Laps Led: 64
Stage 1 Finish: 11th
Stage 2 Finish: 4th
Point Standings: 1st (+6)
Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team finished fourth in Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Logano started from pole position and led 64 of the opening 65 laps of the 367-lap event. He would give up the lead prior to green flag pit stops. Unfortunately, during the stop a pit miscue would cost Logano track position and he would finish Stage 1 in 11th position. Stage two would see Logano make up lost ground including a late restart where he muscled his way back to fourth position at the end of Stage 2. Logano would work his way back to second as the final stage began but would get caught a lap down as the caution came out during a cycle of pit stops. Logano restarted outside the top-10 and managed to work his way back to fourth position at race’s end.
“It’s a solid day but a missed opportunity is probably where I would put it. With so many others having trouble, every time you come to the Southern 500, especially in the playoffs, you’ve just got to survive, and you get a solid finish. That’s what we were able to do is finish fourth after so many teams had issues. We had plenty of our own issues, too. We gave up track position a couple times and then we got caught with that caution and lost track position fairly late in the race, and then we just battled hard. It’s really hard to come up through the field here. It’s really hard to pass and I was able to kind of battle back and get a top five out of it, which is OK. I mean, you’ve got to be happy about it because we scored a lot of points and that’s what it’s all about here in the first round, but also a missed opportunity to win the Southern 500 and I really want that one. That one stings a little bit because I think we were better than the cars in front of us if we had the air. If we were able to stay towards the front we could tune to cleaner air, instead of going in the back and trying to tune to dirty air. We just set ourselves back too far.”