No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Start: 1st – Field set per the NASCAR Rulebook
Stage 1: 1st – Seventh stage with of the season
Stage 2: 10th
Laps Completed: 127/127
Laps Led: 40
Point Standings (Ahead of Second): 1st (+18)
· Joey Logano started from the pole in Sunday afternoon’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 after qualifying was cancelled on Friday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway. Logano flexed the muscle in his No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang showed early and often in Stage 1. He led 35 of 50 laps in the opening segment of the race but it took a thrilling pass on the final lap to score the stage win, his seventh of the 2019 season. But his hopes for a win vanished when he was swept up in a late-race incident while running third, forcing him to settle for a 25th-place finish. Logano leaves Daytona with an 18-point lead the NASCAR Cup Series point standings over Kyle Busch.
· At the start of the race, Logano worked the inside line with drafting help from Ford Performance teammate Kevin Harvick and Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski. A nine-car, single file draft formed on the inside lane by lap 10 which allowed the leaders to pull away from the pack. Logano reported the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang was a little loose while being pushed and led until green flag pit stops began on lap 36, when he made a fuel-only stop. He rejoined the field in second-place behind Harvick where he rode until the final lap of the stage. At the entrance to Turn 3, Logano built a strong run and dove to Harvick’s inside and beat his rival to the finish line to grab his seventh stage victory of the 2019 season.
· He restarted in the fifth position when the race went green on lap 55 but a caution just five laps later brought the leaders back to pit road for a splash of fuel to finish Stage 2. A multiple car accident on lap 84 brought out the fourth caution of the race and gave Logano the opportunity to pit for four fresh tires and fuel. The driver of the No. 22 Ford Mustang was forced to settle for the 10th position when Stage 2 concluded on lap 100. During the stage caution, he reported the Shell-Pennzoil Ford was driving well, but he was stuck behind cars that weren’t handling as well. Crew chief Todd Gordon made the call during the stage caution for a two-tire stop, which gave Logano the lead when the race went green on lap 105.
· The restart wasn’t kind to Logano. He was shuffled out of line and had to go into offensive mode to work with their fellow Ford drivers. Unfortunately, he couldn’t avoid an 18-car pileup on lap 120. The No. 22 team made extensive repairs to their rear of the car before a lighting delay put a lengthy stop to the action on track on lap 127. Heavy rains and lightning then moved into the area forcing NASCAR officials to end the race, leaving Logano with a 25th place finish.
Quote: “It was a bummer for sure. We had a really fast Shell-Pennzoil Ford and I thought we were going to get through that one. The front of our Mustang did, but the back just got tagged and that sent us into the wall. Proud of my guys and their attitude though. We brought it to pit road and they fixed it the best they could. We were going to try to make minimum speed with it. We had a great car and all the credit goes to everyone at Team Penske for that.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!