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race review

· Joey Logano started third in Saturday’s Toyota Owners 400 in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang. Early in the first run, Logano reported the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang was tight in the corners and free on exit. During the competition caution at lap 40, crew chief Todd Gordon made an air pressure adjustment to give Logano the exit and entry security he needed to move forward.

· After the stop, Logano settled into the second position, logging laps as towards the completion of Stage 1. On lap 77, Logano reported he had more entry security than the previous run, and proved it by consistently running the fastest laps on the track while chasing race leader Kyle Busch. But as the opening segment of the race drew to a close, Logano reported he was too tight in traffic, which ultimately forced the driver of the Shell-Pennzoil Ford to settle for second-place when Stage 1 concluded on lap 100.

· Logano continued to battle a tight Ford Mustang during the opening laps of the second stage. The third caution on lap 129 set up a round of pit stops under yellow. The No. 22 team made a four-tire stop and an air pressure adjustment in an effort to enable Logano to turn better in the center of the corners.

· Logano passed Martin Truex Jr. for the lead on lap 195 and held on over the next five laps to claim his fourth stage win of the 2019 season. On the stage ending pit stop, the team elected to make a small air pressure adjustment when they pitted during the stage caution on lap 205. Excellent pit work kept Logano in the lead continued to lead throughout the opening laps of the third stage until the fifth and final caution slowed the pace on lap 244. All the leaders pitted on lap 246 with Logano restarting second when the race went green on lap 252.

· Unfortunately, the tight-handling condition persisted for Logano. The end result was the driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford dropping back to the fourth position – the first time he ran lower than third. A green flag pit stop on lap 318 allowed the team to change four tires and make adjustments in an effort to improve the handling characteristics of the No. 22 Mustang.

· The final 82 laps were run under green, which worked to Logano’s advantage. His long-run speed rallied him from outside the top-five into a nail-biting battle with Truex for the victory. Logano caught Truex on the final lap of the race but simply didn’t have enough time to mount a serious challenge to his rival.

· Logano’s stellar night moved him into the second position in the MENCS driver standings, 20 points behind the leader.

 

quote

“We had a Ford Mustang that was capable of winning for the third week straight and we didn’t win and that’s frustrating. We need to clean up some mistakes on our end. We lost the lead there on a pit stop and we’ve got to get faster there. We lost control of the race at that point and fell back to third but had a decent green-flag cycle where we reeled in the 19 (Truex) and the 14 (Clint Bowyer). I was watching them race and thought that if I was just patient and saved my tires, I might have a chance. I saw them coming off the corner sideways every time. I was just a couple laps late getting there. I was able to get to Truex but it just wasn’t enough. I just ran out of time. I needed a few more laps.”