Best at Being Second: Team Penske leads Cup in runner-up finishes

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While they don’t share Joe Gibbs Racing’s win totals, Team Penske is having a really good year so far in the Cup Series.

Team Penske has four wins between Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano through 14 races.

That’s the team’s best pace at this point in a season since Rusty Wallace opened the 1994 campaign with five wins in 14 races, including winning the 14th race. The year before he won four of the first eight races on his way to 10 wins.

In 2019, Keselowski has three wins (Atlanta, Martinsville and Kansas) while Logano won at Las Vegas.

But Team Penske has missed out on a handful of chances to make more visits to Victory Lane than any other Cup organization this season.

Sunday’s race at Pocono saw Keselowski and his No. 2 team use pit strategy to help garner a second-place finish to Kyle Busch.

“We wanted a little bit more to be able to pass everybody but you had to be so much faster that you just try to execute the best you can and hope things fall the right way,” Keselowski said. “They fell decent, just not good enough to win today.”

While it was only Keselowski’s second runner-up finish, it was the fifth overall for Penske.

One of those results has an asterisk, as Keselowski was the driver Logano held off for his Las Vegas win.

Logano claimed the other three second-place finishes. He failed to chase down Martin Truex Jr. at Richmond and two weeks ago in the Coca-Cola 600. He’ll also go down as the answer to the trivia question “Who finished second to Kyle Busch at Auto Club Speedway when Busch earned his 200th national series win?”

Obviously, missing from Penske’s fun time at the front of the field is Ryan Blaney. The driver of the No. 12 Ford has four top fives – with a best result of third at Phoenix – but he hasn’t finished better than 12th in the last six races.

While JGR has nine wins, it has the third most runner-up finishes with three.

The runner-up in the runner-up stat column goes to Hendrick Motorsports with four.

That number is helped by Alex Bowman‘s streak of back-to-back-to-back runner-up finishes (Talladega, Dover and Kansas).

Talladega saw Bowman finish second to teammate Chase Elliott, the owner of the fourth runner-up (Martinsville).

Only two other teams have finished second this year, with Stewart-Haas Racing (Clint Bowyer at Texas) and Chip Ganassi Racing (Kurt Busch at Bristol) claiming the distinction.

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