Joey Logano Races Up Front All-Night Long, Brings Home Top-Five at Daytona.

Post Race Highlights:

  • Despite the fact that Joe Gibbs Racing machines normally struggle in qualifying at restrictor-plate tracks, Joey Logano qualified his No. 18 Sport Clips Toyota a solid eighth for Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Daytona International Speedway.
  • As is typical in restrictor-plate races, Logano spent all race long going from the front to the back to the front, depending on his drafting partner.
  • Early in the race, Logano worked with the No. 22 of Brad Keselowski and eventually got hooked up with his regular speedway drafting partner Elliott Sadler.
  • During the race, Logano overcame several problems, including a loose condition, radio issues that kept the team switching between their primary and secondary channels and even possible engine problems. Logano reported midway through the event that he had a bad vibration and the car appeared to be losing power. However, the problem never kept Logano from being competitive on the track.
  • Logano made his way to the lead for the first time on lap eight and found himself racing to the front all night long. He led the field six different times for a total of 12 laps in the event.
  • Late in the going, Logano somehow missed several multi-car accidents. The first major wreck took out several of the top contenders and caused a little bit of damage to his drafting partner Sadler. While missing the wreck, Logano drove over a lot of debris and thought he might have issues in the front of the Sport Clips machine.
  • Despite the problems, Logano continued to be one of the cars to beat. Sadler got his No. 2 fixed and the two hooked up again late in the race.
  • In the race’s final laps, Logano and Sadler looked to be the duo to beat. Sadler pushed Logano into the lead as the two raced under the white flag. However, another two-car tandem had a run on the pair of Logano and Sadler and down the backstretch broke the two drivers apart. Without drafting help, they were swallowed up by several other cars racing for the win.
  • It was the sixth-straight Nationwide Series restrictor-plate race that Logano had found himself either leading or second when taking the white flag.
  • Coming to the finish, Logano was able to hold onto fifth place and narrowly avoid the spinning car of Austin Dillon.
  • With the top-five finish in the No. 18, Logano helped the team maintain their lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s Standings. The team leads the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing car by 38 points and is 40 points ahead of the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing team.

Logano’s Post-Race Thoughts:

“We were so close tonight with our Sport Clips Toyota. Man, just missed winning that race by a little bit. I’ve got to thank Elliott Sadler for all the help out there tonight. My Sport Clips Toyota was fast and I could push, but Elliott’s car was just a little better and was a lot better at pushing. We got behind there with about 10 laps to go and fell back when we were switching. But when he got behind me, he just started pushing and we were making a heck of a charge to the front. Then the caution came out and we were separated a little bit. When the green flew though, we hooked back up and we started making a charge. We got the lead coming to the white and it was looking like we were going to race each other for the win. But the 1 (Kurt Busch) and the 6 (Ricky Stenhouse Jr.) got a great run and got beside us and when they did, it just sucked us apart and we lost our tandem. After that, we were sitting ducks. We just had to hope the front guys would wreck but they made it back to the line. We were able to hold onto fifth and had a good finish with a car in one piece. It’s just too bad because we had a car that was good enough to win and it would have been fun to race with Elliott back to the line. We worked really well together all night long.

“We fought a lot of issues out there tonight. It all started on the pace laps when we had radio issues and we had to switch around between our primary and backup channels. Early in the race the car just wasn’t handling all that well, especially getting pushed. And then after one restart there I got a bad vibration and I thought the motor was letting go. Thankfully it didn’t and we were still able to race. I’m not sure what the problem was. We fell back to 16th or so a few times in the race, but we were always able to race back to the front. It’s too bad to see so many good cars get torn up out there because it was a lot of fun racing with them all. Just glad Elliott and I could work together and race all night long. It was a lot of fun and a great race, at least from my vantage point.”

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