Several Multi-Car Accidents Take Toll on No. 20 Dollar General Toyota in Talladega

Post Race Highlights:

  • Joey qualified the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota 30th for Sunday afternoon’s event at Talladega Superspeedway.
  • Logano and crew chief Jason Ratcliff came up with a plan prior to the race to try and survive the 188 laps at Talladega. Talladega normally results in pack racing that often causes multi-car accidents. Logano and Ratcliff figured the best course of action was to ride around in the back of the pack to avoid trouble and keep the car clean for the end.
  • Logano reported that the car was just a tad loose and during several pit stops, the crew made changes to get the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota handling better. By the end, the car’s balance was neutral.
  • Most of the day, Logano ran behind the main pack of cars in the 20s, staying within shouting distance of the leaders. At times, Logano found himself drafting up to the front as high as eighth on the scoring pylon. Each time, Logano would fall back into rear of the field to try and stay out of trouble as the racing got very dicey.
  • Logano rode for over 140 laps until his luck finally ran out. On lap 143, on the verge of a round of green-flag pit stops, several cars began to run out of fuel in the middle of two- and three-wide racing. As cars started making evasive moves, several cars got together, resulting in a multi-car accident. Logano tried his best to miss the accident in front of him, but got quite a bit of damage to the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota.
  • The team made repairs and got Logano back out on the track, but the damage caused the No. 20 Toyota to run hot, forcing Logano to stay behind the pack to keep the car cool. On lap 173, another multi-car accident broke out in front of Logano. Even though Logano got slowed down well before the accident, the car running behind him did not and slammed into the right rear. The team brought the car to pit road to make repairs and once again got the No. 20 back out on the lead lap.
  • A third multi-car accident on lap 185 finally spelled the end for the No. 20 Toyota. Once again, Logano got slowed up after running behind the main pack, but got hit from behind by another car, forcing him into the outside wall. This time the damage was terminal and Logano had to settle for a 26th-place finish.

Logano’s Post-Race Thoughts:

“There was absolutely nothing that went right today for the Dollar General Toyota. This type of racing is very frustrating. You just don’t really have much control of what happens out there. If you decide to go up there and race at the front, you are right in the middle of the packs and you have a good chance of getting involved in a big wreck because you have nowhere to go. Today, we decided to just hang out in the back and keep our car in one piece for the end of the race. Of course, this time, that didn’t work and being in the back, around some of the guys that normally run back there, caused us to get involved in two accidents that we should have missed. It was just not the day we needed, especially after yesterday’s (Nationwide Series) win.

“We just rode for 140 laps or so and everyone started running out of gas and when you run out of gas in a pack like that, cars go everywhere. We were just a few laps from coming in but some guy in front of us ran out of gas and as guys were trying to miss him, a couple of people got together and spun right up the track in front of us. We got quite a bit of damage, but we could still race. We just had to hang back to keep the car cool. Then, another accident happened and we just got run over from behind by someone who’s spotter wasn’t paying attention at all. We had all slowed down and ‘bang’ we just got drilled. That really ended our day. We were going to just ride it out and hope to pick up some spots late and see what we could do. Of course, like our luck was all day, there was another wreck and we got hit from behind again while slowing down. This time, we got shoved into the wall and it really ended our day. It’s just frustrating to ride around out there for almost the entire racing trying to save your stuff and just get involved in stupid accidents that could have been avoided.”