Skip to content

Team Penske comes up just a little short at Phoenix

Mar 2, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT

Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski AP

After qualifying on the front row, Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano had the pace to stay toward the top of the leaderboard today at Phoenix International Raceway.

But with wins now virtually ensuring your place in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, near-misses are not good enough. Keselowski and Logano both indicated as much after finishing third and fourth respectively behind winner Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“It feels to good to run up front and be competitive, but in this system, wins are the only thing that count,” Keselowski said. “Last year, you’d say seconds and thirds are great but this year, they’re not. They’re just so-so.

“We were close. I could see it the whole race. Some of our long-run stuff was good as anybody, and the short-run stuff was just OK. It was a good run either way, something to be proud of and hang our hat on. We just know we have to be a little bit better and go from there.”

Keselowski was able to achieve the Top-3 result despite not having his regular crew chief, Paul Wolfe, present. Wolfe flew home during the weekend to be with his wife as they welcomed their first child, Caden Paul.

Yesterday, Keselowski admitted that he was “concerned” about not having Wolfe around for today’s main event. But today, he praised Greg Erwin and Brian Wilson for doing well with filling in for Wolfe.

“They did a great job,” he said. “We still had two more spots to go but all things considered, they did really well and I’m really proud of their effort.”

As for Logano, he was able to push Harvick past Earnhardt for the lead on multiple restarts during the last 35 laps. But he wasn’t able to latch on to Harvick’s back bumper.

“With the new points structure, a win means so much to get you in the Chase,” Logano told Fox Sports in post-race. “I knew my restarts were really good all day and I was able to push [Harvick] along. I wasn’t sure I had enough to go three-wide and go for it, but on the last restart [with nine laps to go], I was like, ‘You know what? Go for it. What have you got to lose?’

“Third place doesn’t mean nothing these days. I shoved our Shell-Pennzoil Ford into a hole there and it just didn’t work out and that’s how we lost [second]. I probably wouldn’t have finished third if I didn’t do it, but you’ve got nothing to lose.”

Logano was still complementary of his team’s effort on the weekend. Nonetheless, he couldn’t help but marvel over Harvick, who led 224 of 312 laps en route to his third Phoenix triumph in his last four races there.

“On the back of his car, it says ‘Freaky Fast!’ And…they weren’t lying,” Logano said in reference to a slogan belonging to Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Harvick’s main backer on the No. 4 Chevy for this race.

“We’ll just have to go back and figure out what he’s doing [at Phoenix]…I went to school behind him a little bit, learned a little bit, but didn’t have enough to beat him.”

Latest Posts
  1. NASCAR AMERICA: Trouble at Turner Scott Motorsports (VIDEO)

    Aug 28, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 - Practice Getty Images

    NASCAR AMERICA has more on the situation surrounding one of the Nationwide and Truck Series’ more prominent outfits.

  2. NASCAR AMERICA: Tony Stewart’s decision to go racing again (VIDEO)

    Aug 28, 2014, 6:17 PM EDT

    Samuel Deeds 400 At The Brickyard - Practice Getty Images

    USA Today’s Nate Ryan calls in to NASCAR AMERICA to talk about the impact of the three-time Sprint Cup champion’s return this weekend at Atlanta.

  3. BREAKING NEWS: Tony Stewart to return to race at Atlanta this weekend

    Aug 28, 2014, 4:38 PM EDT

    Stewart back at atl 2014 Getty Images

    After missing the last three NASCAR Sprint Cup races following the tragic accident that claimed the life of 20-year-old sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. at an upstate dirt track, NASCAR star Tony Stewart will return to racing this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

  4. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 pm ET – More on Tony Stewart’s return

    Aug 28, 2014, 4:21 PM EDT

    NASCAR America

    They don’t call it Hotlanta for nothing. As we get closer to Sunday’s Sprint Cup night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, things are definitely heating up.

  5. Team Penske on verge of ending 8-year IndyCar title drought

    Aug 28, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Roger Penske AP

    “The Captain” and his crew have not celebrated an IndyCar Series title since Sam Hornish Jr. won it all in 2006.

  6. IndyCar championship to be awarded in primetime this Saturday on NBCSN

    Aug 28, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT

    MAVTV 500 Getty Images

    NBCSN coverage of the Verizon IndyCar Series’ title tilt at Auto Club Speedway begins Friday at 7 p.m. ET with qualifying, followed by the MAV TV 500 on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.

  7. IndyCar title quest continues for Helio Castroneves

    Aug 28, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    Honda Indy Toronto - Day 1 Getty Images

    The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner gets another chance to finally capture an IndyCar Series crown this Saturday night at Auto Club Speedway (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra).

  8. Wilson seeks bounce back, first 2014 podium at Fontana finale

    Aug 28, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    JWilIndy Getty Images

    Justin Wilson back at the track where he got injured a year ago, seeking to end 2014 on a high note.

  9. Could Tony Stewart return to race this weekend at Atlanta?

    Aug 28, 2014, 12:49 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, File) AP

    Could Tony Stewart’s three-week absence from NASCAR Sprint Cup racing in light of the Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy be coming to an end?

  10. Report: McLaren trying for Vettel or Alonso

    Aug 28, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    Spanish F1 Grand Prix - Previews Getty Images

    McLaren continues to push to try to bring a bigger name driver to its team ahead of Honda’s 2015 return.

  11. Report: Mercedes to hold on Hamilton contract talks until postseason

    Aug 28, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes will wait to extend their deal until after the season ends.

  12. Dixon leads, Pagenaud has accident during Wednesday Fontana test

    Aug 28, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

    MAVTV 500 Getty Images

    IndyCar banks a night of testing before this weekend’s MAVTV 500.

  13. Jamie McMurray having a much different season than he’s used to on and off the track in 2014

    Aug 27, 2014, 11:03 PM EDT

    Kyle Larson, left, and Jamie McMurray, right. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) AP

    It’s pretty simple and straight-forward what Jamie McMurray must do in the next two races if he has any hope of making this year’s expanded 16-driver field for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

  14. NASCAR America video: Joey Logano’s maturity shines at Bristol

    Aug 27, 2014, 6:19 PM EDT

    (Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

    On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Jeff Burton spoke with Rick Allen and Frank Stoddard about the spectacle of racing at Bristol and just how difficult Joey Logano’s victory at the half-mile oval was.

  15. NASCAR America video: Tony Stewart’s status for Atlanta still up in the air

    Aug 27, 2014, 6:11 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Wade Payne) AP

    NASCAR driver jeff Burton says there has been no word yet from Tony Stewart on whether the latter will return to the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet this weekend at Atlanta after missing the last three races due to the Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy, but it could be a last-minute decision.

  16. Reports: Turner Scott’s NASCAR Truck team in transition (UPDATED)

    Aug 27, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

    TSMTrucks Getty Images

    The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Turner Scott Motorsports team was reportedly set to close; however, that appears to have changed.

  17. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 pm ET — Burton on replacing Stewart, Logano’s Bristol win, Atlanta look ahead

    Aug 27, 2014, 4:11 PM EDT

    140827-NASCAR-AMERICA

    Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America will be chock full of looking back at Saturday’s race at Bristol, as well as starting our lookahead over the next three days for this Sunday’s night race at Atlanta.

  18. IndyCar: New Orleans race confirmed with April 12 date (UPDATED)

    Aug 27, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    indynola

    IndyCar will formally confirm the addition of New Orleans to its 2015 schedule later Wednesday.

  19. How will CTMP NASCAR Truck race match its first one of last year?

    Aug 27, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Canadian Tire Motorsports Park - Day 1 Getty Images

    NASCAR Trucks race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this weekend. Will they be able to match up with the 2013 edition?

  20. Olympian Matt Antoine goes for two-seater IndyCar ride in Milwaukee (VIDEO)

    Aug 27, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Matt-Antoine Getty Images

    Skeleton Bronze medalist Matt Antoine goes for two-seater ride with Arie Luyendyk in Milwaukee.

Video from NASCAR America

Inside Tony Stewart's return to racing
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (2212)
  2. K. Busch (2104)
  3. K. Harvick (1762)
  4. K. Larson (1679)
  5. B. Keselowski (1267)
  1. R. Blaney (1245)
  2. J. Logano (1225)
  3. C. Elliott (1155)
  4. J. Boston (937)
  5. A. Almirola (862)