No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion – Joey Logano
Stage 1: 19th
Stage 2: 8th
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 5
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 4th (-151)
- Joey Logano started 19th in Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway in his No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion. Throughout the opening run, Logano battled with dirty air as he worked forward to the top-15, reporting the Shell-Pennzoil Ford was a little free on entry while building tighter throughout on corner exit. Crew chief Todd Gordon elected to keep Logano on the track as other lead-lap cars pitted, running long in an effort to remain on the track at the Stage 1 break.
- After remaining on track, Logano cycled to the lead, and would settle into the third position on the opening lap of the second stage. By lap 97, Logano had settled into the eighth position while running on 13 laps older tires compared to the rest of the leaders.
- With a caution flag at lap 109, crew chief Todd Gordon elected to bring Logano in for two right side tires. Logano was reporting the Shell-Pennzoil Ford as tight during the run, but he was unable to adjust the track bar due to a loose corner entry condition with another car tucked in behind.
- Throughout the second stage, Logano reported that the Shell-Pennzoil Ford built tight through the stage, but he still couldn’t use the track bar to adjust as it killed corner entry speed and made the car extremely aero-sensitive. Despite the slight handling struggles, the No. 22 team gained 11 positions from the end of the first stage to the conclusion of the second stage.
- Throughout the first long run of the final stage, Logano was able to run solidly in the top-10, with the team making only a minor air pressure adjustment on the lap 209 pit stop. Logano would restart in the seventh position with 55 laps remaining, within the window of going the distance without another pit stop.
- Following the stop, Logano reported that the handling of the Shell-Pennzoil Ford had swung to the loose side, something the team hadn’t fought all night. Complicating matters was the fact that Logano also developed a vibration, similar to a loose wheel, but after reviewing the helmet cam footage, the team reassured him all lugnuts were securely fastened.
- Logano battled the ill-handling car throughout the remaining laps, ultimately bringing home a 10th place finish, a gain of nine positions from where the team started on a night where track position and clean air were critical.
Quote: “Yeah, it was something that we planned on doing if that first run went green, which it did, and it was something we were going to try to get track position that way. Honestly, I thought at the beginning of the race we were probably better than we thought we’d be and were able to gain quite a few spots, and then the track was wider than we expected it to be. It rubbered out and the track was wide so it was harder to hold everybody off on the older tires. We tried. I don’t think we got the best gain out of it. We didn’t lose any, so it was kind of a wash, and then after that, it seemed we just kind of lost the handle the last run. We were up there and maybe running in the top five and then the last run it took off super-loose and then at the end I was as tight as it could get. I’m not exactly sure what happened there at the end, but overall we fought hard and got a top 10 out of it, which isn’t where we want to be by no means, but it’s consistency and we’ll keep pushing hard with this Shell/Pennzoil Ford. We have to get faster by the Playoffs. We’ve got to keep pushing hard. We’re close in the points and we’re hanging in on that part of it, but we’ve got to figure out how to get more speed in our race cars.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!