After being one of the two dominant teams in Cup through the first six races, Team Penske didn’t have a say in the outcome of Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Brad Keselowski, who has two wins this season, finished 55 laps down in 36th after he had a lengthy visit to the garage in Stage 2 for a mechanical issue.
Keselowski suffered his worst finish of the season.
“Something broke out of nowhere,” Keselowski said. “We weren’t going very fast or anything and something in the back of the car broke and it won’t go. It’s one of those really important parts as Kenny Schrader would say.”
Joey Logano, who won Stage 1, finished a lap down in 17th after being called for an uncontrolled tire penalty near the end of Stage 2. He then made another visit to the pits to fix a problem with his hood.
“Something came apart in the bracing underneath the hood, I believe, and then the hood started flaring all over the place,” Logano said. “The hood was gonna blow off the car if we didn’t get a caution, so we were able to fix it but went down a lap, and there weren’t enough cautions to ever get the lucky dog.
“We rode around in the lucky dog spot for a while, but never got that. That really altered the handling once we had all the bearer bond on the front. The car got really draggy and got real tight, but we won a stage.”
Ryan Blaney, the only winless Penske driver, started the third stage off strong by leading 45 laps but he fell out early and finished 37th after his engine expired.
“A part broke off and leaked all the water out, so that’s the way it goes,” Blaney said. “It just seems that’s the way this season is going.
“We’ve had a shot to win pretty much every race and something happens. That’s getting old, but the car is fast. That’s the bright side, but I’m kind of tired of looking at the bright side. I want to actually start finishing where we should. It’s just one of those days.”