No. 22 Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Stage 1: 2nd
Stage 2: 4th
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 3
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 2nd (-15)
· Joey Logano and the No. 22 Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang had a solid afternoon at Auto Club Speedway in the Auto Club 400. Logano came home with a career-best runner-up finish at the two-mile Southern California oval. Logano claimed his third top-five finish of the 2019 season. He remains second in the MENCS driver standings, 15 points behind leader Kyle Busch.
· Logano started in fifth position but slipped back to 13th at the start of the raced as cars fanned out four and five-wide on the fast track. Despite the chaotic start and a tight Ford Mustang, Logano fought his way back to fourth as the first round of green flag stops began on lap 27. A caution on lap 57 set up a one-lap shootout to conclude the stage. When the green-checkered flew on lap 60, Logano and the No. 22 Auto Club of Southern California team came away with a second-place finish and nine valuable stage points.
· As Stage 2 began, Logano grabbed the lead for the first time passing Kyle Busch on lap 71. However, just one lap later, Busch passed Logano again and the driver of the No. 22 Ford Mustang settled into second. The Connecticut native would battle a tight condition throughout the second stage, dropping to fifth during green-flag pit stops. He would eventually finish fourth when Stage 2 concluded on lap 120.
· The tight-handling condition on the No. 22 Ford persisted as the final stage began, but Logano was able to maintain third position, chasing fellow Ford drivers Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick. Crew chief Todd Gordon continued to make air pressure and track bar adjustments to aid the tight condition. The adjustments allowed Logano to run up front and put on an exciting battle with Keselowski and Harvick for the race lead 30 laps to go.
· Logano and teammate Keselowski raced side-by-side for the race lead on lap 174 of the 200-lap race, allowing Busch to capitalize on their slowed momentum and passing both Penske drivers for the race lead on lap 175. Logano pulled away from Keselowski and rode comfortably in the second position until the checkered flag.
Quote: “We were racing hard and no matter who got to the lead, the 18 (Busch) was going to pass us. He was the best car today. We have some work to do to get faster but the team did a great job today. We held strong today with the Auto Club Ford Mustang. You want to win at the home track of your sponsor. We gave it a solid run. The last few laps you are running up against the wall and he had a big enough lead to kind of cruise a little and you are just hoping a lap car gets in his way.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!