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race review

• A loose wheel cost Joey Logano and Shell-Pennzoil team valuable track position in the final stage of The Real Heroes 400 Sunday afternoon at Darlington Raceway, robbing the team of a potential top-10 finish. Logano was credited with an 18th-place result and is now third in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 33 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
• Logano started ninth and struggled early during the first 30 lap run as he slipped back to the 16th position fighting an extremely tight Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang. Under the competition caution on lap 32, the team pitted twice, making multiple chassis adjustments to help Logano around the tricky Darlington Raceway. Logano wrestled a tight condition from then until Stage 1 ended on lap 90, as he scored a 12th-place finish. On the stop during the stage caution, the team made chassis and air pressure changes to the Shell-Pennzoil Ford, and sent Logano back to the track in ninth position.
• Logano restarted the second stage in the bottom lane, a disadvantage that cost him a few positions. Two cautions early in the segment gave Logano and the Shell-Pennzoil team the opportunity to pit for adjustments. Logano restarted 10th but powered to the sixth position on the restart. Midway through Stage 2 Logano reported his Ford Mustang was really good in Turns 3 and 4 and he finished eighth when the stage concluded on lap 185.
• Unfortunately, the No. 22 Ford had a loose wheel in the early laps of the third and final stage, which forced Logano to pit road – just as the ninth caution was displayed on lap 213. The sequence of events dropped Logano back to 24th position. He rallied back to the 16th before the 10th and final caution on lap 254 brought the field to pit road.
• Good work by the Shell-Pennzoil crew on the final stop gained Logano three positions, as he moved up to 13th for the restart on lap 259. Over the final 34 laps, the track took another major swing to the tight side as Logano shuffled back to 18th position at the checkered flag.

 

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“We were way off on the handling when we started. Our Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang was just too tight. Paul (Wolfe) and the guys made some really good adjustments on it and we got inside the top-10. Unfortunately, the loose wheel, not really sure what caused it, but we’ll look into it and figure it out. Towards the end of the race just lost the handling again. We’ll come back on Wednesday and start third and try to build on what we learned today. This was a big day for our sport getting back on track and thankful for all the fans who tuned in to FOX.”