LOGANO STARTS 2014 SEASON OFF WITH SOLID TOP-FIVE FINISH AT DAYTONA
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – (February 15, 2014) - With the starting lineup based off of the final practice speeds following a fan vote, Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team started Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway – the Sprint Unlimited - in the 11th position.
As the first 30-lap segment began, Logano found himself shuffled to the end of the running order in 17th place. But, in typical of restrictor-plate race fashion, Logano wasted little time racing his way back towards the front of the field. By lap 25, Logano was fifth and finished the segment in the third position.
Following a four-tire pit stop between segments, Logano restarted the race in sixth place and once again began to make his way towards the front. On lap 35, the No. 20 car of Matt Kenseth cut down on Logano, which triggered a multi-car accident. Fortunately, Logano was able to escape with minimal damage and the Shell-Pennzoil Ford was able to continue on.
On lap 44, Logano took the race lead for the first time. Over the course of the night, Logano led the field on two different occasions for a total of 11 of the 75 laps.
Logano began the final 20 lap segment in the third position and showed the strength of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford. He powered his way to the lead from the bottom lane on lap 64 and led until he fell to the rear of the seven-car field on with less than four laps to go.
Despite running seventh, Logano was able to get a full head of steam and work his way back to fourth place as the cars took the checkered flag. The result marked Logano’s second-straight top-five finish in the season-opening exhibition event. Last season Logano finished third in the Sprint Unlimited.
"It was crazy,” said driver, Joey Logano. “The bottom lane just didn’t get going there. The bottom of the race track was a little slick down there. We weren’t able to hang on the bottom like I thought and then when they were three-wide for the lead and I had a huge run I was like, ‘Where’s the hole?’ I was ready to stick it four-wide and try to get by all of them, but there was no hole so I gave Brad the push. After that, you’re just trying to snip off everyone and try to get as close to the front as you can. It’s just so frustrating when you’re that close. I had a really good Shell-Pennzoil Ford. It’s so close and you can see it, but it’s so frustrating because you’re going as fast as you can and that’s all you’ve got. Overall, we survived it and finished fourth. It was a decent day. But these things don’t mean anything unless you win.”
The next race on the NSCS circuit will be the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 23rd.