Team Penske Continues to Impress

Team Penske

Joey Logano (left) and Brad Keselowski lead the way Sunday afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway en route to a pair of top-five finishes. (Photo: Getty Images)

Team Penske is off to a very solid start in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have turned in impressive performances in the opening two races of the season, the latest coming Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.  Keselowski won the pole in the very first Sprint Cup Series "knockout" qualifying format to kick off the weekend and followed that up with a good run in "The Profit" on CNBC 500.

Although he didn’t have enough to catch race winner Kevin Harvick or second-place finisher Dale Earnhardt Jr., Keselowski was pleased with his day in the desert.

"It feels good to run up front and be competitive," Keselowski said.  "We know under this system, wins are the only things that count.  Last year, you would have said seconds and thirds were great but this year, they're just so-so.

"We were close.  I could see it the whole race and I think (on) some of the long-run stuff, we were just as good as anybody.  But on the short-run stuff, we were just kind of OK."

Keselowski knew everyone would have their hands full trying to keep up with Harvick, who was fast all weekend and became the all-time Phoenix Sprint Cup win leader with his fifth victory Sunday.

"They beat everybody before they came to the track today," Keselowski said.  "It's a great combination.  They were prepared for the weekend.  (Crew chief) Rodney Childers, to me, is like a rubber stamp carbon copy of Paul Wolfe.  He's a great crew chief.  It was just a matter of time before he got the great combination he excelled with.

"They were really prepared.  We saw it all the way through testing, that they were dominant.  They showed it when they came to the actual racetrack to race."

Keselowski’s teammate, Logano, raced well Sunday - leading 71 laps before finishing fourth.  He applied some late-race fuel strategy and aggressive moves on restarts in hopes of getting the win.

"It was fun out there," said Logano, sixth in the Sprint Cup Series point standings.  "That '4' car (Harvick) was just so fast.  I was joking on the radio that on the back bumper of that car, it sayd 'freaky fast' and they weren’t lying when they put that on there.  We had a really good car, just not as good as his.

"On that last restart, the last two restarts, I figured I might as well go for it.  With a win being so important, you might as well go for it.  I tried to stuff it in there three-wide and gave up a spot by doing that.  But overall, it's all about the win.  We didn’t quite get that, but we'll go to Vegas and try again."

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