Penske trio nearly pulls off a collective top 10

BRISTOL, TN - APRIL 07: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Discount Tire Ford, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 7, 2019 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The cars of Team Penske teammates Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney were among the best for much of the Food City 500 and two of the three – Logano and Blaney – finished third and fourth respectively. Combined, the trio led 344 of the race’s 500 laps.

“The last thing you want is a caution with 15 to 20 (laps) to go at Bristol and you’re the leader because you know everyone is going to make their decision based off what you do,” said Logano, who found himself in exactly that predicament. “If you stay out, you’ve got to expect half the field is going to pit, maybe more. If you come in, five or six stayed (out), so it’s just part of the game.”

Keselowski appeared to be in line for a shot at the win as well, but confusion when the field was reset for the final restart left the former series champion mired in a three-wide situation coming to the green.

He was eventually issued a pass-through penalty and finished 18th.

“Nobody could figure out the lineup,” Keselowski said. “There wasn’t enough communication and it was just a tough deal.”