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race review

• Joey Logano started third and led a race-high 234 laps on Wednesday night at Martinsville Speedway, ultimately finishing fourth in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang. Logano flashed short run speed through the early stages of the race, but faded to fourth late in the event as the track continued to tighten up. Logano collected 18 stage points and a playoff point on the night, closing the gap to regular season points leader Kevin Harvick.
• In the opening laps, Logano quickly moved from third to the top spot, and began stretching his lead out as the field raced towards the competition caution at lap 60. Logano reported the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang was really good and he had no complaints. Logano continued to lead as the laps clicked off under green until a caution just before the end of the stage brought the leaders to pit road for the second time. Logano regained the lead and won his third stage of the 2020 season.
• At the end of the first stage, Logano remained on the track and led well into the latter half of the second stage before relinquishing the lead to the No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson, and eventually second place to teammate Ryan Blaney. Logano settled into the third, where he’d ride until the end of the stage, reporting that he’d lost rear grip and drive off the corners.
• Logano and teammate Blaney swapped the lead back and forth early in the final stage, with the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford settling into second just past lap 300. A lap 330 pit stop helped Logano jump from third back to the lead. As the final stage resumed, Logano had again settled into the third position as he was still lacking center-turn and drive-off. At lap 399, the team pitted for four tires and an air pressure adjustment, looking to give Logano the turn he needed.
• In the closing laps, Logano dropped to the fourth position, where he would ultimately finish. Logano led a race-high 234 laps, including winning the first stage of the race. The finish marked the third top-five and sixth top-10 result in the first 11 races of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.

 

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“We fired off about as perfect as possible when the race started tonight. Everyone else was falling off tight and we kept creeping around and passing them. That was a lot of fun. Late in the race we got a little tight and we just couldn’t free up the car late in the race and ended up fourth. Good top-five result, not what we wanted but it’s still a good points result.”