FORT WORTH, TX. - Team Penske led the way for Ford in Sunday night’s All-Star race at Texas Motor Speedway. Brad Keselowski battled eventual race-winner Kyle Larson over the final 10-lap shootout, nearly passing Larson with 7 laps remaining before finishing second.
Keselowski was joined in the top-five by teammates Joey Logano (4th) and Ryan Blaney (5th). Blaney also was the Round 3 winner, leading all 15 laps in that round.
Aric Almirola came home eighth after qualifying on the final chance in the open, winning the third and final round.
The NASCAR Cup Series’ next race — a points-paying event — is Sunday’s Ally 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM), which will mark the circuit’s debut at Nashville Superspeedway.
NCS RACE TOP-10 FINISHERS
1st -- Kyle Larson
2nd -- Brad Keselowski
3rd -- Chase Elliott
4th -- Joey Logano
5th -- Ryan Blaney
6th -- Alex Bowman
7th -- William Byron
8th -- Aric Almirola
9th -- Kyle Busch
10th -- Kurt Busch
REMAINING FORD FINISHERS
12th -- Michael McDowell
14th -- Cole Custer
15th -- Kevin Harvick
17th -- Matt DiBenedetto
20th -- Ryan Newman
BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang -- Finished 2nd
“It feels like running second to the Hendrick cars right now is an accomplishment. They are just stupid fast. I had him off turn 4 but they just have so much speed. He just motored right back by me, like damn! It feels like a first-in-class day with the Discount Tired Ford. The team did a great job of executing and getting us in position, we just didn’t have enough speed to make the most of it. It was good execution day though and I am proud of that.”
“That is the best car I have had here, I just couldn’t get close enough to him (Larson). I could get to like five or six feet and then the draft stopped working. His car is so fast down the straightaway. Even with this package, you can’t draft those Hendrick cars. They are so fast. We have work to do. I feel like my team really executed the race very well and got us in position, we just didn’t have the raw speed we needed to close it out. I felt like we made some great moves, it just wasn’t enough.”
JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang -- Finished 4th
“It was an eventful night. We started miserable. I said that on the radio, I said the car was miserable. It was out of control and impossible to drive to where we were third from last. We were third from last to start that 30-lapper after all the 15-lap runs. The boys did a good job on pit road and Paul (Wolfe) did a good job getting it closer and then a few good restarts at the end got us into the top-five. Another restart, maybe. Everyone is pushing so hard and you can get a big run like Brad was able to do and almost clear him and take the lead. If we could take the lead it would be tough to pass me. Overall, I don't know. These 550’s aren’t clicking for me. We got a good finish, yes, but it is a miracle we did it. I don't know how it happened.”
HOW HOT WAS IT?
“It was hot. Really hot. I feel like I just ran 600 miles. It is hot in there for sure. It is humid. I think that is the worst things, it gets so humid in the car. For whatever reason, when the sun goes down here the temperature doesn't go down with it. The asphalt stays hot and keeps everything else hot I guess. It is hot for sure.”
RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Menards/Wrangler Ford Mustang -- Finished 5th
“We were pretty decent all night. We had a couple good finishes in the stages which averaged us out to fourth. We were running fourth or fifth there and we had a restart and I took the bottom for the last stage and got a pretty good restart and took them three-wide into 1 and didn’t clear the top lane and they freight trained through me and I got loose entering turn 1 and gave up a few spots. It was going to be hard to beat the Hendrick guys. They were pretty fast. Brad had a good run at them but I thought that was our only shot, that restart, but I just didn’t quite clear ‘em.”