Team Penske’s hopes of a second consecutive 1-2 finish at Bristol Motor Speedway ended early in Sunday’s Food City 500 In Support of Steve Byrnes.
And to add insult to injury, shortly after an incident between teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, heavy rain returned to cause a red flag.
Just 19 laps into the scheduled 500-lap event, Keselowski lost control off Turn 4 while trying to lap Alex Kennedy’s car. Logano was trailing his teammate and when Keselowski turned sideways, Logano had nowhere to go, and their Ford Fusions collided.
“It just took off on me,” Keselowski told his team over the radio. “Sorry about that guys.”
Keselowski’s car suffered heavy left-rear damage, and Logano’s car had significant front-end damage. Keselowski’s crew began to make repairs on pit road before the red flag, while Logano took his car to the garage area.
“It’s been raining since we started the race; it was a really light sprinkle, the track was barely dry, the car just took off on me,” Keselowski told Fox Sports. “I’d like to blame the rain. Usually when a car gets that far sideway, and it’s out of nowhere, there’s a reason behind it. I really hate I tore up my teammate in the process. It’s really a bummer. I felt like I had a normal line, and it just moved crazy sideways.”
Logano and Keselowski finished 1-2 in last August’s Saturday night race at BMS and were looking to repeat in the first Sprint Cup race of 2015 at the half-mile bullring.
This likely will be Logano’s worst finish of the season, ending his streak of top 10 finishes to start the season. Logano’s worst finish to date prior to Sunday was 10th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
He entered Sunday’s race as one of three drivers with consecutive top 10s in each of the first seven races; Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. are the others.
“You think early in this race you just want to settle in, and I was just trying to get the top working,” Logano said on the Fox Sports broadcast. “Brad got loose trying to pass a lapped car. It looked like he had saved it. He checked up more than I expected and I got into him. We’ll try to do what we can and get what we can today.”