There’s no doubt about it, Team Penske had the best cars on Sunday. Combined, they led 344 of the 500 laps. But, when they all gave up top five spots in the end to pit for new tires, it proved to be the wrong call.
Joey Logano passed his teammate Brad Keselowski for the lead on Lap 470. It appeared that between he, Keselowski and Ryan Blaney, one of the three would win Sunday’s Food City 500.
A caution was the last thing that this trio wanted to see. Unfortunately for them, that’s just what happened.
Kyle Larson caused the 11th and final caution of the race on Lap 478. Their advantage was now negated. That led to a race altering decision – to pit or stay out?
Logano, said that they figured everyone would do just the opposite of them and they figured they’d need new tires anyways. So, he and his teammates hit pit lane. Race winner Kyle Busch and second place finisher Kurt Busch stayed out. So did Paul Menard.
That’s where their dominance changed.
Keselowski didn’t line up right on the restart and would get penalized. He’d finish 18th for his seventh straight race at Bristol of a finish outside of the top 15. His last top 10 finish was in 2015. His last top five was 2014.
Logano, tried to make his way through from seventh but he didn’t have enough time. He’d finish third.
Blaney, was strong but also didn’t have enough time either. He’d finish fourth.
It was a strong day of speed, but not the finishes they deserved.
JGR/Penske/SHR Dominance Continued
Combined, Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske have won all eight races this season. If you go back to last year, they won the final two races as well. They’re the teams to beat in NASCAR right now.
But, if you throw Stewart-Haas Racing in there too, then there’s no one better. Between these 11 drivers, good luck beating them.
On Sunday, they led all but 45 laps in a 500 lap race. They took six of the top eight finishing positions.
With heading to a strong track of theirs next weekend in Richmond, I don’t see how this streak ends before the Easter break.