A Reversal Of Fortune At Penske Racing
Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski began 2013 as a favorite to hoist the championship trophy at Homestead in November. Joey Logano came over to Penske Racing from Joe Gibbs Racing during the most recent offseason with expectations of running decently and working closely with his new teammate, Keselowski.
However, with nine races remaining before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is set not many people expected Logano to be in better position to make the Chase than his champion teammate. An early wreck in Sunday’s Kentucky race that took him off the track temporarily relegated him to a 33rd-place finish and dropped him from ninth to 13th in the standings. A solid fourth-place finish at Kentucky jumped Logano from 14th to 10th in the points standings, the last guaranteed spot in the Chase.
Keselowski, with zero wins this season, sits outside the two Wild Card spots reserved for the two drivers between 11th and 20th in the standings with the most victories. Currently, those spots belong to Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart.
In eight starts at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, Keselowski has one top five and two top 10s. His best finish came in the 2013 Daytona 500 where he finished fourth. Logano has two top fives and three tops 10s in nine starts at Daytona. He finished third in the July 2011 race. In this year’s Daytona 500, his first race with Penske, he placed 19th.
Penske Racing drivers have found Victory Lane at Daytona only once in the NSCS, but it was a big one: the 2008 Daytona 500 with Ryan Newman.