Pure Michigan 400
Michigan International Speedway (two-mile speedway )
Sunday, August 17, 2014
The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion
Driver: Joey Logano
Starting Position: 2
Finish Position: 3
Driver's Points Position: 4
THE RACE REVIEW
· Joey Logano qualified second in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion for Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway. It marked Logano’s sixth time qualifying second in the 2014 season and his seventh front-row starting spot.
· Logano was able to jump to the lead on the initial start of the race and led the race’s first 21 laps before the competition caution flag waved on lap 20.
· Despite coming out of the pits in second place on his first stop, Logano lined up behind two other drivers who didn’t pit during the lap 21 caution. On lap 38, Logano worked his way back to the top spot.
· The Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion ran fast at the front of the field. When Logano got in traffic or around lapped cars, he reported that the No. 22 Ford was loose handling and it needed to be tightened up.
· Crew chief Todd Gordon kept the team focused on the same pit strategy throughout the afternoon, never deviating from the plan and keeping the Shell-Pennzoil Ford near the front of the field. It paid off, and Logano led the event on five different occasions for a race-high 86 laps.
· On lap 96, strategy played right into Logano’s hands as the team made a stop just as the caution flag was displayed, which allowed Logano to complete his pit work and cycle out as the race leader.
· For the rest of the afternoon, Logano would run no worse than fourth place and it came down to a shootout between him and the No. 24 car driven by Jeff Gordon.
· A final round of green-flag pit stops on lap 164 saw Logano reclaim the lead from Gordon as the drivers raced out of the pits. Logano found himself with nearly a four-second gap on Gordon when teammate Brad Keselowski blew a right front tire and hit the outside wall before coming in for his final stop.
· Logano and Gordon battled side-by-side multiple times over the race’s final 20 laps. However, during the final restart on lap 183, Gordon got a jump on Logano and took back the top spot. Just a couple of laps later, Logano ran side-by-side with Gordon again for the lead but the Team Penske Ford got loose and Logano dropped back to fourth place.
· Despite falling to fourth, Logano was able to gain a spot and the Shell-Pennzoil Ford took the checkered flag in the third position.
· With the finish, Logano moved up another spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings and sits fourth with just four races to go before the Chase begins.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 SHELL-PENNZOIL FORD
YOU HAD ONE OF THE TWO BEST CARS OUT THERE TODAY. TAKE US THROUGH YOUR RACE.
“I had a really good Shell-Pennzoil Ford. My guys did a good job all weekend. We had a fast car when we unloaded and showed that in qualifying and practice all week. I woke up this morning and felt really good about it. When Todd (Gordon) feels really good about it I know we will be alright. We took off in the beginning of the race and led a lot of laps. We kept tightening the car up and getting better. By the end we got it right where it needed to be and then just restart after restart after restart. I won every single restart except the last one and here I am. That is kind of frustrating but I almost had (Gordon) there and I rode around in fourth hoping for a restart because that is the spot you want to be. Then I realized we weren’t going to get another restart and went for third from there.”
WHAT HAPPENED ON THAT LAST RESTART?
“I had a bunch of good ones. The last one wasn’t the greatest. I got through the gear box good and had the 24 (car) cleared and I should have pulled down in front of him and got that draft but he got up next to me and pulled me back so hard that I couldn’t get away from him. He was able to get position on me into (Turn) 1 and once he got that clean air I knew I had one more shot. I knew I was really good into (Turn) 1 and that was his weak point. I drove it off there and got him wiggled a little bit getting underneath him and cleared him again but he was able to pull me back again off the corner. Then I got loose under him trying to maintain what I had and came in third.”