Stage One: 9th
Stage Two: 3rd
Joey Logano came up one spot short of his third-career victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Monday afternoon, instead settling for his third top-five finish in the last four races at his home track. After reporting a loose-handling condition on the opening run of the afternoon, Logano brought the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang to pit road under caution on lap 28 for four tires, fuel, and a round of adjustments in preparation for a long, green-flag run to the end of the stage. Despite his struggles with corner exit, Logano was able to come away with a ninth-place finish in Stage 1. After restarting from seventh, Logano drove his way back into the top-five before the start of the green flag pit cycle before making the trip to pit road on lap 130 for four fresh tires and another round of adjustments as he reported a tight-handling Ford Mustang in the center of the corners. Following the caution on lap 163, the No. 22 team called for right side tires only during its trip to pit road, vaulting Logano to third in the running order for the following restart with 18 laps remaining in Stage 2. Logano battled with the leaders to the end of the run before settling for a third-place finish in the stage. The No. 22 team opted not to pit during the stage break to retain its track position heading into the final segment as Logano fought to chase down the Nos. 19 and 12 ahead. A late-race caution on lap 271 called for another two-tire stop as Logano restarted fifth with 24 laps remaining as Logano worked his way up to second in the running order before the seventh caution flag of the afternoon flew on lap 280. Logano chose the inside of row one alongside the No. 19 but was unable to take over the top spot on the restart. However, another caution on lap 288 saw Logano choose the outside of row two to restart behind the leader on what amounted to be the final restart of the afternoon with nine laps to go. Logano fought to get to the bumper of the No. 19 in the closing laps but came away with a second-place finish, marking his sixth top-five finish of the season.
“I thought I would have had something for the 19 at the end. Right before that caution came out two cautions to the end when we had tires on it seemed like the 19 took a few laps to get going. I was running him down, I was like man, I’ve got a chance here. That caution came out right when I was thinking I could make a move on the outside into 3. And then it seemed like the cycles helped him get his pressures up to where he can refire and be pretty quick the last couple restarts.Dangit, the home track, there’s no place you want to win more than this, so it stings to not get the Shell Pennzoil Ford into victory lane. But gosh, second just sucks sometimes, you know. It stings the most when you’re that close and feeling like you had a shot at it. Still a good day for us.”
WHAT’S NEXT: The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Pocono Raceway on Sunday, July 23 for the HighPoint.com 400. Coverage begins at 2:30 pm E.T. on USA, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.