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race review

· Joey Logano started Sunday‘s Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 from the 27th starting position for the debut race of the new aerodynamic and engine package at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang. Logano wasted little time, gaining 11 positions in the first eight laps of the race, moving from 27th to 16th. Logano reached the top-10 by the lap 35 competition caution. On the pit stop, the team made an air pressure adjustment, added tape to the nose to correct the loose condition the driver was experiencing in clean air. Unfortunately, Logano was blocked into his pit box and lost several positions on the exchange.

· Through the second half of the first stage, Logano rallied back, picking up all the lost track position and more, moving to the seventh position by the lap 85 stage break, gaining four valuable points. Unfortunately, the team again found themselves blocked in on pit road, dropping to the back portion of the top-20.

· Through the second stage, Logano worked his way forward, with what he described as “probably the best car here” through the opening two stages. The only issue he reported was being slightly free throughout most of the runs, but the fourth run the handling had improved in the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang over the previous run.

· Through the third stage, Logano climbed to the third position, trailing teammate Ryan Blaney in the No. 12 PPG Mustang and the No. 19 of Martin Truex Jr. Logano remained quiet on the radio for the opening laps of the second run of the stage. With 72 laps remaining in the race, Logano relinquished the third position to teammate Brad Keselowski in the No. 2 Autotrader Fusion, who had steadily become one of the best cars in the race.

· At lap 272, as the No. 22 team was preparing to pit, the caution flag was displayed for an incident on pit road. The caution came at the perfect time for the Logano as he and the No. 1 were the only cars on the lead lap as the rest of the field had pitted. On the ensuing restart, Logano was able to keep the lead with 41 laps remaining.

· Unfortunately, Logano would have to make an unscheduled pit stop due to loose rear wheels from the previous stop, dropping Logano off the lead lap and in a position to fight for the lucky dog position. Complicating matters, the team had to pit on the white flag lap to ensure all remaining lugnuts were tight.

 

quote

“We brought a really fast Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang today. We won the track position battle all day after getting blocked in on the first two stops. We were really strong on the long run, could pass cars and put ourselves in position to win. That part gives me confidence in what we prepared in the off-season on this new engine and aero package. Unfortunately, the loose wheel ended the day we should have had.”