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Mar 20, 2013 - 06:06 PM
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2013 Fontana: Penske Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Mar 20, 2013 - 06:05 PM
NASCAR News
2013 Fontana: Penske Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview


THE NEWS AND NOTES

· SUPER START: Brad Keselowski is the only NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to start the season with four top-five finishes in the first four races. The last driver to start the year with five-consecutive top-five finishes also drove the “Blue Deuce.” Rusty Wallace accomplished the feat in 1998.

 

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· POINTS LEADER: Thanks to his consistent start to the season, Keselowski has taken command the points lead for the first time since leaving Homestead-Miami Speedway last November with the 2012 series championship.

· HOLLYWOOD: Prior to this weekend’s race in the Inland Empire area of California, Keselowski will take part in a media tour of L.A., highlighted by an appearance on the hit TV show “American Idol” and a trip to see the Los Angeles Clippers/Philadelphia 76ers game on Wednesday night.

· SPEED IS KING: Keselowski ranks first in two NASCAR Loop Data categories that are key to producing fast laps – Fastest Driver on Restarts and Fastest Driver Late In A Run. He also has the second-most number of Fastest Laps Run so far this season.

· TV STAR: While in California this weekend, Logano will try his hand at being a TV star. On Saturday, he’ll be in the ESPN booth for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Fontana, where he is the defending race winner. Then, on Monday, Logano will film an episode of Disney XD’s top-rated show “Lab Rats,” where he will play himself in an upcoming episode.

· SWAT TRAINING: Logano and several members of the No. 22 Auto Club team will take part in a Shell “Fuel for Success” program that will see he and the team will go through several SWAT exercises along with local SWAT members in front of local high school kids. The program will take place on Thursday at Colton High School in Colton, Calif. at 11am PT.

· TOP 12 IN POINTS: Despite some bad luck all year long, Logano finds himself 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, just 11 points outside of the top-10, and 20 points outside of the top-six.

· POINTS LEADER x2: Tab Boyd, Logano’s spotter in the Sprint Cup Series, finds himself as the spotting “points leader” in two of the three NASCAR national series divisions. Boyd also spots for Penske Racing Nationwide Series driver Sam Hornish, who leads the Nationwide Series point standings, as well as Johnny Sauter in the Craftsman Truck Series, who leads the points in that series.

THE Q & A

BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY?

“We’ve run really well with the Nationwide car at Auto Club Speedway over the last couple of years. We don’t yet have a win to show for it, but it gives me a boost of confidence because Fontana has been one of the tougher tracks for me over the years. I’m really looking forward to going back this weekend and having a solid race with the Miller Lite Ford.”

PAUL WOLFE, CREW CHIEF OF THE NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD

WHAT IS THE KEY TO RUNNING WELL AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY

“The key to victory at Auto Club Speedway is having a car with great balance. The track is known for long green flag runs and the car tends to get looser the longer you run. It’s a delicate balance because you have to be loose to start a run. A tight racecar is no good either but the driver has to be able to hold on to it. That is a very fine line. With the new car you always have to expect the unexpected, but we’ve had a good start to the season and I expect that to continue this weekend.”

JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 AUTO CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FORD

HOW’S IT FEEL TO BE TOP-12 IN POINTS DESPITE THE BAD LUCK?

“I feel like we are much better than 12th in the point standings at this moment. If we could have finished where we deserved in each of the four races, I think we would be top-five in points easily. We’ve had a top-10 car each week and circumstances have just kept us from getting the finishes we deserved. We will turn it around and when we do, we will be contending for top-fives each week.”

ANY FINAL THOUGHTS ON LAST WEEK?

“In this sport, you can’t focus on last week too much. Every week is a new week and you need to move on and focus on the task at hand. The guys that are the best start new each week. So we are going into California focusing on California. We have Auto Club onboard as a sponsor this week and we are taking a fast car. We know that we are right in the thick of things. We just need to perform and get some good finishes and get up there in points even higher. And a win is coming for this No. 22 team. We can all feel it.”

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