• Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang team finished third in Sunday’s Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway. The driver of the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang was in contention before fading to third late in the event. The 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Champion led four times on the day for 125 laps.
• After taking the lead on the opening lap, Logano took control of the race for the opening 30 laps despite fighting a loose-handling Shell-Pennzoil Mustang on corner exit. Under the competition caution, crew chief Paul Wolfe made air pressure and wedge adjustments to work on the corner exit condition. Logano would continue to lead until the end of the first stage, reporting no balance change with the first round of adjustments, leading to an air pressure and stagger change on the stage ending stop.
• Logano continued to lead the early laps of the second stage before fading to third as the laps progressed after reporting a small pulsation in the brake pedal, despite not losing braking power. The team adjusted the air pressure and trackbar on the third stop of the race at lap 135. Following the stop Logano reported the balance was decent on the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford and the vibration was gone. A caution late in the second stage would bring the field back to pit road with Logano exiting in the fourth position.
• As the second stage concluded with Logano in the third position, the driver reported the No. 22 Ford Mustang was as good as it had been all race in terms of balance, but he still needed more drive off the corners. Under the caution, the team again adjusted air pressure and added a significant amount of tape to the nose of the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang. Quick work by the team netted Logano a position leaving the pits.
• As the final stage continued, Logano ran in the second position reporting only oil and water temperatures to the team as the laps continued to click off. A pit call at lap 259 by Paul Wolfe brought the Shell-Pennzoil Ford to pit road for the final pit stop, one lap before then race leader Chase Elliott, allowing Logano to leapfrog into the lead as the cycle completed.
• Try as he might, Logano tried to hold off Elliott before giving up the lead on lap 269. Eventually Team Penske teammate and fellow title contender Brad Keselowski would pass him second position late and Logano would cross the line in the third position.
“I just didn’t have the speed at the right time. Early in the race our Shell Pennzoil Mustang was really fast. Our pit crew was on it. Our strategy got us out front there at the end, but the 9 seemed like he lit off there pretty good there and that last run was able to go really fast, and then got another vibration there towards the end of the run and lost the turn and was still a little free off. We were close. Everyone executed and did their job and that’s what we should be most proud of and is how far we’ve come from the beginning of the season to now as a team. There’s a lot to be proud of. It stings not winning. I’m not going to lie, it hurts, but at the same time we’re stronger because we went through it.”