Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion team started Sunday’s race at Chicagoland Speedway in the 28th position. Qualifying for the 400 was rained out on Friday afternoon and practice speeds set the starting lineup. It matched the worst starting position for the team this season, when they qualified 28th at the second Daytona event in July.

Focused on making his way to front of the field, Logano began picking off cars one at a time in the early stages of the event. By lap six, he had improved to 23rd and by lap 10 he had made his way into the top 20. However, once he improved to 19th place, the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion had its momentum halted.

Logano fought a changing handling condition throughout the afternoon in Chicago. In traffic and dirty air, the car ran loose. When Logano was able to get in clean air, the car became very tight handling and this meant making adjustments was challenging for crew chief Todd Gordon and the Shell-Pennzoil team.

Despite the issues, Logano was able to take advantage of a solid restart just after lap 70 and he raced his way from 19th into the top 10 in just 20 laps. Logano ran among the top-10 competitors or just outside of that lead pack for the remainder of the race.

After the Shell-Pennzoil Ford had secured track position, Gordon called for a two-tire stop, which moved Logano further up in the running order. Despite not leading any laps, Logano ran as high as second and made his presence felt among the leaders.

Logano came in for what he thought was his last pit stop on lap 229 and was running 13th when another late-race caution flag was displayed. Gordon called Logano to pit road again on lap 246 and the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion came out of the pits as the first car with four fresh tires.

Over the final 21 laps, Logano used the fresh rubber to his advantage, driving from 12th and into the top five.

With less than five laps to go, Logano got a huge piece of debris caught on the front of the grille of the No. 22 Ford, which caused the engine temperatures to spike. Logano battled to the finish to claim fourth place. Entering turn three on the way to the checkered flag, however, the car’s engine finally expired due to the high temps but Logano was able to hold on to the top-five result.

Logano is now ranked third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings just 10 points behind teammate and Sunday’s race winner Brad Keselowski.



“I have to say, I’m so proud of my entire team today. If you would have told me after practice on Saturday that we were going to finish in the top five, I would have called you crazy. Our car was just off. We weren’t very fast. The speed wasn’t there. It wasn’t what we came in here expecting for sure. But we met about it overnight and (crew chief) Todd Gordon and all the guys on the team came up with a plan. Even when the race started, I still didn’t feel like we were very good. But that is what this team does. They never give up. They work their butts off to make it better. And when you look at the pylon, you see the results right there. I am as happy as I’ve ever been for a fourth-place finish.”


“Me and Todd were talking about it this morning. We said we always want to win the race, but if we could just finish in the top 10, that’s what we need to do to move on to the next round. So to be able to come from 28th to fourth is pretty impressive and we are pretty happy about that. That is a good way to start the Chase. But we can’t think about it too much. We need to keep on working in New Hampshire and Dover. We need to continue to get better so we can go over there and challenge our teammate for these wins.” 400