In the offseason, Team Penske added a third car to their Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series side. Back came Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano for another season, and in came Ryan Blaney to join them. Would this shift to three teams take some time to adapt?
After three races to start the year off, I’d say not at all.
As we head to the fourth race of the 2018 Cup season this weekend in Phoenix, Penske has all three drivers in the top seven of the Cup points standings. In fact, two of them are in the top three overall.
Joey Logano is off to a great start, finishing fourth, sixth and seventh so far in 2018. He trails Kevin Harvick by only three points in the standings. But, with Harvick having locked up two wins already, Logano would be the top wildcard driver at the moment. It’s another great start to the year, as he has to hope that his results don’t taper off like they did from May on last season.
Ryan Blaney is also right there. He’s third in the standings with results of seventh, 12th and fifth respectively. If not for a Daytona 500 crash, Brad Keselowski would be right there with them. He finished 31st in Daytona but second and sixth since.
Overall, the trio have combined to lead 186 laps between them (Blaney 119, Keselowski 38, Logano 29). They rank as three of the top six lap leaders in 2018. Combine Blaney and Keselowski’s stage wins, then you’d see them with two of the six stage victories in 2018 as well. Harvick has three by himself.
The trio’s top 10’s at Vegas was the first time in Penske history that they had three Cup drivers all finish inside of the top 10 in a single race. Now, can they continue this hot streak this weekend at ISM Raceway?
Keselowski, has five top 10 finishes on the 1.022-mile track over his last eight starts there. But, he has just one top 10 finish over his last four races in the Arizona desert. Blaney, has finishes of 10th, eighth, 23rd and 17th respectively himself. Logano, won in 2016 and has six top 10 finishes over his last nine Phoenix starts. But, like Keselowski, he’s struggled there as of late with one top 10 over his last four starts.
The overall success at Phoenix for the trio is great, but the last two years hasn’t been. Can they keep the big momentum going?