NASCAR Cup Series
Can Team Penske Recapture Late Season Magic At Darlington?
It is no question that Team Penske is a powerhouse in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. However, as of late, the organization seems to step behind some of the other top teams in the sport.
Brad Keselowski has not been to victory lane since his win at Kansas Speedway in May and has only had one top-five in the last seven races. His teammate Joey Logano had a win at Michigan International Speedway in June, but has had just three top-10’s and one top-five since including a current run of four straight events with a finish of 13th or worse. Then there is Ryan Blaney, who has yet to see victory lane this year and has only led 12 laps since Talladega Superspeedway in April.
It is not all bad news though, as the team is heading into a stretch of races that could be argued propelled them to their championship last season.
While many will remember the impressive run by Keselowski, who went on a three-race win streak starting with Darlington Raceway, but his two teammates were solid as well.
Logano finished runner-up in the Southern 500 and led laps in the playoff opener at Las Vegas before finishing fourth. Blaney was able to start a five-race streak of top-10 starts, and also scored a top-five in Vegas.
While stats are all fine and good, it is also worth remembering where this team was at a year ago which may bring feeling a sense of déjà vu. Why is this all sounding familiar? It is because of this a very similar position to where they were a year ago.
Team Penske was not the best team in the sport last year; they were again just behind a dominant team like Joe Gibbs Racing. However, after this upcoming three-race stretch, there was no questioning the ability of this team. They were the ones with the championship at the end of the season.
These are three drivers who get good when the pressure of the season begins to heat up.
Team Penske has had a driver in the Championship 4 in four of the last five season, despite not being the most dominant on a weekly basis. This is not anything new, which is important that we keep an eye on this team that is seemingly under the radar.
If they continue to follow the trends from a year ago, expect success from Penske in the upcoming weeks.
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