Logano, crew chief, Shell/Pennzoil re-sign with Team Penske
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: Logano nabs victory in 'The Clash' DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Legendary team owner Roger Penske announced Friday a multi-year contract extension with driver Joey Logano , his crew chief Todd Gordon and the Shell/Pennzoil brand that will go through the year 2022 and beyond. The Team Penske namesake emphasized the special nature of the long-term and global business-to-business partnership and especially the example his team has set for the sport in its affiliation with Shell/Pennzoil. "It gave us a chance to combine the business side and also we've used motorsports as a common thread," Penske said. "We're trying to create some value of competitiveness in our business. "For us to say we have a partnership with Shell beyond 2022 is massive for us, not just here but across the business. We've got Joey Logano for the same period and we have Todd Gordon, we think this is one of the biggest announcements in motorsports today. When you talk about the health of the sport, we consider this a watershed time." "This is 30-plus races per year," Penske continued. "We're not going to be changing the logos on the car every other week. This isn't just an announcement about a sponsor, it's about a business relationship … quite honestly it's the foundation of our whole business." Logano was equally as enthused about this opportunity, acknowledging both the rarity of such a long-term contract and the promise the move makes. "It's an amazing honor and opportunity for me," Logano said. "Obviously signing with Team Penske is a huge change in my career. I've learned to surround myself with greatness, people 'smarter than you.' When you think about 22 team and how close we’'ve grown together -- it's a huge advantage for us as a race team to keep the continuity. "I'm very fortunate and exited about this. This was one of those decisions that was a no-brainer. A lot of pressure comes along with this. … I love pressure. Pressure is a privilege and it honestly is a privilege to have this opportunity to race for Roger Penske and Shell and Pennzoil. "(The) fact it all goes together is unheard of. It's a very positive story in our sport to see the commitment of Shell and Pennzoil. It really sets a statement for not only Team Penske but NASCAR as a sport." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Penske proves plate tracks take more than just luck
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: Logano signs new long-term deal DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- If the headline to this story doesn't read: Logano says, 'I don't know what the hell I'm doing,' don't blame the Team Penske driver. "That's the headline right there," Logano says, laughing. Clearly that isn't the case. When it comes to restrictor-plate racing, Logano, 26, obviously knows a thing or two. In fact, he and teammate Brad Keselowski have become two of the best at understanding the nuances of the draft and pack racing on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ' two biggest venues -- Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway . Since the fall Talladega race of 2014, the two have won six of nine races at the two tracks, including Logano's win in the Daytona 500 two years ago. Last season, the duo went three-for-four in plate races. "I've learned a lot about this whole thing, mainly because I just started studying it," Logano said of his recent success in plate races. "I had to." There was a time, he said, when he bought into the belief that success on the restrictor-plate tracks was simply a product of luck. Finding oneself in the right place at the right time. Choosing the right line instead of the wrong one. Guesswork at 200 mph. "But when you look at statistics, that's not the case," he said. "If it was luck, there would be a different winner every single time. But it's not." It's strategy. Understanding the draft and not only which moves to make, but when to make them. Likewise, the crew chiefs have to understand "what to do and when to do it. Spotters understanding everything," he said. "I guess as a driver and as a team we put the effort into it and we see some results because of it. What does Roger ( Penske , team owner) say all the time? 'The harder I work the luckier I get?' " It's also being able to process all that information, combine it with what a driver knows about his car and those around him and making decisions in the blink of an eye. Something of what Keselowski describes as a "culture change" at Team Penske has had an impact as well. "I think we got really tired of people saying that restrictor-plate tracks were about luck," the 2012 series champion said. "And the culture really changed for us when, as a company, we decided this isn't luck anymore, this is a concerted effort to put on your best moves, your best face, your best cars and quit saying it's luck. "As soon as we stopped saying that at Team Penske we had a lot more success. I think it's a lot more about culture than anything else." RELATED: Logano nabs victory at 'The Clash' after wild final lap Physically, restrictor-plate racing might be the easiest form of NASCAR competition. Mentally it's the most taxing. "Mentally you're just completely shot," Logano said. "It's like your computer is just on overload with all the information. And some computers work quicker than others, right? It's a mental race." Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr ., who will start on the outside of the front row for Sunday's Daytona 500 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR) is an accomplished plate racer. So too are Denny Hamlin ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), the defending Daytona 500 champion, Kevin Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ) and Kyle Busch (JGR). Toss in Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray as well. Logano said he isn't surprised that those are the drivers most often competing for wins and finishing in the top five on a regular basis at Daytona and Talladega. "They just get it," he said. "They know what to do. They make these moves on the race track and you go 'Yeah!' You'll see only those guys do it. "Every now and again you'll see those moves happen and you're like 'They knew what the hell was going on.' It all came together. And then you see other people that go for it and sometimes it doesn't work out; they may luck into one every now and again, they may completely lose it and go all the way to the back. Some guys just ride and they pick them off as some cars go backwards. But you're never going to get to the lead that way. "You have to be confident in your decision and the only way you're confident is through prep. Without preparation you can't be confident in anything. That's how I look at it." Keselowski scored his first Monster Energy Cup Series win in a restrictor-plate race, at Talladega in '09. It was career start No. 5 and helped open the door to his arrival at Team Penske . Five of his 21 career wins have come on the plate tracks. Looking back on past races, Keselowski said he's "almost embarrassed" by what he sees. "Because I see all the moves that were open," and not taken, he said. "I think that speaks to just having the experience and to learning the tactics and those changing, evolving, being developed. "Certainly the sport has changed and the drivers continue to get better. But the basics continue to be the same -- you've always had to have a good car to win this race. You're going to have to have a good car to win it this year, but you're going to have to have those tactics right."
Chase Elliott wins Duel 1 from pole position
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: Duel 1 results " Duel 2 results A strong restart with eight laps to go -- and a push from fellow Chevrolet driver Jamie McMurray -- gave Daytona 500 polesitter Chase Elliott the power he needed to maintain the lead and take the checkered flag in Thursday's Can-Am Duel 1 at Daytona International Speedway . Elliott, the youngest Daytona 500 polesitter, also became the youngest Duel winner in the race's history -- the previous record holder was Jeff Gordon . Elliott will start on the pole in Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) for the second straight year. RELATED: Detailed results from Duel 1 " Projected Daytona lineup "We just kind of set out and wanted to race, not ride around," Elliott said after climbing out of his car in Victory Lane. "I think sometimes you ride around and you don't know what your car is like and if it's going to be the way you want it for Sunday. And you can also get yourself in trouble. We took chances and it worked out, so I'm excited for Sunday." McMurray gave Chevrolet a 1-2 finish with a runner-up result in his No. 1 Chip Ganassi ride, while Kevin Harvick finished third in the Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. Brad Keselowski 's No. 2 Team Penske Ford and Matt Kenseth 's No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota rounded out the top five. Keselowski displayed his familiar restrictor-plate power, leading a race-high 28 laps. "We had a good night," Keselowski said. "We knew the 24 car (of Elliott) was going to be strong. It just didn't shake out like I hoped it would in some of those pivotal moments, but that’s part of it. ... We're going to work on some things that make that possible." Duel 1 race determined the inside row for Sunday's Daytona 500 0 with Elliott locked into the top starting position, followed by McMurray (third), Harvick (fifth), etc. behind him. The top 10 finishers received championship points, so race winner Elliott earned 10 points for the season, second-place McMurray nabbed nine, all the way to 10th-place Cole Whitt earning one point. The same system also applied to Duel 2. Corey LaJoie claimed a spot in the "Great American Race," as he was the highest finisher (18th) among the three Open teams in the race. Brendan Gaughan had previously earned a spot by being the fastest Open car during Sunday's qualifying session. Reed Sorenson seemed poised to earn a spot in the Daytona 500 as the highest Open team , but contact from LaJoie with 12 laps to go caused his No. 55 Toyota to spin and it was quickly towed off track. Paul Menard (20th) and Kyle Busch (13th) were also affected in the wreck. Joey Logano (ninth) experienced problems early in the 60-lap race: He fell back in the pack and was forced to pit for a loose wheel that was causing a vibration in the first 20 laps. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Ford Performance lifts brand, cars to new heights
Photo credit: Nigel Kinrade/NK Photography For 2017, Ford Performance will field seven Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series organizations featuring 13 teams. Driving Ford Fusions for the first time this year are Stewart-Haas Racing drivers Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Clint Bowyer and Danica Patrick . Harvick won the series title in 2014 while Busch was the last Ford driver to win the series’ championship, in 2004 with what is now Roush Fenway Racing . "I think you've seen over the past year with the formulation of Ford Performance that we have a different approach to our racing program," Global Director of Ford Performance Dave Pericak said when the agreement with SHR was announced early last season. "A lot of people have heard me say that we don't race to race, we race to win and we also race to learn. So we're truly using racing as an innovation test bed in development of new technologies, tools and our people. "I think Stewart-Haas brings with it just an enormous amount of expertise and the way that they approach racing is a very technical way, so all of that is going to blend very well with what we’ve been doing within Ford Performance and how we are approaching now our racing program." In the past four years, Ford teams have visited Victory Lane 35 times and six of its drivers have earned a spot in the 10-race, championship-determining playoff. Team Penske 's Joey Logano has advanced to the Championship Round in two of the past three seasons. "There does seem to be an increase in engineering support again," noted one long-time team owner. "It's nice when Raj (Nair) and Dave, guys dedicated to winning, show up at the track. You know they are there for one reason – to see a Ford win." It's something that doesn't go unnoticed to Ford drivers. "With the transition to Ford, right off the bat the thing I've enjoyed most is it's the head honchos you're talking to," Bowyer said. "Raj Nair has made this Ford Performance the reality it is today, and he's the guy you're talking to."
SHR's move to Ford brings new relationship for Team Penske
RELATED: Recapping 2017 Media Tour CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The lines of communication between Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske are open, but it's yet to be determined how each organization will benefit in the coming season. "There are definitely a lot of different avenues where we can work together," Team Penske driver Joey Logano said during Wednesday's NASCAR Media Tour presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway . "It is always an interesting relationship because we still have to race each other but we want to see how we can both grow and make Ford a powerhouse manufacturer … get them a manufacturer's championship and have both our organizations win more races. That's the ultimate goal." Team Penske , which joined the Ford camp in 2013, fields two full-time entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for Logano and 2012 series champion Brad Keselowski . Stewart-Haas Racing made the switch from Chevrolet to Ford after the completion of the 2016 season. It's driver lineup consists of 2014 champion Kevin Harvick , 2004 champ Kurt Busch , Clint Bowyer and Danica Patrick . Logano and Keselowski have won 25 times under the Ford banner since the start of '14; SHR drivers have 17 wins over that same period. "Teaming with SHR is a smart move and an impressive move by Ford," Logano said. "It shows their commitment to what they are trying to do and their investment in our sport." RELATED: Ford expects to come out firing with SHR in mix Roush Fenway Racing , Richard Petty Motorsports and Front Row Motorsports are among the organizations that also field Fords in NASCAR's premier series. Ford officials say that technical information gleaned by the manufacturer is provided to all its teams. Individual organizations, however, maintain a certain level of secrecy in the interest of competition. "I think it depends on which facet of racing we’re talking about," Raj Nair, Executive Vice President for Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer, Ford Motor Co., said recently. "Certainly under the hood with Roush Yates Engines we're providing that continuity and sharing of information across all of our teams. "On the aero work that we're doing on the body, the same level of information is provided to all of the teams. Ford also provides access to a variety of chassis simulation tools, which teams may or may not choose to use. "We're trying to find a little bit of that balance of the things the teams are good at doing themselves, providing them that freedom and flexibility to do that on their own and to some extent compete against each other and see which way is better," Nair said. "But the things where you want to leverage a lot of commonality, the big tools that Ford Motor Company brings, the big investment … try to use that across all our teams." Logano said Ford officials "want us all to work together as much as we can, but we still have to race each other so there is that line there for trading out assets." "There has already been communication and some things are already underway," he said. "It will be interesting to see how that relationship grows over the next few years and how it works out. So far so good." A Ford driver has not won the championship since 2004, although Logano has qualified for the Championship 4 twice in the last three years -- 2014 and 2016. The automaker last won the manufacturer championship in 2002. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Get to the points: Drivers eye duel advantage
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: Lineups for the Duels " How the Duels work DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The opportunity to earn points and possibly a berth in the season-ending playoffs for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series begins in earnest here this weekend as drivers prepare for Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway . The first chance for points will present itself Thursday as Daytona hosts the annual Can-Am Duels (7 p.m. ET, FS1), two 60-lap qualifying races that will set the bulk of the field for Sunday's main event. For the first time since 1971, drivers finishing in the top 10 in the Duels will receive points (10th for first through one for 10th ). The ability to earn points in this year's event impacts strategy. "It will make a difference for David Ragan ," the Front Row Motorsports driver said Wednesday during NASCAR's annual Media Day at Daytona. "For me, points are what matter to a smaller team ," Ragan, driver of the team's No. 38 Ford, said. "And every opportunity we have to gain some points we need to capitalize. "A team like Kevin Harvick 's who can lead a lot of laps, they're going to be fast, win some races, they can overcome not scoring points in a segment. They're going to be able to score a lot of points quicker but for a team that will be running in the mid-teens or low 20s, if we can score points at some segments or in the Duels … that could mean the difference in making the (playoffs) or not making (them). "So I think we will be a little more aggressive when it comes to these opportunities to gain points." RELATED: Fast facts on the race enhancements Harvick, the 2014 series champion, wins with frequency. He'll be going after career win No. 36 and a second Daytona 500 trophy this weekend at the wheel of the No. 4 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing . Looming large for teams heading into the Duels is the potential for damage -- scarring up the primary entry for the Daytona 500 just to earn a handful of points is a risky proposition. "I still want to race my primary car in the 500," Ragan said, adding that some of his best finishes in the race have come in back-up entries. "So it's not the end of the world … but I don't want to take any unnecessary risks and do something stupid. But I will be looking to gain some points on Thursday." Pete Hamilton, driving the No. 6 Plymouth fielded by Spartanburg, South Carolina for car owner Cotton Owens and David Pearson, in the No. 17 Holman-Moody Mercury, won the two qualifying races in '71, the last time points were awarded in the for the events. Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon isn't worried about protecting his car for Sunday's 500 -- a lackluster qualifying effort has the youngster and his team searching for speed and answers. RELATED: Dillon discusses how slick the track is "I'm definitely going to do what I can to grab points in the Duel," Dillon said. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Team Penske's No. 2 team assessed P2 penalty after Michigan
The team for No. 2 Ford driver Brad Keselowski in the Sprint Cup Series was assessed a P2-level penalty after the car failed post-race inspection at Michigan International Speedway . NASCAR on Wednesday fined crew chief Paul Wolfe $15,000 and docked the team 10 championship driver points and 10 championship owner points after the No. 2 failed post-race laser inspection. The No. 2 Team Penske squad also received a written warning for failing pre-race laser inspection twice. NASCAR also gave written warnings to several other teams on Wednesday following last weekend's action at Michigan International Speedway and Road America . Twelve of the warnings were issued to Sprint Cup Series teams, while the XFINITY Series had one. The teams of drivers Regan Smith , Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell each received a written warning for failing pre-race laser inspection twice. The teams of drivers Josh Wise and McDowell received written warnings and a loss of 15 minutes of practice time after failing pre-qualifying laser inspection three times. The teams of drivers Kasey Kahne , Chase Elliott and Michael Annett received written warnings for failing pre-qualifying laser inspection twice. Trevor Bayne , Smith and Kyle Larson all received written warnings for failing pre-qualifying template inspection twice. As for the XFINITY Series, the only written warning given out was to Owen Kelly for failing pre-race laser inspection twice. Camping World Truck Series wheelman Spencer Gallagher received a behavioral penalty and was fined $5,000 for approaching the racing surface or apron during the event.
Team Penske , Discount Tire renew partnership for 2017
MOORESVILLE, NC (November 7, 2016) -- Team Penske and Discount Tire, the world’s largest tire and wheel retailer, announced today that the two companies will continue their partnership into the 2017 season. Discount Tire will return as the primary sponsor of Team Penske ’s No. 22 Ford Mustang in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) next season. Discount Tire will also continue as an associate sponsor on both the No. 2 and No. 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford Fusions and -- new for next season -- the company will join Team Penske ’s Verizon IndyCar Series program as an associate sponsor. A long-time supporter of NASCAR, Discount Tire joined the Team Penske family just prior to the start of the 2010 NASCAR XFINITY Series season. That year, the No. 22 Discount Tire team and driver Brad Keselowski earned a series-record 26 top-five finishes en route to the first NASCAR championship for owner Roger Penske . "Discount Tire is proud of its winning relationship with Roger and Team Penske . We have a shared desire of being the best at what we do, by caring for our wonderful people, teamwork and the pursuit of getting better every day." said Michael Zuieback, President of Discount Tire. "We look forward to sharing more success together." Since joining Team Penske ’s XFINITY Series program, Discount Tire has been a key part of four championships for the No. 22 team , following up Keselowski’s 2010 driver title with back-to-back-to-back NXS Owners’ Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In all, four different drivers have won races for Discount Tire at Team Penske , including Keselowski, Joey Logano , Ryan Blaney and AJ Allmendinger . Discount Tire has made the most of its partnership with Team Penske and continues to leverage its sponsorship as one of the company’s key marketing platforms. Discount Tire engages its employees and customers at the race track and the company features all Team Penske drivers in exclusive autograph sessions at its stores across the country. In addition to an extensive showcar program that tours key markets, Discount Tire and Team Penske will continue to work on various cross promotions, including the creation of point of sale and collateral materials and the production of television commercials featuring Team Penske and its drivers. "When you think about companies that have made a commitment and helped the grow the sport, especially in the XFINITY Series, there is no question that Discount Tire is one of the first ones that comes first to mind," said Roger Penske . " Team Penske has developed a great relationship with Bruce Halle and the entire group at Discount Tire. They enjoy all of the success we have had together in racing, but they also maximize their partnership with our team away from the track. We are pleased to have Discount Tire back with us in 2017 and we look forward to winning more races and championships with them." Keselowski, Logano and Blaney are all scheduled to race the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang in 2017. The 2017 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season begins in February with the running of the non-points Unlimited and Daytona 500 on February 26. The NASCAR XFINITY Series also begins at Daytona on February 25.
Team Penske expands XFINITY Series team
RELATED: Road to 100: All of Team Penske's Sprint Cup wins MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Coming off of their first NASCAR XFINITY Series win of the season last weekend at Watkins Glen International with driver Joey Logano , Team Penske today announced plans to return their XFINITY Series operation to a two-car Ford Mustang effort in 2017. The second Team Penske entry also clears the way for Ford Performance to use this entry as an extension of their new driver development program as both organizations continue to build for the future. "Our NASCAR XFINITY Series program has been one of the best in the series since we started running full-time in 2009," said team owner Roger Penske . "For several years, we ran it as a two-car operation and then decided to focus primarily on the No. 22 for the last few years. Along the way, we developed a lot of people that have moved into our Cup programs, including all of our current NASCAR Sprint Cup crew chiefs. We want to win another XFINITY Series Championship while continuing to utilize our program to build human capital." Team Penske 's NXS program ran sparingly between 2001 and 2008, winning nine races with drivers Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch . The team began competing full-time in 2009 and earned the NXS Driver's Championship with Brad Keselowski in 2010. Since joining Ford in 2013, Team Penske has earned 29 XFINITY Series wins and has won back-to-back-to-back NXS Owners' Championships. "Obviously, we've really enjoyed our relationship with Team Penske and the success that they've brought to the Ford family in the NASCAR XFINITY Series," said Dave Pericak, Director of Ford Performance. "The addition of a second Team Penske XFINITY Series car will allow all of us to work on developing talent behind the wheel and across the board. A driver and sponsorship on the second Ford Mustang will be announced at a later date. Since its inception, Team Penske has earned 55 NASCAR XFINITY Series wins, 53 pole positions and four championships. Newman, Busch, Justin Allgaier , Keselowski, Sam Hornish Jr ., Logano, AJ Allmendinger and Ryan Blaney have all visited victory lane for Team Penske in the XFINITY Series.
Logano: 'We go out there to win'
Joey Logano talks about Team Penske's strategy for the race stages during the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
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