Stage One: 16th
Stage Two: 8th
Joey Logano and the No. 22 team took advantage of a late-race caution and a made a pivotal strategy call to pick up a fifth-place finish in Sunday afternoon’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Logano battled handling issues with the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang during the opening stage, resulting in a 16th-place finish, but the balance began to settle in on the opening run of the second segment. Logano reported improvements with overall grip through the corners as he broke into the top-10 for the first time on lap 89. Following a caution on lap 127, Logano was brought to pit road for service, but an issue during the stop relegated him to 20th to take the green flag on the ensuing restart. With four fresh tires underneath him, Logano made quick work of the field ahead, working his way up to tenth in the running order in the first four laps before settling into eighth with 25 laps to go in Stage 2. Logano reported that the handling of his Ford Mustang was as its best to that point in the day as he crossed the line eighth to finish the second segment on lap 165. The No. 22 team opted to split the final stage in half as green flag pit stops began to cycle as Logano hit pit road on lap 216 for four tires, fuel, and a round of adjustments to alleviate a tight-handling condition for the final run of the afternoon. Once the cycle completed, Logano was scored 15th as the laps wound down, but a caution with seven laps to go brought the field back together to set up a green-white-checkered finish. The field hit pit road for the final stops of the day and crew chief Paul Wolfe called for right side tires only, vaulting Logano up to third in the running order to take the green flag. Restarting from the inside of row two, Logano darted to the inside of the leader after crossing the stripe and cleared the No. 99 going into turn one, setting up a battle with the No. 43 for the top spot. The two battled side-by-side down the backstretch, but the No. 43 pinned Logano to the inside lane in turns three and four coming to the white flag. As the two raced to the white flag, the No. 45 dove beneath the pair to take the lead and eventual race win as Logano settled for a fifth-place finish, marking his ninth top-five finish of the season and ninth-career top-five at Kansas Speedway.
Logano is 11th in points and 12 points above the cut line going into the final race of the Round of 16.
“It was enough in the sense that we were running 15th when the caution came out. [Crew chief] Paul [Wolfe] did a good job at making a good call there and putting us in position. I could see the lead. We were right there. If I was able to just clear the No. 43, it might have looked a little different. But I couldn’t quite clear him. It just allowed [Tyler] Reddick to get a big run once we started getting swallowed up by the four-tire cars. You’re just on defense after that. So, we had our chance into three there, and just wasn’t quite good enough to finish it off there. Overall, I’m glad we had a decent points day. We needed it. We were on the cut line, or close to it coming in. So, we’ll fight again at Bristol.”
WHAT’S NEXT: The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for the third and final race of the Round of 16 on Saturday, September 18. Coverage of the Bass Pro Shops Night Race begins at 7:30 pm E.T. on USA, PRN Radio and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.