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Joey Logano started fifth and finished sixth in Sunday afternoon’s Citizen Soldier 400 at Dover International Speedway. The finish was another “base hit” as termed by Todd Gordon which proved to be the appropriate strategy in the opening round of the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Logano’s average finish of 6.3 was good enough to advance the 26 year-old and his team to the Round of 12, finishing the Round of 16 in the fifth points position. After starting fifth, Logano ran solidly in the top-five for most of the race, never slipping outside the top 10 aside from one cycle of green flag pit stops. The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion again proved to be one of the better cars on the long runs, which defined the event as the race was slowed for caution only four times, the last time coming at lap 181. Logano described his car as tight at times, but overall had good balance for most of the 400 lap event, at times running laps faster than the race leaders. Aside from the team’s fourth pit stop at lap 277, Gordon called for only minor air pressure adjustments to the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford. Gordon called Logano to pit road for the final time at lap 355, pitting early enough to maximize the advantage of fresh tires and keep the No. 22 on the lead lap for the remainder of the event.

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“Overall, we did what we had to do. The points are back to zero and we can head to the next round and try to get a win. Every track is different. Dover is obviously a beast of its own. It’s a very cool race track, but everything is so different compared to where we’re gonna go next week to Charlotte and then Kansas and Talladega. They’re all going to be a lot different for sure, but we’ll take what we learned here for next year and I’m sure there are some things that we can apply to the next race, but most of it is kind of track-specific. It’s nice to have the reset. We weren’t bad off in points at all, but to have the reset – we didn’t have the bonus points going into this round, so it’s nice to be at zero with everyone and be able to try to get ourselves a win and get through or have some nice, solid days like we had today to give us some kind of cushion by the time we get to Talladega. We’re ready to go and now we’ll just wait to see what happens.”