Things were scarcely any better for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who ran strongly early on until electrical supply problems blighted the latter half of his evening.
"We just had a battery go dead and didn't diagnosis it correctly to just switch it," he explained. "All the gauges just went haywire and so I couldn't read the gauges to really diagnosis what was happening, but once you start to think about it you are like, 'Well if all the gauges are going bad we have electrical issues,' then you go right to the battery. The thing quit running going into three and I couldn't stay on the track if it wasn't the battery we would have stopped on the track and lost all those laps."
And the battery problems led to more woes: "I couldn't control my speed on pit road because the motor was not running coming on," he added. "So we sped there and we came down pit road to serve the penalty.," after which he needed to come back to pit lane yet again for a new set of tyres now allowed while serving the drive-thru. He finished the race in 29th, four laps off the pace.
Meanwhile, after their pre-race issues, both Penske cars finished the day in the top ten, with Logano in fifth place ahead of his team mate Keselowski who came home in ninth.
"It was one of the toughest races I think we've ever dealt with and to come home with a top-five out of something like that, we couldn't be more excited about that," said Logano. "We dug our way up there a little bit and had a bad stop and went down a lap. We got our lucky dog and slowly and methodically worked our way up. We just had no short run speed. We had long run speed, but it took us 30 laps to get going and then we were as fast as the leaders, but it took us 30 laps to get where we needed to be."
As for the reigning champion's evening, Keselowski's crew chief Paul Wolfe admitted that, "Things didn't obviously start off the way we wanted it to
"We had some issues on pit road where we lost some spots, then we had a loose wheel and nothing was going our way. But nobody gave up and Brad kept driving his butt off and we slowly kept chipping away at it," he continued. "Before we knew it, we were in contention to get the free pass. It was like we needed just one more run to really get up and contend for a nice top-five, but, overall, I'm real proud of the effort.
"Obviously, we feel like without some of the issues tonight we probably would have had a shot at that again, so we just have to keep working and doing what we've been doing and we'll get our share of wins," he added.
The strong finish at Texas despite adversity means that Keselowski maintains second place in the Sprint Cup points standings ahead of Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards. But Jimmie Johnson continues to lead the standings and has eked out his lead to nine points over Keselowski after finishing in sixth place at Texas.
“We fought hard all day but we just didn't quite have enough to pull off a win in the Lowe's Chevy tonight," he admitted of his evening in Texas. "It was a great effort by Chad and everyone," he said, referring to crew chief Chad Knaus. "We just came up a little short."