Logano Races to His Third Top-5 of 2014 at Martinsville
March 31, 2014
The STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway (.526-mile oval, Martinsville, VA)
Sunday, March 30
The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion
Driver: Joey Logano
Starting Position: 3
Finish Position: 4
Driver's Points Position: 8
THE RACE REVIEW
· Joey Logano qualified third in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion for Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway. By advancing to the final round of qualifying, Logano is one of only two drivers to accomplish that feat in each of the five races with “knockout” qualifying this season.
· Once the race began, Logano found a good rhythm in the No. 22 Ford. Logano continued to improve lap after lap and he moved into second place by NASCAR’s lap 40 competition caution.
· Logano took the lead for the first time on lap 65 and held it until the car began to experience drive issues.
· A quick caution period allowed crew chief Todd Gordon to make some changes and Logano once again took the lead on lap 111. In all, Logano led 39 laps during the race and he has now led in five of six events this season.
· Drive problems continued to be an issue on the No. 22 Ford the rest of the afternoon. Despite the challenges, Logano ran in the top five nearly all afternoon long.
· Contact with another car just past the midpoint of the race caused damage to the right-front fender of the Ford Fusion. During the next stop, the Shell-Pennzoil pit crew had trouble changing the tire as Logano dropped down to 20th. Despite the problems, Logano raced his way back up to sixth place over the next 50 laps.
· Once he was back running in the top five, Logano held serve over several pit stops and restarts.
· With less than 30 laps to go, Logano was running in second place. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hold on and slipped to fourth at the checkered flag.
· Logano’s third top-five finish of the season moved him up two positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings to eighth place.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 SHELL-PENNZOIL FORD
YOU RAN UP FRONT ALL DAY LONG. HOW TOUGH WAS IT OUT THERE TODAY?
“It was a battle. We lost a bunch of spots on pit road when we had our fender knocked in and couldn’t get the tire back in. This race is really hard, but we finished where we deserved to finish. That’s about what we had. That’s where we ran most of the day. I wish we had a little more. At the beginning of the race I thought we were pretty good, but didn’t quite have enough on the long run. We fought from being a little tight in the center to a little free off the turns – going back and forth – and unfortunately we just didn’t have enough, but we fought hard. We got a top five and at least we finished where we deserved for the first time in two weeks. I feel like if we just keep on this roll and those wins will come. We’re leading laps every race, so we’ve just got to lead the right ones.”
HOW MUCH DID YOU HAVE TO CONSERVE TIRES TODAY?
“I saved my stuff pretty well. The craziest thing is when people pass you and they’re all sideways and you’re like, ‘OK, he’s gonna come back to me,’ and they don’t and then you’re like, ‘Why aren’t they coming back to me?’ But you run 80 percent most of the race just trying to save what you’ve got and then those last 30 laps that’s all I had every lap.”