Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Report – All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro

AUSTIN CINDRIC No. 2 KEYSTONE LIGHT FORD MUSTANG
START (All-Star Open): 6TH FINISH (All-Star Open): 20TH

RACE RUNDOWN (All-Star Open): After extraordinary rainfall cascaded over North Wilkesboro Speedway Saturday, clear skies and warm temperatures greeted teams Sunday afternoon for the NASCAR All-Star Open, including Austin Cindric, driver of the No. 2 Keystone Light Ford Mustang, who started the event from the sixth position. Determined to race his way into the 200-lap main event, Cindric marched forward early, taking over the third position less than 10 laps in. Unfortunately, shortly after the restart on Lap 59, Cindric was turned into the wall, causing heavy damage to the Team Penske car that led to lengthy repairs on pit road. As a result, Cindric was unable to race his way into the All-Star Race.

CINDRIC’S THOUGHTS: “Unfortunate to get collected and lose our shot at racing our way into the All-Star Race. Our No. 2 Keystone Light Ford Mustang had speed, but we obviously weren’t able to capitalize on it after the damage. We’ll regroup and turn our focus to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.”

RYAN BLANEY No. 12 MENARDS/WRANGLER FORD MUSTANG
START: 17TH FINISH: 5TH

RACE RUNDOWN: Ryan Blaney and the No. 12 Menards/Wrangler Ford Mustang came away with a fifth-place finish in Sunday night’s All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway after starting 17th in the 20-car field. Following an early caution on lap two, the 12-team was one of five to stay out as the rest of the field hit pit road to put on four primary tires, vaulting Blaney to fifth in the running order for the ensuing restart. Blaney reached third on the leaderboard by lap 30 before crossing the line fourth at the time of the scheduled caution on lap 100. With all teams mandated to make a four-tire stop under caution, crew chief Jonathan Hassler called for four fresh soft option tires before lining up for the restart from the outside of row two. After a lengthy battle with the No. 11 following the restart, Blaney made the to take second away and set his sights on the lead. The final scheduled caution of the night on lap 150 saw the No. 12 team opt to stay on the track for what was the eventual final restart as Blaney took the green from the inside of row one. Blaney was shuffled out of line in the opening laps of the run, relegating him to fifth in the running order where he was ultimately scored at the time of the checkered flag.

BLANEY’S THOUGHTS: “It was an alright race. We knew we had to be creative to get up through there and we did a good job in the first caution when a lot of guys came up and put yellows on. We left the reds on and that’s how we got our track position, and then we had to leave them on until the end and actually held on alright. I didn’t get a very good restart on the front row, and then I about spun out into one and that lost me second and lost me third and then I’m just trying to make it back up, although I probably could have run about third. Overall, not a bad night from where we started.”

JOEY LOGANO No. 22 SHELL-PENNZOIL FORD MUSTANG
START: 1ST FINISH: 1ST

RACE RUNDOWN: Joey Logano led a NASCAR All-Star Race record 199-of-200 laps to win at North Wilkesboro Sunday night in dominant fashion, marking his second-career All-Star Race victory (Charlotte, 2016). Logano becomes the third Ford driver to win multiple All-Star races, joining Davey Allison and Mark Martin as he took home the $1 million payday. After starting from the pole, the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang led the entirety of the opening 100-lap segment before mandatory, four-tire pit stops were made under caution. Crew chief Paul Wolfe called for four soft option tires and the 22-team reeled off a fast stop in its only opportunity of the night as Logano won the race off pit road. Logano was locked into a battle for the lead with the No. 20 on the ensuing restart, culminating in a three-wide battle that saw the No. 22 come away as the leader. Logano led all the way through the scheduled caution on lap 150 when Wolfe kept the Shell-Pennzoil Ford on track to maintain the lead heading into the final run of the night. Logano battled the No. 11 for the top spot in the opening laps of the run before distancing himself from the field and leading the rest of the way en route to his second-career All-Star Race victory.

LOGANO’S THOUGHTS: “A lot of fun when you’ve got a car this fast. The Shell-Pennzoil Mustang, it’s just so great to get in Victory Lane. All of our sponsors and everyone who stuck with us to get a win, it feels nice. It’s been a while. I wish it was for points, but a million bucks is still a lot of money and I feel great about that.”

The NASCAR Cup Series takes on the longest race of the season next Sunday, May 26, at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the running of the Coca-Cola 600. The 400-lap event is set for 6:00 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Team Penske PR