FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: RICHMOND PLAYOFF NOTES
Ford heads into this weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Richmond Raceway on a three-race winning streak courtesy of Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski, who joined Kevin Harvick on the list of Ford drivers who have won three straight this season. Ford has a manufacturer-high 14 victories in 2018 and also leads the manufacturer standings. Here’s a look at some other notes heading into Saturday night’s race.
A FORD FIRST
Brad Keselowski’s third straight win on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway created Ford Performance NASCAR history. This marks the first time two different Ford drivers have won three straight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races in the same season. Kevin Harvick did it earlier when he won at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix.
THE LAST TIME…
The last time Ford won four straight MENCS events was in 2014 when Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Aric Almirola and Keselowski won at Sonoma, Kentucky, Daytona and Loudon. Keselowski also has a chance to become the first Ford driver to win four consecutive series races since Mark Martin won at Watkins Glen, Michigan, Bristol and Darlington in 1993.
FORD DRIVERS IN THE PLAYOFF STANDINGS (Top 12 Advance after Charlotte)
1st – Brad Keselowski (Clinched spot in the Round of 12)
4th – Kevin Harvick (+38 points from 13th-place Jimmie Johnson)
5th – Joey Logano (+34 points)
6th – Kurt Busch (+24 points)
7th – Ryan Blaney (+20 points)
9th – Aric Almirola (+12 points)
11th – Clint Bowyer (+7 points)
FORD IN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT RR
· Ford has 32 all-time series wins at Richmond.
· Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch have Ford wins at Richmond while Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer also have series victories.
· Logano is tied with seven other Ford drivers for most victories at Richmond with two.
FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT RR
· Ford has 18 series wins at Richmond.
· Brad Keselowski has Ford’s last three wins at the track (2013 sweep and last Fall).
· Mark Martin leads Ford with five series wins at Richmond.
The first time Ford went to victory lane in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond International Raceway was on May 5, 1957 when Paul Goldsmith started seventh and won the Richmond 250. That was his second win of the season and came on a day that Ford dominated from start to finish by leading all 200 laps. Pete DePaolo fielded three cars under his DePaolo Engineering sponsorship and watched as Fireball Roberts jumped to the lead and held it for the first 159 laps before Goldsmith came on and passed him with 41 laps remaining. Goldsmith went on to win the race by one lap with Roberts finishing second and Marvin Panch third to give Ford and DePaolo a sweep of the top three spots. Goldsmith ended up winning a career-high four races with Ford that season, which included victories in Greensboro (NC), Lancaster (SC), and Raleigh (NC).
KYLE PETTY’S FIRST WIN
The Wood Brothers have 99 all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories and many of those have been first-time wins for whoever was lucky enough to be behind the wheel. Kyle Petty was that man in the mid-1980s and on Feb. 23, 1986 found himself in the right place at the right time. Driving the No. 7 Ford for Glen Wood – the car carried that number because of sponsor 7-Eleven – Petty was the beneficiary of an ongoing battle between Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt. After Waltrip passed Earnhardt to take the lead with two to go, Earnhardt made contact with Waltrip and both cars went spinning into the wall. Others got collected in the aftermath, but Petty was able to get through unscathed and took the checkered flag under caution for his first series triumph.
BURTON WINS BATTLE OF THE JEFFS
Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon waged a memorable battle at RIR on Sept. 12, 1998 in the Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 in which Burton emerged victorious. The two drivers exchanged the lead eight times during the middle stages of the 400-lap feature until Jimmy Spencer joined them. Those three combined to lead the final 259 laps, but the winner was in doubt until the very end as Gordon steadily chased down Burton, who grabbed the top spot from Spencer with 40 to go. Gordon was on Burton’s bumper as the two took the white flag, and he dove to the inside as they entered turn three. Burton maintained his high line and got enough momentum off turn four to win by half-a-car length (.051 seconds).
A PENSKE SEASON SWEEP
Thanks to Team Penske, Ford dominated the 2014 season at RIR as both Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski made it to victory lane. Keselowski clinched the top seed for the ensuing Chase with a dominating performance that saw him lead all but 17 of the 400 laps, including the final 274 circuits. The win was his fourth of the season and marked the third time Ford swept both MENCS races at the three-quarter-mile track, and the first since 1997. Logano won the first RIR race after passing Matt Kenseth with four laps to go to claim his fifth career series victory.
FORD MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP WINNERS AT RICHMOND
1957 – Paul Goldsmith
1959 – Tom Pistone and Cotton Owens
1960 – Speedy Thompson (2)
1963 – Ned Jarrett (2)
1965 – Junior Johnson (1)
1968 – David Pearson (1)
1969 – David Pearson (1)
1970 – James Hylton (1)
1979 – Bobby Allison (2)
1980 – Bobby Allison (2)
1981 – Benny Parsons (2)
1984 – Ricky Rudd (1)
1986 – Kyle Petty (1)
1988 – Davey Allison (2)
1990 – Mark Martin (1)
1992 – Bill Elliott (1)
1993 – Davey Allison (1)
1994 – Ernie Irvan (1)
1995 – Rusty Wallace (2)
1996 – Ernie Irvan (2)
1997 – Rusty Wallace and Dale Jarrett
1998 – Jeff Burton (2)
1999 – Dale Jarrett (1)
2001 – Ricky Rudd (2)
2002 – Matt Kenseth (2)
2005 – Kurt Busch (2)
2013 – Carl Edwards (2)
2014 – Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski
2017 – Joey Logano