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race review

Joey Logano started Sunday‘s Daytona 500 from the fourth position in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang after winning his Duel Qualifying event on Thursday night. Logano raced to the second position by lap 16 before pitting with the majority of the Ford teams. The teams elected to take fuel only before returning to the track for the remainder of the first stage.

On the first caution of the race at lap 21, Logano reported that he felt the cars would be a handful by the lap 60 stage break, reporting his Ford Mustang building looser through the opening run. Crew chief Todd Gordon confirmed that, but told Logano he had one of the best cars on the track during that opening run.

Logano and his team elected to pit at lap 51 for four tires and an air pressure adjustment. Logano would restart in 13th but would power to the third position before the conclusion of the first stage.

Through the second stage, Logano felt the handling of his Shell-Pennzoil Mustang was on the loose side, until late in the run when traffic formed up two-by-two and the handling swung to the tight side. Caution at lap 105 setup a scenario for the team to pit for four tires and fuel prior to the conclusion of the second stage. Logano would finish 10th in stage 2.

During the opening part of the final stage, Logano was able to push forward and race in the front several rows as the field maintained two-by-two formation. When the caution flag was displayed at lap 160, the team elected to pit for four tires, fuel and tape on the nose of the No. 22 Ford Mustang. The call would line the team up in the 16th position as the laps began to wind down.

With a caution flag at lap 171, the team elected to pit again for four tires and fuel after being trapped in the middle of the pack and dropping back to the 21st position. The fresh tires would prove beneficial as Logano would battle into the top-10 before a caution flag with 13 laps remaining due to a spin off turn 4.

Logano narrowly missed “The Big One” with 10 laps remaining, positioning himself in the sixth position. The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang sustained only minor damage to the left-rear quarter panel from contact with the No. 17 Ford as the two competitors raced away from the wreck.

With the elimination of cars through multiple incidents in the closing 10 laps of the event, Logano found himself without teammates and inside the top-five to battle three Joe Gibbs Racing cars. Unfortunately, Logano would be forced to settle for the fourth position after racing as high as second with two laps remaining.

 

quote

“We had a really good Shell/Pennzoil Ford. I actually felt like we had the car to beat and just couldn’t get there. It’s so hard to get to the front. Once I got to the front I felt like we had a really good car, but I had a good push from behind with the 47, which is pretty cool. We’re both from Connecticut and we race quarter-midgets against each other, so I thought it was really neat to be working together in the Daytona 500. How neat is that? So it shows you that dreams can come true for little kids, so that was pretty cool.”