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Joey Logano qualified the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion second for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway. It was Logano’s eighth front-row starting spot this season and his seventh time qualifying on the outside of the front row.

Despite starting on the outside row, Logano was able to settle into third and eventually second place early in the race. However, a tight-handling condition through the middle of the corners halted his progress to the front of the field, and he eventually fell back to ninth over the course of the first stint of the race.

With the preferred lane being down low, restarts played a key role in the race on Sunday. Several times, Logano was forced to start on the outside and fight his way to the bottom.

On lap 214, Logano used the outside row to his advantage and got a jump on leader Dale Earnhardt Jr., as he took the lead for the first time on the day. Logano would eventually go on to lead twice for 60 laps.

Crew chief Todd Gordon made several major changes to the Shell-Pennzoil Ford throughout the afternoon, including air pressure, wedge and track bar adjustments as the team continued to try and alleviate the car’s “tight center” condition. While the changes helped in the short run, Logano continued to experience tight handling in the middle of the turns and lose his forward drive as the race went on.

Logano was able to keep the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford in the top 10 until about half of the field got off sequence in pit stops just past lap 300. On a lap 299 restart, Logano was running in the 20th position but with fresher tires than most of the cars in front of him. Over the next 30 laps, Logano drove from 20th to sixth, where he settled in through lap 400.

The Shell-Pennzoil Ford continued to hold steady in the top 10 for the next 90 laps until a late-race caution flag with just eight laps to go brought the entire field to pit road for fresh tires. Gordon called for four tires as Logano restarted 13th with just five laps to go.

Logano was able to race his way from 13th to fifth over the final five laps to earn his series-leading 16th top-five finish of the season.

With the points reset following Talladega, Logano is now positioned third in the Sprint Cup Series point standings, just four points out of the lead with three races remaining in the Chase.

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YOU NEVER REALLY SEEMED TO HAVE A CAR TO CONTEND FOR THE WIN BECAUSE OF THAT TIGHT-HANDLING CONDITION. HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR TOP-FIVE FINISH?

“It was a solid points day. It’s a good the 88 (car) won and not the 24 (car) – that’s a good thing. That makes it a little easier and means that points mean even more. That pretty much guarantees at least two guys from points will go to Homestead if you don’t win. We just weren’t fast enough with our Shell-Pennzoil Ford. We didn’t have the lateral, forward drive that I needed off the corner and every time we tried to fix that the center didn’t turn. We just couldn’t get the handle on it all day. We took four (tires) there and restarted 13th but got to fifth. I was just a little bit too tight there that last run to get a couple more spots. One more lap and I think I could have finished third, but fifth isn’t bad. Overall, it was another top five, which is great. We’ve been top-fiving the heck out of this Chase, which is what we need to do. I just really want to win these things, so you take a little bit of pressure off, but it was still a good points day.”