race review

• Joey Logano experienced a full range of emotions on Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. Logano started deep in the field, won Stage 1, and scored a 17th-place finish after considerable damage to the Shell-Pennzoil Ford late in the race. He scored 14 valuable stage points on the afternoon, which were critical for the No. 22 team to advance into the Round of 8 for the second consecutive season. Logano stays alive in his quest to become the first driver to successfully defend a championship since the playoff format was adopted in 2014.
• After starting 29th, Logano moved inside the top 20 by lap 8. He was quiet on the radio about the car’s handling, reporting only a slight brush with the wall from earlier in the race. On lap 15, Logano reported he was too tight to run the bottom and tight overall around the 1.5-mile speedway. On lap 32 a vibration forced Logano to make a stop under green for four tires and fuel.
• Logano returned to the lead lap thanks to an uninterrupted green flag pit cycle. On lap 58 he radioed crew chief Todd Gordon and asked if the Shell-Pennzoil Ford could make it all the way to the end of the first stage without another stop and told yes. A caution flag with four laps remaining in the first segment set up pit stops among the leaders but Logano stayed on the track to gain valuable stage points. He restarted third when the race went green on lap 79 and two laps later Logano powered his way to the Stage 1 victory on lap 80. Logano gained 10 points and another valuable playoff point. He pitted during the stage caution and restarted 15th on lap 86 – the same position he was running in when the team elected to gamble at the end of the first stage.
• Under caution on lap 117, Logano reported the Shell-Pennzoil Ford was too loose to run the top lane and that good lap times on the bottom groove was depended on clean air. He scored a seventh-place finish when Stage 2 ended on lap 160 and told his team that he needed the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang to be quite a bit tighter for the final stage.
• Through the first 50 laps of the final stage, Logano ran inside the top-10 but continued to wrestle a loose-handling Ford Mustang. During a scheduled green flag stop on lap 217, crew chief Todd Gordon elected to make both track bar and air pressure adjustments to the Shell-Pennzoil car.
• The fifth caution on lap 254 brought Logano back to pit road for four tires and an air pressure adjustment because the Shell-Pennzoil Ford was too loose to run the high line. The sixth caution on lap 265 pushed the finish of the race into NASCAR Overtime. As Logano neared the start-finish line and white flag at the end of the first attempt at the green flag finish, Logano was sent through the infield grass, one of five cars collected in the accident that forced another two-lap dash to the finish. The Shell-Pennzoil crew was able to repair the No. 22 Ford and Logano was credited with a 17th-place finish in the final rundown.


“We needed every point we could get, and it looked like we were in a good spot. Next thing you know they are wrecking on the outside and I get hit and I am going through the grass. I felt comfortable before that. I didn’t hit anything, so I got lucky for sure. I have been lucky a few times. We were able to finish Talladega and I parked the thing and there was a hole in the radiator. This was a hard fought and blue-collar round for sure. On to the next round.”


Hollywood Casino 400