19MIS1rj_5978

race review

· Joey Logano finished the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway exactly where he started: first. Logano took the lead from William Byron with 18 laps to go and survived a NASCAR Overtime finish to win on Monday evening, crossing the finish line .147 seconds ahead of Kurt Busch to win his second race of the 2019 season. Logano moved into the lead in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, nine points ahead of second-place Kyle Busch. The victory was Logano’s third at Michigan – all from the pole position – and the 23rd of his Cup series career.

· Logano kicked off his weekend in fine style, winning the pole for the 200-lap, 400-mile race. He edged fellow Ford driver Aric Almirola by just 0.019 seconds to capture the 599th pole in Team Penske history. The driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang captured his fourth pole at Michigan and his 22nd pole in 378 career MENCS starts.

· The driver of the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang took the lead for the first time on lap 4 and reported that he was just a little free on entry to Turn 1. During the competition caution on lap 22, crew chief Todd Gordon elected to take two tires which kept the No. 22 Ford in the lead. He led the remainder of Stage 1, collecting his sixth stage win of the season when the segment ended on lap 60. During the stage caution, Logano reported he was a little free in clean air, but unsure what the handling would do in traffic. The team made a minor air pressure change, keeping their driver in the lead when the race restarted on lap 67.

· Logano dominated the majority of the second stage. On lap 92 he reported that the handling was still a little loose, but overall improved from the previous two runs. Unfortunately, Logano was forced to pit on lap 114, just six laps from the conclusion of Stage 2 for left-side tires and fuel to make it to the end. He was credited with a 24th-place when the segment concluded on lap 120. Logano regained the track position when other leaders pitted during the stage caution.

· When the third and final stage went green on lap 127, Logano found himself shuffled three-wide in the middle entering Turn 1. He was running sixth when the fifth caution slowed the pace on lap 131. On the ensuing restart three laps later, Logano powered from sixth back to the lead in just two laps, grabbing the top spot from Kevin Harvick the bottom of Turn 1. On lap 137, the sixth caution was displayed for an accident involving Austin Dillon and William Byron in Turn 2.

· Once the race went back green, Logano and Harvick exchanged the lead briefly before the driver of the Shell-Pennzoil Ford took control on lap 150. He led the next 25 laps before making a scheduled pit stop under green at lap 175 for two tires and fuel, kicking off a cycle of stops for the leaders.

· When the stops were complete on lap 186, Logano was back in the lead. He was firmly in command of the race when the seventh and final caution on lap 197 sent the race into NASCAR overtime. Once again, Logano had a superb restart, holding off Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr. to claim the victory.

 

quote
“It is so hard to have perfect days like that. I made one mistake on the restart and let the 4 (Kevin Harvick) get to my outside. That really made me mad at myself. I was able to make that up, which is great. It feels so good to get into victory lane. I got to thank the fans, everyone that stuck it out through the rain yesterday and came out today to watch a great race and a wild ending. You don’t want to see cautions there at the end when you are the leader but as a fan that is like the one thing you do want to see. I am glad we got the best of both worlds.”