t care, but tires didn’t matter at the end. We restarted top three both times and tires don’t really matter. It’s just a matter of getting through on the restart, but, apparently, that’s a hard thing to ask. People just run over each other.”

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No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano

Start: 5th

Race Finish: 6th

Stage 1 Finish: 4th

Stage 2 Finish: 25th

Laps Led: 0

Points Standings: 7th (-184)

 

Race Rundown: Joey Logano persevered through a wild Verizon 200 at the Brickyard to score a sixth-place finish in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang. After qualifying in the fifth position for the race on Saturday morning, Logano struggled with rear grip throughout the first stage of the race before finishing in fourth to gain valuable points toward the playoffs. Crew chief Paul Wolfe attempted to help his driver with air pressure adjustments to help give the No. 22 Mustang more grip, particularly in the low-speed corners. Unfortunately, the condition continued as Logano lost positions throughout the second stage where he finished 25th. During a wild final stage, where plenty of contact was made among most of the competitors, Logano was able to navigate through the contact to finish in the sixth position.

 

Logano’s Thoughts: “It might not have been a pretty day, but we got a solid sixth-place finish for the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang. The restarts were wild, and you had to take driving down into turn one. If you weren’t aggressive, someone was going to be aggressive to you. On that last restart, everyone was just banging off each other, but things parted in front of me, and we were able to make it to the end. Then the car caught fire at the end, but luckily, we were all done by then.”

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