Tale of Two Races for Team Penske

DOVER, DELAWARE – OCTOBER 06: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, stands on the grid prior to the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway on October 06, 2019 in Dover, Delaware. Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Brad Keselowski and Paul Menard put in solid performances for Team Penske and its affiliate Wood Brothers Racing on Sunday with finishes of 11th and 12th respectively.

The results weren’t the same for Keselowski’s teammates Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney.

Logano’s lousy luck took effect before the green flag was ever displayed on Sunday.

An issue in the rear-end of the No. 22 car brought the Pennzoil Ford to pit road under the pace laps and relegated the team to the garage. Logano didn’t enter the track until lap 23 and finished 34th, 25 laps down.

“I don’t know what it was yet. Something in the back didn’t do what it was supposed to do when you hit the gas,” Logano said. “I don’t know. It’s really weird because it was fine for qualifying. Everything was fine.

“Nothing felt weird and the car was impounded from there.

“Somewhere between there and the start of the race, something broke.”

Blaney suffered his problem on lap 297 when he reported a total brake failure on his No. 12 Ford. The team worked feverishly to get the car back on track to salvage points but to no avail. Blaney finished 35th, 103 laps down.

“Left front hub burned up,” Blaney said.

Despite similar results, the Playoff implications for Logano and Blaney were a bit different.

Logano exited Dover tied with William Byron for eighth-place in points, the final transfer spot into the Round of 8.

Blaney, on the other hand, entered tenth in points and knew he needed a good run at one of his worst tracks to set himself into a good position for the rest of the round.

He now sits last in points, a significant 22 points behind the cutoff line. Blaney is 15 points back of seventh-place Chase Elliott.

“Obviously not good,” Blaney said.