Penske Racing Done in by Rain Delay in Aaron’s 499
On Sunday when the rain began to pour on Talladega Superspeedway, the drivers of Penske Racing should have been hoping like race leader Carl Edwards that NASCAR would call the race. Edwards had begun on the pole for the Aaron’s 499 after qualifying was rained out, while new Penske driver Joey Logano started in fourth spot and reigning Sprint Cup champ (and 2012 Aaron’s 499 winner) Brad Keselowski rolled off eleventh.
Both had fairly strong cars all day, and Keselowski was able to just barely avoid the Big One that blew up on Lap 42 after Kyle Busch spun Kasey Kahne out. While they fell back many times it seemed like they had cars that could be in contention for the win. By the time the raindrops started coming down, they had charged their way back to the front along with fellow Ford drivers Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Then came the red flag as the long three hour rain delay of the race began.
In the rain delay interviews, Keselowski was very anxious for the race to get back on as he felt he had a car to win and repeat his trip to victory lane from last year. As it turned out he didn’t quite have anything for the stronger cars in the pack and fell back. His younger teammate only had worse luck as he started to have engine troubles that caused him to go several laps down and out of the lead pack.
What was supposed to be a redeeming race for Penske Racing as another penalty appeal looms as well as a shot at a win for two hungry drivers, turned into another day of missed chances and bad luck. It seems like this year when a team gets in a rut its impossible to get out of as seen in Tony Stewart’s case who once again finished outside of the top 20.