jl-talladega-win

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Joey Logano started ninth in Sunday afternoon’s 500-mile race at Talladega Superspeedway in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil/Autotrader Ford Fusion, but moved inside the top-five on lap 1. The team made a fuel-only pit stop on lap 13 to position themselves to finish of the opening stage.

Logano finished Stage 1 second behind teammate Brad Keselowski. Logano reported that his car was free to take off but then got tighter during the run. Despite the tight handling condition, Logano felt he was better than anyone through track’s tri-oval.

The team stuck to the same strategy to open Stage 2 second stage that they successfully used for their second place finish in the first segment. Logano pitted on lap 66 for fuel only, and once again the strategy worked. Logano stretched his fuel mileage to the end of the segment, once again scoring a second-place finish.

During the opening laps of Stage 3, Logano was squeezed out of line in the lead draft, dropping back to 16th position. He worked his way back to the front of the lead pack, passing Denny Hamlin for the lead with 50 laps to go.

From that point in the race, Logano led 48 of the final 50 laps and survived two chaotic restarts on laps 159 and 171 to score the victory. He held off Kurt Busch by a scant .127 seconds to win for the third time at Talladega Superspeedway and claimed his 19th career Cup victory.

Logano and the Shell-Pennzoil/Autotrader Ford team led the event four times for a total of 70 laps, more than any other driver.

 

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“I had a very fast Shell-Pennzoil/Autotrader Ford all day. The Fords dominated today. I am so proud to be in a Blue Oval with Roush Yates horsepower under the hood. That is a huge deal and such a big part of our victory today. At the end, you are racing and don’t know what will happen. You just hope to get in the right lanes at the right time and make the right moves. It is always exciting to win at a superspeedway, especially Talladega because you never know you’ve got it until you cross the line. After waiting a full year since our last win it feels so good to get back in victory lane and get our 22 team into the playoffs. It feels really good to get those playoff points and now we will make a run at a championship.”