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Mar 18, 2014 - 08:28 PM
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2014 Fontana (California): Team Penske NASCAR Nationwide Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Mar 18, 2014 - 08:21 PM
NASCAR News
2014 Fontana (California): Team Penske NASCAR Nationwide Race Preview


THE RACE

TreatMyClot.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway (2-mile speedway, Fontana, Calif.)
No. 22 America’s Tire Ford Mustang driven by Joey Logano
Saturday, March 22, 5:00 pm ET

 

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THE NEWS AND NOTES

THE Q & A

· FINALLY BACK: It’s been since the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway that Joey Logano was behind the wheel of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS). This weekend, he returns to the seat at Auto Club Speedway. Brad Keselowski piloted the No. 22 in the first three NNS races of the season (grabbing one win) and Ryan Blaney was in the seat last weekend at Bristol.

· BIG NUMBERS AT CALIFORNIA: Statistically, Auto Club Speedway might be one of Logano’s best venues when it comes to the Nationwide Series. In seven starts at the track, Logano has earned two wins (2009 and 2012), three poles (2009, 2010 and 2012) and has never finished outside of the top-10. His average start over those seven races is a remarkable 3.1, while his average finish is 4.0. Logano didn’t participate in the event at Auto Club last season.

· TWO WINNERS?: In a rather remarkable stat, only Logano and Kyle Busch have won NNS races at Auto Club Speedway dating back to the second race at the two-mile track in 2008, a span of eight races.

· KEEP THAT 22 CAR UP FRONT: The No. 22 America’s Tire Ford is once again in the running for the NNS Owners’ Championship in 2014, an honor they took home in 2013. Through four races, the team has earned first-, second-, third- and fourth-place finishes on the track. They sit just seven points behind the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing team in the Owners’ Point Standings.

· FAMILIAR VOICE: Fans listening in to the radio transmissions of the No. 22 team this weekend will hear a familiar voice. Tab Boyd, Logano’s regular spotter in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will spot for Logano during the Nationwide Series races he runs this season. Joey Meier will continue to spot for both Keselowski and Blaney.

JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 AMERICA’S TIRE FORD
COULD YOUR FIRST RACE OF THE YEAR COME AT ANY BETTER TRACK THAN CALIFORNIA?
“I don’t really think so, especially when you look at the numbers. I’ve always been really fortunate to run really good at California over the years in the Nationwide Series and I’ve had some pretty good battles with guys like Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle and others. And the America’s Tire Ford Mustang team has been running pretty good this year. They haven’t finished outside of the top-four yet. That’s an impressive start if you think about it. I’m excited to work with those guys again and work with Jeremy Bullins and the whole team. It’s always nice to have the extra track time for the Cup side of things. And I’m looking forward to racing with some of the rookies in the series this year too.”

YOU ARE IN ANOTHER TOUGH BATTLE WITH THE No. 54 TEAM FROM JGR. IS THIS A RIVALRY?
“I probably know better than anyone else how good that No. 54 team is on the Nationwide side of things. That is basically the exact same team that I drove for during my last year with JGR when we won nine races. Adam Stevens is a great crew chief and they build great cars. So to battle them out last year with the No. 22 team and beat them for the Owners’ Title was pretty awesome. I’ve been fortunate enough to win the Owners’ Championship with both of those teams. I would say they are the two best teams in the series right now. And on any given week, one might be preforming better than the other. So I would say there is a little rivalry there, but it’s all in fun. To be the best you have to beat the best, right? And right now I think we are two of the best in the Nationwide Series. It’s a lot of fun for sure.”

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