Stage One: 16th
Stage Two: 2nd
Joey Logano quickly drove his way into the top-15 in the opening laps of Sunday’s Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway before settling into 13th as the first green-flag pit cycle of the first stage began. Logano brough the No. 22 Autotrader Ford Mustang to pit road under green on lap 21 for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment to combat a loose-handling condition early before rejoining the field in 16th-place and held the position through the end of Stage One. Logano continued to make his way toward the top-10 in the opening laps of Stage Two as the balance started to settle in before making his way to pit road under green on lap 44 for his second scheduled stop of the day. The caution flag flew five laps later while Logano was running 17th, allowing him to stay out under yellow and restart from the outside of row one. Logano battled with the No. 24 with three laps left in the second stage and was able to hold him off despite a bit of contact to the left rear, resulting in a second-place finish in Stage Two. Due to the contact, Logano reporting a tight-handling condition and issues with rear drive during the final stage but managed to maintain his top-five spot in the running order. After the final round of green-flag stops, Logano drove from 17th to third with 30 laps to go, but continued to struggle with rear drive as he fell to fifth before the final caution of the afternoon came out on lap 91. Following a four-tire stop with a round of adjustments, Logano lined up seventh for the restart with 15 to go – and fourth in line on new tires – allowing him to drive back into the top-five on the first lap back green. Logano continued to push forward in the closing laps, resulting in a third-place finish – tying for his best-career finish at Sonoma (2016) and marking his second top-five in his last three races at the California road course.
“You start in the back you’re going to get beat up a little bit. Overall, I’m very proud of the Autotrader team today. Yesterday was ugly for all the Penske cars, but Paul [Wolfe] made some good adjustments and got it to where we were top-five speed, legit, and we just had to get there. He made a great call with a four-stop strategy and getting a lucky caution and getting through everything, so luck was on our side a little bit, but also a decent car. It was nothing to go up there and win with, but we maximized the last two weeks and I’m proud of that, so we’ll go into the off week with a bit of momentum.”
WHAT’S NEXT: The NASCAR Cup Series will take next weekend off, but racing returns on Sunday, June 25 from Nashville Superspeedway. Coverage begins at 7:00 pm E.T. on NBC, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.