Brad Keselowski Racing Post-Race Report: Martinsville Speedway I
No. 19 LTi Printing Ford F-150 Recap:
NASCAR racing at Martinsville Speedway can be accurately defined by a lot of words, but “easy” isn’t one of them – just ask Austin Cindric. The driver of the LTi Printing Ford F-150 wrestled an ill-handling truck throughout Alpha Energy Solutions 250.
Cindric started 13th, but fell a lap down on lap 58. Crew chief Doug Randolph chose to not to pit when the first segment ended on lap 70, taking the wave around to make up the lost distance. After restarting 19th when the race went green on lap 81, Cindric caught a break when the fourth caution waved on lap 92, giving him the chance to pit for four tires and adjustments under yellow. Unfortunately, the adjustments didn’t help, plus Cindric was mired in traffic and unable to make much movement toward the front. He pitted on lap 119 during the sixth caution for four tires and more adjustments, and held his own during the next green-flag run. The majority of the leaders pitted during the seventh caution, but Cindric once again stayed out in an effort to gain track position. He lined up sixth for the restart on lap 150, but try as he might, Cindric couldn’t keep his fellow competitors behind him. As the race entered its closing laps, Cindric was running just in front of race leader Christopher Bell. He dove to the bottom of the track on the front straightaway, but made his move just a moment too late. The two made contact, and Cindric spun in Turn 1, bringing out the 10th and final caution of the race. Cindric quickly recovered from the incident and was credited with a 21st-place finish.
Austin Cindric: “Everyone on the LTi Printing Ford F-150 team worked really hard all day. [Crew chief] Doug [Randolph] did awesome stuff with strategy to keep me on the lead lap and get me out in clean air. The incident with Bell was a tough deal; I was trying to dive down low. I did it a bit too late and he assumed it was a block, which I guess you would. I gave him room and he bumped me. He probably wasn’t happy because he thought I was blocking him, but I really wasn’t. It’s just one of those deals. My teammate and I both had an eventful day. I think Kansas and Charlotte are going to be really good for us. We have a test at Iowa coming up and we’re going to work on our short track trucks, so we’ll move forward.”
Starting Position: 13th
Finishing Position: 21st
Segment Wins: 0
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings: 17th
Points Behind Eighth: 36
No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150 Recap:
Chase Briscoe’s debut at Martinsville Speedway was an eventful one, as the rookie experienced the highs and lows of tight racing at the treacherous track. Briscoe’s No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150 showed speed from the onset of the weekend, but a late-race spin and a loose condition hindered the 22-year-old in the closing laps.
Starting out the weekend strong with a top-five time in the weekend’s only practice session, Briscoe qualified eighth for the 250-lap race. Running sixth when the first segment ended, the Cooper Standard machine restarted fourth after crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. called for a four-tire stop under caution. Things grew dicey after lap 100: Briscoe was on both the giving and receiving end of contact as racing intensified, but managed to maintain a top-five spot until the conclusion of the second stage. On lap 160, Briscoe spun after being bumped while racing three wide, and was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop for four tires and fuel, dropping him back to 21st. Briscoe fought his way back up to 12th before the final caution flag on lap 225, but reported that his Ford F-150 was now “super loose” in the center. The team opted to make one final pit stop to improve the handling for the closing laps. Restarting 15th, Briscoe was able to work his way up to the
Chase Briscoe: “Today was eventful, and definitely an up and down day for our Cooper Standard Ford F-150 team. We had really good speed, but we just couldn’t get the track position we needed. There were a lot of incidents on track today, but it’s a byproduct of the tight racing at Martinsville. I got into some guys and a couple guys got into me. I didn’t mean to do it, and I know those guys didn’t mean to either. We certainly didn’t get the finish we were capable of today, but to run up front for most of the day is something to be happy about. We’ve had a strong start to the season, speed-wise. We’ve been in contention everywhere we’ve been, we’ve had the fastest truck at some point every week, and we make gains all weekend. I’m really looking forward to Kansas.”
Starting Position: 8th 16th
Finishing Position: 11th3rd
Segment Wins: 0
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings: 7th
Points Behind Leader: 47