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Oct 30, 2013 - 06:45 PM
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2013 Texas II: Penske Racing NASCAR Nationwide Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Oct 30, 2013 - 06:40 PM
NASCAR News
2013 Texas II: Penske Racing NASCAR Nationwide Race Preview


THE RACE

AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval, Fort Worth, Texas)

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion driven by Brad Keselowski | No. 22 AAA Ford Fusion driven by Joey Logano

Sunday, November 3, 3:00 pm ET

 

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THE NEWS AND NOTES

· TEXAS FIRSTS: Brad Keselowski made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) in November of 2008. After starting the race from the 37th position, the then 24-year-old Keselowski raced his way to a respectable 19th-place finishing position. In November of the following year, Keselowski made his first NASCAR start with Penske Racing at TMS, as he finished 35th in that race. Additionally, in the 2011 spring race at TMS, Keselowski led 32 laps – his first laps led at the track – before finishing 18th.

· A MOMENT IN TIME: In the 2011 edition of this race, Keselowski provided NASCAR fans with one of the most memorable moments from the 2012 Chase for the Championship as he and Jimmie Johnson traded paint down the front stretch in a classic, late-race battle. Keselowski led a total of 75 laps on the night en route to a second-place finish.

· TRIPLE DUTY: Just a few weeks ago, this was going to be somewhat of a light weekend for Keselowski as he was only scheduled to compete in the AAA Texas 500. That changed in a big way when he decided to run the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and the NASCAR Nationwide Series race this weekend in place of Penske Racing teammate, Joey Logano, to allow Logano to focus on the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

· DRIVE FOR THE COVER: Fans can vote for Keselowski to be the featured driver on the cover of the new NASCAR ’14 video game at http://www.driveforthecover.com/keselowski.

· HAVE A HAPPY HALLOWEEN WITH BK: Keselowski will make a Halloween appearance for Miller Lite at Redneck Heaven, located at 3840 N.E. Loop 820 in Fort Worth beginning at 9 pm CT on Thursday night.

· TEXAS NATIVE: No. 2 team rear tire carrier Larry Robinett, who was also a part of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship pit crew, hails from Garland, TX.

· RED, WHITE AND BLUE: The No. 22 Penske Racing Ford Fusion will have a new look this weekend in Texas as will carry the red, white and blue colors of AAA. It will be the second time that AAA has adorned the side of the No. 22 with their unique livery with the first coming at Kansas Speedway back in April. AAA is a long-time partner with Penske Racing, sponsoring both the No. 22 in the Sprint Cup Series as well as the No. 3 car driven by Helio Castroneves in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

· MORE AND MORE TESTING: Logano will once again spend a majority of his week at the track, testing for the upcoming end to the season. This time though, Logano is testing his NASCAR Nationwide Series ride at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Any track time is good track time, however, and the additional time behind the wheel will also help for the Sprint Cup Series finale.

· HALLOWEEN MEMORIES: With the “scary” holiday upcoming, Logano is often asked what some of his favorite costumes are. Logano recalls that one of his favorites was when he and his roommate and friend Coleman Pressley dressed as the lead characters from the movie Dumb and Dumber. He also recognized the irony of dressing up several times as a racecar driver when he was a kid.

· TWIN TEXAS NATIVES: The No. 22 AAA Ford team has not one, but two, team members from the great state of Texas, with both serving on the “over the wall” pit crew. Front Tire Carrier Dave Littau hails from El Paso, Texas, which boarders Mexico, while Rear Tire Changer Colin Fambrough is from nearby Tyler, Texas.

· RACER’S DREAM GARAGE CALENDAR: The 2014 Racer’s Dream Garage presented by Shell V-Power calendar will debut at the track this weekend in Martinsville. The calendar will show off drivers like Logano, Brad Keselowski, Travis Pastrana, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Helio Castroneves and several others along with their personal street vehicles. Several fans’ cars are also featured as part of the Shell Ultimate Enthusiast contest. Fan can get the calendar on the Shell-Pennzoil merchandise hauler, at the Penske Racing gift shop or by ordering it online at www.joeyloganofoundation.org..

THE Q & A

BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD

DO YOU FEEL MORE CONFIDENT RACING AT TEXAS? YOUR RECENT RESULTS SEEM TO SAY SO.

“You know, for whatever reason, my driving style tends to lend itself more to the bumpy, rough racetracks. Texas definitely fits that mold. We were really starting to make some headway with the old car there. I thought we could’ve won both races at Texas in 2012. We needed a little more speed in the spring with the Miller Lite Ford Fusion, but I feel like we are starting to come around with it. Atlanta was shaping up to be a really good race for us before the engine issues. Obviously we won at Charlotte earlier this month. So I’m confident in our intermediate program right now and I think we can win another one this weekend.”

WHAT OTHER TRACKS ARE COMPARABLE TO TEXAS?

“I think you look at Vegas and California, one is a mile-and-a-half and the other a two-mile. Vegas is really, really fast. The tires don’t seem to fall off much there and California is fast. There is nothing wrong with that but there is a lot of tire falloff and it is very flat. You look at those two and I would say Texas is right in between them. There is a lot of falloff here but the track is very fast and has a lot of banking. The best cars here will be the ones that can balance the setup between Vegas and California.”

JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 AAA FORD

THREE RACES TO GO IN THE SEASON; WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE FINAL THREE?

“We want to go out there and contend to win all three of these races. I feel like we have a good shot at winning all of them for sure. We’ve been really good on the 1.5-mile tracks this year and two of the final three are mile-and-a-halfs. That has been our strong point this season. And then you add Phoenix on top of that and we ran top 10 all day there in just our second race together earlier this year before we had fuel line issues late in the race. It will be pretty tough for us in the championship race, but I think we can still crack the top five. So that’s the goal from here on out.”

YOU ARE TESTING A NNS CAR THIS WEEK. DOES THAT STILL HELP ON THE CUP SIDE?

“The cars are definitely different and drive different, but also it’s all about track time and seat time. If the tire is different, you can really learn about how making certain changes on the car will affect the car and its driveability. You can kind of see how the track rubbers in and the groove. But as far as the car itself, there isn’t much you can take from one to the other. But anytime you are behind the wheel and you are on the track, you are honing in your skills and learning something.”

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