The weekend started out great for Team Penske. Unfortunately, despite putting all three of their cars in the top 10 for Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301, the speed just was never there on race trim to contend for the win.
Both Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney started in the top six. Keselowski, actually started on the pole in his No. 2 Ford – his first pole in nearly two years. The trio were all quick in practice as well. But, on race setups, they just failed to get the job done again.
Blaney, was the top finisher in his No. 12 Ford with a fourth place run. He admits though, the speed just wasn’t there to beat the Toyota’s or Kevin Harvick.
“I didn’t think we had leader speed all day,” Blaney admitted after earning his sixth top five finish of the season. “We got better throughout the day for sure, but I thought maybe second or third. We got to second there towards the end and I was starting to fade a little bit, but I thought we could probably run second. The last caution when we started sixth, we got up to fourth and just kind of stayed there. We just needed a little bit more speed, but, overall, not a bad day.”
Brad Keselowski in his No. 2 Ford last weekend at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Keselowski, never was a factor and faded to 10th. He wasn’t too happy about that either. Neither was ninth place finisher Joey Logano who also admitted that the speed just wasn’t there in his No. 22 Ford to compete at the high level like he’s accustomed to.
“We were off when we unloaded and we just kept trying to find a little something here and there to keep moving forward on things and never really did,” said Logano. “We qualified eighth and ran about 12th to 15th most of the race. We grabbed some stage points in the second stage and came home eighth or ninth, so that’s kind of the best we had. I’m a little disappointed with that. I want to be better here, but we learned what not to do and sometimes that’s very valuable.”
Now, it appears that Penske maybe have peaked too soon.
Through the first 15 races, Team Penske had won five times in 2019. But, over the last five, they’ve been shut out. The team that carried over a strong ending to 2018 has done the opposite of what they did last year and have seemed to peaked.
Logano, has just two wins all season but since his win in Michigan, his finishes are – 23rd, 3rd, 25th, 7th and 9th respectively. He doesn’t look as strong as he used to in race pace.
Keselowski, is struggling too. He has one top five in his last six starts on the season.
Then there’s Blaney who is starting to surge with four top 10 finishes in his last six starts.