Keselowski, Wolfe look at remaining races from horsepower perspective

Nigel Kinrade/NKPPhoto

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

When it comes to superspeedway racing, many people across the NASCAR garage know that the Ford Performance camp powered by Roush Yates Engines will be a force for the win. With super speedway racing over with for the 2017, Ford Performance is looking at ways to improve their 1.5-mile program.

Paul Wolfe, crew chief for Brad Keselowski, is confident in the engine package for the remaining five races of the season. Wolfe is confident due to the “One Ford” mentality across all teams.

“I feel good about it.  Those guys have been working hard.  You know, they’re very open to feedback from the teams, and whether it’s from our team or Roush or Stewart‑Haas, it’s good to have Stewart‑Haas in the mix now, they’ve got some input and some ideas, and I think Ford as a whole, we all try to work together and all pull in the same direction, and the engine shop is no different on that,” said Wolfe.

Wolfe applauded the engine package that Roush Yates is bringing to the track each week. Wolfe feels that the short tracks of Martinsville and Phoenix will provide the Ford camp the next opportunity to win.

“Speedways have always been a strength and something Doug really focuses on.  But they’ve been bringing us really good stuff to the other racetracks.  Just seems like the short tracks are obviously a little less aero dependent, and we’ve been able to be a little more competitive at those, so that’s where I look at Martinsville as the next opportunity,” said Wolfe.

Keselowski also echoed the sentiments of his crew chief about Martinsville being the Ford’s next best chance to win.

“Well, the good thing about Martinsville is you spin the tires there, so the engine from a horsepower standpoint is not as critical when you can’t put the gas pedal down.  I think that’s why we run so well there,” said Keselowski.

Keselowski also offered a look at all the tracks that Ford has won this year and found the one common denominator. That denominator is very little rear tire grip and wheel spin. Keselowski knows that the 1.5-mile tracks provide its challenges for the Fords.

“If you look at the tracks where the Fords have won this year, it’s been the tracks where you have very little rear tire grip, a lot of wheel spin, Sonoma, Martinsville, and it’s been at the superspeedways, so I don’t think that’s a mistake by any means.  But then I look at Texas, Kansas and probably even Homestead and Phoenix, and we know those are tracks that we’re not as good as we want to be,” said Keselowski.

Although there is a disadvantage at the 1.5-mile tracks, Keselwoski wants to make the most of what he has being brought to the track each week.

“We can get caught up in deficiencies or we can make the most of what we have, and I feel like we have a lot of opportunities in front of us, and I want to make the most of what we have.”

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