race review

· Joey Logano started fourth and finished second in Sunday afternoon’s Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard. The driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang led 11 laps and won Stage 1 in the 160-lap, 400-mile race, securing another valuable playoff point as the regular season concluded. Logano enters the NASCAR Playoffs fifth in the driver standings, 17 points behind the leader.
· At the drop of the green flag, Logano jumped to second from his fourth place starting position, trailing race leader Kevin Harvick for the opening 12 laps. Logano reported that the Shell-Pennzoil Ford started the race a little tight and then took a swing to the loose-side before once again tightening back up. During the first caution on lap 13, crew chief Todd Gordon called the No. 22 Ford Mustang to the pits for right-side tires and an air pressure adjustment. He restarted third on lap 15 and stayed there until he slipped to fourth on lap 39. A caution flag at Lap 43 brought several leaders to pit lane but Logano and Gordon chose to stay on the track and battle for the stage win.
· The strategy worked perfectly. Logano withstood a strong challenge from Kyle Larson to win the stage. He pitted during the stage caution and restarted in the middle of the pack when the race went green on lap 56. One lap later he was up to 14th position but soon the driver of the Shell-Pennzoil Ford reported he was a little free on corner entry while getting slight tight from the center off.
· With the field in the middle of a green flag pit cycle later in the stage, Kyle Busch slowed on the backstretch due to a mechanical problem. Gordon called Logano to the pits, netting the team a gain of six positions, moving Logano up to sixth place for the restart on lap 95, five laps from the end of Stage 2. He jumped up to fourth before the fifth caution on lap 97 forced the stage to finish under caution.
· Logano settled into the third position early in Stage 3, trailing race leader Ryan Blaney and second place Kevin Harvick. The seventh caution on lap 130 set the field up to pit for potentially the last pit stop of the afternoon. The Shell-Pennzoil team pitted during this caution for four tires and Logano returned to the track right behind Blaney, restarting third when the race went green on lap 134.
· Logano battled Bubba Wallace on the restart. The two made contact with Logano receiving minor damage to his right-front fender. Another yellow on lap 136 set up a restart on lap 139 with Logano rolling from the fourth position. He fared much better this time, moving up to second behind leader Harvick.
· The eighth and final caution on lap 148 gave Logano one more chance to pass Harvick. He and Harvick raced side-by-side when the race went green on lap 151 but eventually Harvick slipped by and scampered away, crossing the finish line 6.118 seconds ahead of Logano in the regular season finale.


“Something was vibrating at the end but the 4 (Harvick) was the best car. We were the second-best car that was still running. I am proud of our Shell Pennzoil team. We needed a solid day. We have had a rough month. It was nice to be able to finish where we should and have a shot at winning the race. I was hoping for a caution and a green-white-checkered finish at the end. He was just too far up there to catch. It is a good momentum builder for the playoffs coming up. We will head into Vegas, a track we won at the last time we were there and coming off a solid finish here. We are ready to go.”


Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered By Florida Georgia Line