Stage One: 20th
Stage Two: 27th
Joey Logano and the No. 22 AAA Insurance team came away with a 21st-place finish in Sunday afternoon’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. Logano reported a very loose-handling condition during the opening run of the day, prompting a scheduled green flag stop on lap 39 for four tires and a round of adjustments, but the caution flag flew just four laps later during the pit cycle to trap the No. 22 team a lap down while scored 30th. After taking the wave-around under caution to rejoin the lead lap, the yellow was brought out shortly after the restart and crew chief Paul Wolfe brought Logano to pit road for an extended stop to work on the front end in an effort to alleviate the early handling issues. With under ten laps remaining in the opening stage while running 28th, another caution saw Wolfe call for right side tires and fuel, gaining Logano ten spots in the running order prior to the subsequent restart as Logano crossed the line 20th in Stage 1. The handling issues continued to plague Logano and the No. 22 team over the course of the second stage as the AAA Insurance Ford began to work its way tight over the long run. Logano was credited with a 27th-place finish in Stage 2 with another four tire stop and adjustments forthcoming during the stage break. Three cautions over the course of the last 20 laps positioned Logano 14th in the running order as the field lined up to restart for the final time, but Logano was unable to gain ground in the closing laps, resulting in a 21st-place finish.
“This No. 22 team fought hard all day. We took some big swings on adjustments every chance we had but couldn’t quite get the pace we needed to be in the mix. Track position is so critical here and we had to give that up at times in order to work on the balance which is a tradeoff you have to sacrifice on these kind of days. We’ll rerack and shift the focus to Talladega.”
WHAT’S NEXT: The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the second race in the Round of 12 on Sunday, October 1. Coverage of the YellaWood 500 begins at 2 pm E.T. on NBC, MRN Radio and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.