Logano Salvages Top-15 Finish After Starting From Rear at Kansas Speedway

Post-Race Highlights:

  • Joey Logano qualified a season-best third for Sunday’s STP 400 at Kansas Speedway despite losing an engine and missing the entire first practice session on Friday. The engine change meant Logano, despite the strong qualifying effort, had to drop to the tail of the field before the green flag and start 43rd.
  • When the green flew, it took Logano little time to work his way forward. By lap one, he’d picked up seven spots, and three laps in had already gained 11 spots. By lap 10, Logano found himself 28th.
  • Early in the race, Logano complained of a tight center and tight exit condition. During the early portions of the race, crew chief Jason Ratcliff made a number of changes, including air adjustments, track bar changes and wedge adjustments.
  • Logano found himself 15th by pit strategy on lap 55, but old tires forced him to fall back to the mid-20s before another round of stops.
  • Logano fell a lap down on lap 118 despite getting the car to handling better on each stop. He worked himself into the Lucky Dog position and caught a caution to get back on the lead lap on lap 188.
  • Once Logano was back on the lead lap, he ran in 22nd-place and was running lap times faster than many of the cars in front of him. The team continued to work on getting the car better with adjustments and Logano was able to pick up several spots over the race’s final 75 laps.
  • When the checkers flew, Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin took the win and Logano was able to come home with a 15th-place finish.
  • The finish moved Logano up one position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings to 12th, just 28 points out of the top-10.

Logano’s Post-Race Thoughts:

“This was just a long, long weekend for the Home Depot team. We were fighting from behind from the very beginning when we had an engine let go before we ever even got one lap of practice in on Friday. We were an hour-and-a-half behind everyone else after that all weekend long. We missed that time that we could have spent working on the handling of the Home Depot Toyota. And on top of that, we were put into a box of having to start in the rear of the field no matter what we did in qualifying. Thankfully, we had a great qualifying lap that really brought our spirits up and gave us a really good pit position. We knew we had a fast car after that.

“The biggest thing we need to do is figure out how to start these races better. We really struggle at the beginning and then we just find ourselves fighting from behind all afternoon long. We make the car better and get it driving really well about three-quarters into the race. But by then, we are fighting to get back on the lead lap or have already lost too much track position. We are getting there and we are seeing improvements every week. We just need to keep working on it. Soon enough, we will get it better and we’ll be back to where we know we are capable of.”

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