2014/2015 Season Review/Preview: Brad Keselowski & Joey Logano
The Team Penske Racing drivers, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, both had one hot season in 2014. Both drivers entered the season as the early favorites to capture the championship, and probably shocked everyone to have the season both teams did. The two teams had chances to score the championship, but only one of them made it to the final round at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Which one of these made it? Find out in this season recap for Keselowski and Logano.
Keselowski started the brand-new 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season on a great note with three finishes inside the top-three, including a win at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The next five races didn’t go the way they had hoped, scoring his best finish of 14th at the Bristol Motor Speedway. In the ninth stop on the series calendar, which was the Richmond International Raceway, Keselowski found some luck to bring home another top-five finish to spark some much needed momentum. The next three races didn’t provide decent finishes once again for the No. 2 Miller Lite team, but finally found another patch of gold in the next three races, earning three consecutive top-three finishes.
With the regular season halfway through, the next weekend at the Sonoma Raceway killed some of the momentum as they brought home a finish of 22nd. With Kentucky being the next weekend, and a track that has been kind to Keselowski at in the past, the team had plenty of momentum going into the weekend. With the positive vibe surrounding them, they went out and not only captured the pole, but also their third win of the year. He would also ride the wave to score the team’s fourth win of the year two weeks later at Loudon. The team struggled once again in the next six races, earning only two top-10 finishes. Richmond finally came on the calendar, marking the end of the regular season. The No. 2 team made a statement to score their fourth win of the season to go into the Chase for the Sprint Cup on a high note.
Once the opening Chase for the Sprint Cup race got started, Keselowski overcame a very bad qualifying effort to capture his fifth win of the year and a spot into the second-round of the Chase. The next weekend at Loudon, Keselowski started the weekend strong on a high note after scoring the pole, but couldn’t back it up with a win after finishing in seventh. The next two weekends at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Kansas Speedway, places that Keselowski had success at in the past, were the opposite for the 30-year-old. With Talladega being the next weekend, Keselowski knew that he would need to pull off the victory if he wanted to advance into the eliminator round. He did just that, earning his sixth win of the year. The 31st-place finish the next weekend at the Martinsville Speedway would kill the team’s championship hopes. Even though Keselowski earned two consecutive top-three finishes the next two weeks, it wouldn’t be enough to advance him into the final four drivers at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Logano, who entered his sixth full-time season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, had high expectations entering the 2014 season. Despite an 11th-place finish in the season opener at the Daytona International Speedway, the next two weeks the Connecticut native earned two back-to-back fourth-place finishes. Over the next two races, which were at the Bristol Motor Speedway and the Auto Club Speedway, Logano took home two disappointing finishes of 20th or worse.
Over the course of the next six races, Logano earned two victories, marking the first time of his career to earn multiple victories in a single season. Despite an eighth-place finish the next weekend at Dover, this would start a very inconsistent run in the next seven races for the 24-year-old. He would go on to earning only three top-10 finishes in these seven races. After the rough patch, the next seven races were very bright, earning six top-10s and another victory.
With a great stretch of the last seven races, Logano entered the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup with high expectations. The first five races shocked many people after he brought home five top-five finishes, including two wins during that time at Loudon and Kansas. Even though he only scored two top-five finishes in the next four races, Logano was able to perform just well enough to earn a spot in the final four at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. After a ninth-place qualifying effort, Logano would later finish a disappointing 16th after problems struck them all day. This would cause him to finish fourth in the points standings.
The 2015 Sprint Cup Series season will be very interesting for both Team Penske drivers. With 2014 being the best season for the duo, it will not be surprising if we see the two drivers earn even more victories in 2015. In fact, both Keselowski and Logano make-up two of my picks to make the final four in 2015.
Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.