Ill-Handling Car Results in 23rd-Place Finish for Logano at Martinsville

Post-Race Highlights:

  • Joey Logano qualified 10th for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 on Saturday morning at Martinsville Speedway. The 10th-place qualifying effort was Logano’s fifth-straight top-10 start this season.
  • When the green-flag flew, Logano and the Home Depot Toyota hung around the top12 for the first 40 laps before a tight condition in the center of the corner caused him to gradually fall back.
  • The team attempted to make adjustments on the Home Depot Toyota all afternoon long, getting the car better and better for the short runs as evident by Logano briefly breaking into the top-10 following an early-race restart. However, on the longer runs, Logano’s car continued to get tighter and tighter and he once again fell back.
  • Logano eventually fell a lap down due to the tight conditions, which despite air pressure, track bar and “rubber” placements, hampered the team all afternoon long.
  • Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff and Logano made the call to take the wave around late in the race to try and get back on the lead lap. However, by staying out and not pitting, coupled with the lack of a caution flag, Logano fall back one lap and eventually two laps down.
  • The long green-flag run also meant Logano had to pit under green, which eventually put him two more laps down to the leaders.
  • Joey would finish the day in the 23rd position, but remained 13th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings heading into the Easter off-weekend.

Logano’s Post-Race Thoughts:

“That was a frustrating day for sure. We never really had the kind of speed we wanted all weekend long, but I thought we could come out of here with a top-15 finish with the Home Depot Toyota. The car was super tight all afternoon and everything we tried with it just never made it any better. I don’t know if we will go back and find something wrong or what, but the car just got tight early and every change that we made that should have loosened it up really made it tighter. And when you are tight in the middle of the corners are Martinsville, you are going to get beat because you can’t get the car pointed and get back on the gas like everyone else. It was frustrating for sure.

“While I’m not happy with our finish, I’m glad to come out of there still 13th in the point standings. We need to keep ourselves in contention and use this break to our advantage. We are going to be testing at Nashville this coming week before everyone takes some time to regroup. We’ve got something like 13 or 14 races in a row coming up and that will separate the teams from who will be there come Chase time and who won’t be. I think we will be there, we just need to get better. I know we are all working on it hard and hopefully we’ll see that improvement at Texas.”

Related Articles