19TAL1NK07781

 

race review

· Joey Logano started eighth in Sunday’s 500-mile race at Talladega Superspeedway in the No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang. Logano battled with teammates Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney at the front of the pack in the early laps of the race before taking the lead for the first time on lap 8 just before the first caution on lap 12. Under the yellow, crew chief Todd Gordon made the call for fuel-only with Logano immediately going to full-save under caution.

· On lap 48, Logano and a host of Ford Performance teammates pitted for fuel to make it to the end of Stage 1 on lap 55. Gordon also called for a wedge adjustment, looking to give Logano security on corner entry and exit. Logano was credited with 25th position when the segment concluded.

· Through the opening laps of the second stage, Logano hovered around the top-five. Despite occasionally being shuffled out of line, Logano flexed the muscle in the No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang by driving back to the front. When the team pitted to split the stage, Gordon opted for two right-side tires and fuel. Logano reported that he was bouncing off the splitter some, and that he needed to fix snappy loose condition. He finished ninth when Stage 2 concluded on lap 110. Logano made a four-tire stop during the stage caution plus a small air pressure adjustment to help with additional stability. The stage break set the field up to be within one more pit stop of making it the rest of the distance. During the opening portion of the third stage, Logano reported the MoneyLion Mustang was now freer than it had been the entire race.

· On lap 133, the driver of the No. 22 MoneyLion Ford pitted for two tires and fuel. The team made additional air pressure changes, looking to tighten up the No. 22 Mustang. Logano continued to charge forward, working with his Team Penske teammates to grab the lead prior to green flag pit stops began. He was able to cycle back to second.

· Logano grabbed the lead on lap 167 and once out front, he masterfully worked multiple lanes, using guidance from spotter TJ Majors. A caution (and subsequent red flag for track cleanup) halted the race with six laps to go. During the delay, Logano, Majors and Gordon began discussing multiple things they’d observed from the other competitors throughout the long green flag run.

· In the dash to the to the checkered flag, Logano briefly led before being squeezed out of line but was able to wrestle away fourth position from Daniel Hemric and Kurt Busch at the finish.

 

quote

“At the end, Kurt Busch had a big run and I felt like I had to block that. When I blocked that, Chase Elliott got underneath me. If I chose the bottom and block Elliott, I had Alex Bowman there and they were going to go by me as soon as they formed a run. I was not in a very good spot. Once I got on the outside I thought that would be a better spot to be than the bottom but the teammates there didn’t race each other to the end, which is good on their part because it made sure one of their cars won. If they had gotten side by side I think I could have made something happen but they were selfless toward each other. I really think even if it was green all the way to the end it would have looked exactly the same. There were no runs build and no momentum going. It is a tough spot to be in. You think you are in a good spot and anytime you can take the front row on a final restart you will take it, especially at Talladega. It’s tough when the numbers are stacked against you a little bit. The team did a good job and our MoneyLion Mustang was really fast.”