theracereview
Joey Logano started ninth and finished 12th in Sunday afternoon’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. From the drop of the green flag, Logano reported that the handling on his No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion was extremely tight in the center of turns three and four, resulting in the loss of six positions through the opening 20 laps. Logano reported that the handling of his Ford Fusion started to come to him around lap 40. Crew chief Todd Gordon began devising a plan for a adjustments settling on air pressure and tape for the first stop of the afternoon which came at the conclusion of stage one with Logano running in the 15th position. Quick pit work by the Shell-Pennzoil crew netted a gain of five positions for the team on the first stop, positioning Logano to restart in the 10th position to begin the second stage of the event. Through the second stage, the handling was still too tight in the center of turns three and four, resulting in Logano dropping back to the 14th position by lap 110. Logano concluded the second stage in the 14th position, reporting that the car had developed a loose condition on throttle, but maintained the tight handling issues in the center of the turns. Gordon elected to adjust with wedge and air pressure on the second stop of the day, unfortunately, a lugnut jammed in the gun on the stop, resulting in the loss of four positions. Logano would move forward from the 18th position, climbing as high as 14th in the opening portion of the final stage. However, by lap 178 he had dropped back to the 19th position, reporting that the Shell-Pennzoil Ford was handling worse than it had all afternoon. On the third pit stop at lap 231, Gordon elected to go back on all the previous changes, making a bigger swing at wedge and air pressure adjustments. Logano restarted in the 17th position with 77 laps remaining, moving to the 16th position on the initial start before a quick debris caution flew. Logano reported that he was finally rotating the center of the corner and was only slightly free off. Running as one of the last cars on the lead lap, Gordon elected to bring Logano to pit road for four fresh tires. On the restart, Logano moved to the 15th position, reporting the car was better directionally despite taking off on the splitter. The team pitted one additional time for four tires and air pressure, and Logano finished the race in the 12th position.

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“We really struggled today. We didn’t have enough center turn and that hurt our lap times pretty bad. In the third stage we started making some progress on it but it took some really big changes to do that. We’ll move forward and go to Homestead and try to put our Shell-Pennzoil Ford in victory lane one more time in 2017. Happy for Brad and the No. 2 team to have made the championship four.”