Stage One: 5th
Stage Two: 7th
Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang crossed the finish line third in Sunday evening’s race at Gateway to pick up his fourth top-3 finish of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. The defending winner at the 1.25-mile oval started sixth and ran in the top-10 for the entirety of the 243-lap event, capitalizing on a consistent pit strategy and strong restarts to climb to the front. Logano spent the first stage settling in and finding his preferred line as the No. 22 eased his way into fifth for the first race break. The start of Stage 2 saw Logano’s lap times match the leader. Although the veteran driver was still in search of the perfect balance that would propel him beyond the top-five. A two-tire pit stop gave him that advantage, and he achieved a race-high second-place to finish the remaining 40 laps of Stage 2. Still, the No. 22 battled a tight entry and was relegated to seventh for the second Stage break before the final 100 laps to the finish. An inconsistent balance continued to have Logano and the No. 22 team finding their rhythm as the laps ticked away. The Shell-Pennzoil team continued to push forward with both car and driver syncing up in the remaining 40 laps of the 300-mile race. A flurry of late-race cautions followed and gave Logano a chance to strategize his lane selection and charge to the front, picking up three spots in the final few laps of the race. When the checkered flew, the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang sporting a special scheme commemorating Team Penske’s and Shell-Pennzoil’s collective 100 wins together, was just two spots shy of victory 101, finishing third.
“I’m proud of the fight. We were mediocre – just outside the top-five all day long. There was a group of cars that were a tick better than us. Then we executed at the end and beat a few of them. We tried some new things from last year, and we learned some lessons. But overall: Good. We needed a solid run. We’ve been going through hell here lately. So, it’s nice to get a top-five, third place, and some points there in each stage. Good day.”
WHAT’S NEXT: The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 11. Coverage begins at 3:30 pm E.T. on FOX, PRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.