LOGANO SCORES FIRST TOP FIVE FINISH OF 2014 AND MOVES TO SIXTH IN POINT STANDINGS
Avondale, AZ (March 2, 2014) - Joey Logano joined teammate Brad Keselowski as front row starters for Sunday’s the Profit on CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. As the green flag waved to start the race, Logano got the jump on Keselowski and took the lead at the end of the opening lap. Logano held the lead through the first 35 laps of the race when a competition caution flag was displayed to allow teams to check on tire wear following an overnight rain storm.
Logano restarted the race in second place, after the first round of pit stops. However, he once again seized the lead from Keselowski on the restart. Logano paced the field until lap 73 when Kevin Harvick passed Logano to claim the lead.
Throughout the rest of the race, Logano battled a Shell-Pennzoil Ford that handled tight when it was alone on track and ran loose when it was behind other cars. Despite the tough-handling car, Logano was able to keep the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion in the top four all afternoon long. Outside of pit stops, Logano never ran worse than fourth place under green-flag conditions.
Late in the race, Logano moved his way into third place and found himself in position to fight with Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the top spot. Through several late-race restarts, Logano was able to push Harvick, the eventual winner, to the lead and pull beside Earnhardt. However, the Shell-Pennzoil Ford wasn’t able to make the pass for the lead.
On the final restart, Logano was able to again pull beside Earnhardt while battling for second but the car got loose, which allowed Keselowski to get past him for third place. As the checkered flags waved, Logano came home with a fourth-place finish.
"It was fun out there. I had a really good Shell-Pennzoil Ford. That 4 car (driven by Harvick) was just so fast. I was joking on the radio that on the back bumper of that car it says ‘freaky fast’ and they weren’t lying when they put that on there. We had a really good car, just not as good as his. On that last restart - the last two restarts – I figured I might as well go for it. With a win being so important you might as well go for it and I tried to stuff it in there three-wide, and gave up a spot by doing that, but overall it is all about the win. We didn’t quite get that today but we will go to Vegas and try again.”
The result marked Logano’s second-consecutive top-10 finish at Phoenix dating back to last season. With finishes of 11th at Daytona and fourth at Phoenix to start the season, Logano is ranked sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, just 15 points behind leader Earnhardt. The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Kobalt 400 on Sunday, March 9 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 2 p.m.