Logano Clinches His Spot in the Chase for the Cup
September 8, 2013THE RACE
Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway (.75-mile oval, Richmond, VA)
Saturday, September 7, 2013
The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion
Driven By Joey Logano
Start Position: 8
Finish Position: 22
Current Driver's Points Position: 10
THE RACE REVIEW
· Joey Logano qualified the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford in the eighth position for Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway.
· Early in the event, Logano informed the team he had an extremely tight-handling race car. However, despite the ill-handling condition, Logano was able to maintain a spot inside the top 15 for the early portion of the race.
· A long green-flag run, coupled with the tight race car, left Logano running a lap down to the leaders just after the lap-100 mark.
· The Shell-Pennzoil team, led by crew chief Todd Gordon, made huge adjustments to the car all night long. With each stop, the car’s performance improved. But long green-flag runs and a lack of track position prevented Logano from working his way back onto the lead lap.
· Logano eventually fell two laps down, but continued to try and improve the car’s performance. As the car got better, Logano continued to pass cars that were on the lead lap, but a lack of caution flags again kept him from getting back on the lead lap.
· With less than 10 laps to go in the race and needing to make up a few positions to try and stay in the top 10 in the point standings and earn a spot in the Chase, Gordon opted to keep Logano on the track and take the wave around, which put him just one lap down to the leaders. Over the final run of the race, Logano passed a couple more cars to earn a 22nd-place finish in the event.
· Those two positions vaulted Logano back into the top 10 in the point standings after he had briefly fallen out.
· With the finish, Logano qualified for his first Chase for the Sprint Cup. With his win at Michigan last month, and by finishing in the top 10 in the point standings, Logano will be reseeded in the sixth position when the “playoffs” begin next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
THAT WASN’T THE FINISH YOU WANTED TONIGHT. WHAT HAPPENED IN THE RACE?
“Yeah, I’m really kind of disgusted with the way that we ran tonight. We had probably our worst race of the entire year tonight on a night that you couldn’t really have an off race. We just were really tight early and we fell a lap down. Todd (Gordon) made the car better and better and we were getting faster, but at that point we had lost all of our track position and we were stuck two laps down. That call to take the wave around later worked out well for us. I was able to make up a couple of positions, which was huge for us in getting back in the top 10 in the Chase and getting those bonus points. We’ll put this race behind us, learn from it and go on to Chicagoland.”
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO MAKE YOUR FIRST CHASE?
“It feels amazing. To come out here and do it with a new team, with Roger Penske, with Shell-Pennzoil and to come from behind twice like we had to this year says a lot about this team. We knew from the beginning of the year that we could do it and here we are. Now, we need to take advantage of it. We are sixth in the points. We have as good of a shot as anyone that’s in this Chase to win it all. We just need to put together 10 good races in a row and maybe even get a couple of victories in there. This team can do it and I’m excited about it.”
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