Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion, earned his ninth-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole – and his first since Las Vegas last season – in Friday’s qualifying, putting him on the front row for Sunday afternoon’s 500-mile race. At the start of the event, which was delayed nearly an hour by rain, Logano jumped to a big lead of nearly two-seconds over the rest of the field. The 24-year-old driver would lead 83 of the first 86 laps. Over the course of the afternoon, the Shell-Pennzoil Ford would swing from tight to loose, depending on Logano’s position on the track and line in the corners. Despite the handling conditions, Logano never ran worse than sixth with crew chief Todd Gordon’s adjustments. Logano found himself sixth with less than 20 laps to go. Over the course of the final circuits, Logano was able to gain two more spots to eventually finish the event in fourth. With his second top-five finish to start the season, Logano continues to lead the Sprint Cup Series point standings by one point over Jimmie Johnson.

“We had a decent Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion this afternoon. My guys on pit road were amazing. Every time I came on pit road, they had some fast stops. I’m glad to see they brought their A-game. Unfortunately, we had a tough pit stall and never got to gain the positions that they should have gained. We raced hard and raced up toward the front all day. I did everything I could to maintain on restarts and be aggressive and fourth is where we ended up. Everyone got better over the course of the race. Our car drove good the whole time. I was like, ‘I don’t know. My car drives good. There’s nothing really to fix.’ It’s kind of frustrating when your car drives that good and they’re still faster. We’ve still got a little bit of work to do to figure out this package, but I think we’re close. Overall, we kept the momentum rolling. We’re having a good start to the season, so we’ll keep her going.”