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Mar 05, 2014 - 06:21 AM
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2014 Las Vegas: Team Penske NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Mar 05, 2014 - 06:20 AM
2014 Las Vegas: Team Penske NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
THE RACE Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile superspeedway, Las Vegas, Nev.) No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion driven by Brad Keselowski | No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion driven by Joey Logano Sunday, March 9, 3:00 pm ET


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· TWO THIRDS GOOD FOR SECOND: Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford team have started the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) strong by producing consecutive top-three finishes. The impressive start to the season has resulted in the team holding down second place in the point standings. Keselowski enters this weekend trailing series leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. by just six points.

· NEW ADDITION TO THE NO. 2 TEAM: Crew chief of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, Paul Wolfe, opened his arms to a new “crew member” this past Sunday. While the team was racing to a third-place finish at Phoenix, Wolfe and his wife, Aleah, welcomed their first child. Baby boy Caden Paul Wolfe weighed in at 7 lbs. and 10 oz.

· FROM ONE DESERT TO ANOTHER: While less than 300 miles apart, Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) and Phoenix International Raceway are each located in a different desert. This week’s race location of Las Vegas is in the Mojave Desert while last week’s location of Phoenix is in the Sonoran Desert. Keselowski and the Miller Lite Ford team hope to build on their recent desert success this weekend.

· LAST TIME AROUND BEST TIME AROUND: Qualifying was rained out for last year’s race at Las Vegas, which gave Keselowski the pole position as the field set by the 2012 championship standings. Keselowski went on to finish third in the event for his best career result at LVMS as he led 12 laps along the way.

· TERRIFIC ON TWITTER: As one of the most active NSCS drivers on Twitter, Keselowski has also earned a reputation as being one of the most engaged and interesting drivers on the social medium. He currently has over 474, 000 Twitter followers.

· SOUTHERN STOP: Though the week between the Phoenix and Las Vegas races is a busy one with travel home to the East Coast figured in, Keselowski found some time for an appearance with a key sponsor. The 2012 NSCS champ traveled to Orlando, Fla. on Tuesday to attend a conference on behalf of Alliance Truck Parts.

· NEAR THE TOP IN MANY CATEGORIES: With Joey Logano’s strong run at Phoenix International Raceway last weekend, the 23-year-old backed up his solid start at Daytona by leading 71 laps and coming home fourth in the desert. Logano never ran worse than fourth under green-flag conditions last Sunday, as he continued to leave his mark on the NASCAR stat sheet through two races this season. Logano is currently third in average running position (7.6), fourth in driver rating (114.2), fourth in fastest laps run (38), third in fastest drivers on restarts, second in green flag speed and second in laps led (73) entering Las Vegas.

· TESTING THE WATERS AT VEGAS: Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford team will participate in the series open test on Thursday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The test, open to all teams, will help crews get ready for the first race at an intermediate track with the new rules set forth by NASCAR in 2014. The No. 22 team will utilize its backup car for this weekend’s race, chassis No. 844, as the test car on Thursday.

· HEAD WEST, YOUNG MAN: Before flying to Las Vegas, Logano will take a detour through the beautiful town of San Diego, Calif. Logano will address the crowd and participate in an autograph session at the annual Jiffy Lube convention. Jiffy Lube is a major partner of Team Penske sponsor Shell-Pennzoil and Logano will help Pennzoil launch a new product to those in attendance.

· THE 22 CREW: On February 14th, five different groups of students from the Southeast Career and Technical Academy (SECTA), Culinary Division (Las Vegas), competed for the chance to deliver lunch to the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil crew members on Friday, March 7th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The winning group will deliver lunch to the crew at 1:30 pm PT at the track as part of the Shell Fuel For Success Program.

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