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2020 Team Penske season preview – NASCAR

2020 Team Penske season preview – NASCAR
05 Feb
7:03

Editor’s note: Today’s Team Penske preview continues NASCAR.com’s countdown of team previews for the NASCAR Cup Series season, ranked in order of best finish in last year’s owner standings. 

MORE: Changes to know for the 2020 season

TEAM PENSKE
Manufacturer: Ford
Engine: Roush Yates Engines
Drivers: Brad Keselowski (No. 2); Ryan Blaney (No. 12); Joey Logano (No. 22)
Crew chiefs: Jeremy Bullins (No. 2); Todd Gordon (No. 12); Paul Wolfe (No. 22)

What’s new: The biggest change at Penske is the crew chief shuffle that was announced last month that sees Bullins moving from Blaney to Keselowski, Gordon moving from Logano to Blaney and Wolfe moving from Keselowski to Logano. The road and pit crews will follow their crew chiefs from the 2019 season.

Team strength: When it comes to style of racing, the team strength is at superspeedways. All three drivers are always in the mix for wins in those races. Even though the organization shuffled the crew chiefs around, continuity still exists at Penske as the organization has had the same three drivers and crew chiefs since Blaney came over to drive the third car at the start of the 2018 season. There’s value in having people that are simply used to working with each other.

The Action Network Best Bet: I love the pairing of Joey Logano and crew chief Paul Wolfe this season. Logano is already plenty fast and Wolfe is arguably the smartest in the garage when it comes to in-race strategy. I expect Wolfe to take chances getting Logano out front late in races, and the 2018 champ has plenty of talent to take advantage. In addition, Logano was the best driver last season at the three superspeedway races using the current Daytona 500 package, making him my early favorite to win The Great American Race. He’s also the race favorite in Vegas, so I have yet to pull the trigger on a Logano bet for Daytona. – PJ Walsh

Racing Insights Number to Know: Team Penske is the only organization that has not had a full-time car go winless in a season since 2012. The organization has not had less than four wins in a season in the last six years. – Racing Insights

Quotable: “Last year was a good year for us but it wasn’t great. Penske has made a number of changes to all the teams because good isn’t good enough I think I’ve heard my boss say. We want to win the championship. We didn’t have a car in the final four and that’s unacceptable to us. Our goal is to win a lot of races and championships. We are going to push really hard for that. I believe we have the lineups to get Team Penske another championship.” — Brad Keselowski

Brad Keselowski
Brian Lawdermilk | Getty Images

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Ford

2019 Stats: Three wins, 13 top fives, 19 top 10s, 12.9 average finish and 1,085 laps led.

2020 Championship Odds: 12-1

Fantasy Live Five: Martinsville, Chicago, Las Vegas, Darlington, Pocono

Outlook: Keselowski enters the 2020 season riding a nine-year streak with at least one victory in each season. For the third time in four years, the 2012 champion was eliminated in the Round of 12. Keselowski should extend his consecutive seasons with a win mark and make the playoffs. The big question is how well will Keselowski and Bullins mesh after the driver and Wolfe were able to strategize their way to some big wins. The Keselowski-Bullins duo combined for 14 wins in the Xfinity ranks together.

Ryan Blaney
Brian Lawdermilk | Getty Images

RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Ford

2019 Stats: One win, 11 top fives, 18 top 10s, 13.7 average finish and 422 laps led.

2020 Championship Odds: 20-1

Fantasy Live Five: Las Vegas, Chicago, Martinsville, Texas, Pocono

Outlook: Blaney is coming off a season that saw him finish a career-best sixth in the final standings and post career-bests in top fives, top 10s and average finish. If YRB can harness his late-season consistency over the course of the regular season, look out. The 26-year-old seems primed for a multi-win season under the steady hand of veteran crew chief Gordon, who guided Logano to five multi-win campaigns and three Championship 4 appearances in seven seasons. Blaney is ready to take the next step and Gordon is just the man to lead him there.

Joey Logano
Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Ford

2019 Stats: Two wins, 12 top fives, 21 top 10s, 10.8 average finish and 899 laps led.

2020 Championship Odds: 10-1

Fantasy Live Five: Auto Club, Las Vegas, Miami, Richmond, Michigan

Outlook: Logano comes into the 2020 season having finished outside the top six in the standings once in the past six seasons. Despite strong success with crew chief Gordon, Logano will now have Wolfe atop the box and the combo of Wolfe’s strategy and Logano’s moxie and aggression should be lethal on opposing drivers. “Sliced Bread” is in the prime of his career and is a threat to win at nearly every track. Expect a multi-win season and a deep playoff run for him in his first season with his new crew chief.

NASCAR.com 2020 team previews schedule 

Jan. 20: Teams outside the top 30
Jan. 21: Go Fas Racing
Jan. 22: Front Row Motorsports
Jan. 23: Richard Petty Motorsports
Jan. 24: Germain Racing
Jan. 27: Leavine Family Racing
Jan. 28: Richard Childress Racing
Jan. 29: JTG Daugherty Racing
Jan. 30: Wood Brothers Racing
Jan. 31: Roush Fenway Racing
Feb. 3: Hendrick Motorsports
Feb. 4: Chip Ganassi Racing
Feb. 5: Team Penske
Feb. 6: Stewart-Haas Racing
Feb. 7: Joe Gibbs Racing

Source: https://www.nascar.com/news-media/2020/02/05/2020-season-preview-team-penske/

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