race review

Joey Logano started 19th in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang in Sunday’s Camping World 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Logano overcame ill-handling conditions early in the race to claim a third-place finish, his ninth top-five finish of the season. He stretched his lead in the NASCAR Cup Series standings to 18 points over Kyle Busch.

In Stage 1, Logano moved forward six positions to 13th after just five laps. On lap 12 lightning and rain moved into the area, putting a three-hour halt on the race. When the event resumed, Logano pitted for four tires and fuel and restarted 14th when it went back green on lap 16.

By lap 20 he was inside the top-10. Logano climbed as high as sixth, but settled back into the seventh position as he battled a tight Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang. On lap 53, pit stops began under green, particularly the cars that remained on-track when the race resumed after the first caution. Logano remained on the track, trying to stretch the fuel mileage as deep into the first stage as possible. He pitted on lap 73 for fuel only and scored an 11th-place finish when Stage 1 ended on lap 80. Logano pitted during the stage

During the stage caution, crew chief Todd Gordon elected to get aggressive with the changes to the Shell-Pennzoil Ford, making wedge adjustments to both the left and right-side of the Mustang. The extra work on the stop shuffled Logano back to 17th when the race went green on lap 85.

After the adjustments, Logano reported that the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang made a rapid swing to the free side. Logano remained on the loose side throughout much of Stage 2 but the balance shifted to neutral before the segment ended on lap 160. Gordon called Logano to pit road during the stage caution and reversed coursed on the earlier wedge adjustments.

Those adjustments brought new life to the Shell-Pennzoil Ford as Logano powered his way up to fourth position, cracking the top-five barrier for the first time in the race. He pitted on lap 216 for his final pit stop: four tires, fuel and a piece of tape on the nose, returning to the track as the green flag cycle began. Logano cycled up to third position when the pit cycle was complete, trailing race leader Alex Bowman by four seconds.

As the race drew to a close, Logano remained in the third, a remarkable rebound from where he was early in the race. The finish also moved the No. 22 team to an 18 point advantage in the regular season standings with nine races remaining before the playoff cutoff.


“It looked like after we had that last green flag cycle things were looking pretty good. We ran down the 42 (Kyle Larson). Both of us were catching the 88 (Alex Bowman). I just couldn’t get to Larson’s inside or outside and get a run. I would get right to him but not enough of a run to make a move. I just got tight at the end and he drove away at the end. We were pushing really hard on the front tires and eventually they are going to give out. Congrats to Alex on his first win. There is nothing like that. That is cool for that team.”


Camping World 400