NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report

April 30, 2016

NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report
Track:    Talladega Superspeedway
Race:     Sparks Energy 300
Date:     April 30, 2016
No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Start:  8th
Finish: 27th
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  116/116
Laps Led:  19
Owners’ Points Position (behind leader):  9th (-56)
Recap:  Joey Logano drove his No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang from the back to the front on several occasions Saturday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway and put himself in position to win the race before getting involved in a huge accident coming to the checkered flag, finishing a disappointing 27th.  Logano started the race in the eighth position and searched for his best drafting partners early on inside the top 10.  The first major issue for the No. 22 team came just after the competition caution on lap 20 when the team had to make an unscheduled pit stop to fix a problem with the nose on the Discount Tire Mustang.  After restarting in 34th, Logano raced his way back to the front and took the lead for the first time on lap 36 when he stayed on the track during another round of stops.  Logano ran up at the front through a round of green flag stops and took the lead once again on lap 83.  Another blow for the team came when NASCAR called the No. 22 down pit road on lap 88 to fix a loose roof rail, forcing him to once again restart at the back of the pack.  It took Logano only nine laps to race from 25th back to the lead – getting significant help from Brennan Poole.  Logano kept his Discount Tire Ford Mustang up front through a few late-race restarts and held the top spot on the race’s final green-white-checkered run.  Holding the lead under the white flag and through the entire final lap, Logano got a push from Elliott Sadler as the two raced for the win.  Logano moved up to block Sadler’s run towards the finish line when the two made contact.  The contact sent Logano into the outside wall where he was then t-boned by another car, lifting Logano’s Ford Mustang completely off the ground in a series of mid-air pirouettes.  While Sadler went on to win the race, Logano had to settle for a 27th-place finish despite leading the race coming to the checkers.  It was the first time Logano has ever finished outside the top-three in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Talladega.
Quote:  "We crashed pretty hard. It is just typical superspeedway racing in the XFINITY Series racing for the win at the end. I know Elliott (Sadler) is a great speedway racer and he knew what he had to do to win the race and I knew what I had to do to try to keep him behind me. He went to make the move on the top and then he pulled it down to the bottom and got it underneath me and then I was a little late to the block. He was already there. Around I went and hit a bunch of other stuff along the way. Overall, I was proud of the effort of the team. We had a couple issues during the middle of the race. We had to come down and fix our car and we drove all the way back to the lead. It was a lot of fun out there. I am glad everyone is okay. Thank God for safer barriers and the way these seat belts are. That was a heck of a frontal hit for me. To get out and walk away and feel okay says a lot about our sport right now."