LOGANO SURVIVES WILD FINISH IN DAYTONA 500 TO SCORE 11TH PLACE RESULT
Daytona Beach, FL (February 24, 2014) – Joey Logano started Sunday’s season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) event, the 56th annual Daytona 500, in the 35th position. After the green flag waved, Logano began a slow and steady climb to the front of the pack. Following the first pit stop of the race on lap 24, Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion team found themselves in the 10th position.
Less than 10 laps later, a massive rain storm swept its way over the 2.5-mile Daytona track. Band after band of rain moved across the track resulting in a six-hour rain delay. The race resumed just after 8:30 pm ET. After the restart, Logano consistently ran inside the top 10. With a solid use of the draft, Logano drove his way to the lead on lap 71 and led for two circuits before he had to come to pit lane under the green flag.
Logano and his teammate Brad Keselowski were off pit sequence from their competitors for most of the night, which resulted in ever-changing track positions. Once things cycled through, the two Team Penske cars continued to run well among the top five.
Late in the race, Logano found himself in precarious positions a few times as he was able to narrowly avoid several of the multi-car accidents and continue to fight for a top finish. Crew chief Todd Gordon called Logano into the pits with less than 10 laps to go for four fresh tires and fuel. Despite restarting in 22nd place, Logano quickly raced his way back into the top 15.
"We had decent speed, but that was a crazy, crazy race there at the end,” said Logano. “We got shuffled all the way to the back and then with 10 (laps) to go we were all the way in the back. We worked our way up some. At least the fans are excited about the finish or the winner at least. But the guys did a great job the last two weeks and gave me some decent cars.”
As Logano came to the checkered flag after a three-lap sprint to the end, he was once again able to avoid a multi-car accident and made a spectacular save on the apron of the track. Logano crossed the finish line in the 11th position.
“We survived it,” Logano added. “When you start in the back, like 15th or further back on the last restart, you’re pretty sure you’re gonna get caught up in a crash. We came close enough on that last one when I was sideways, but I was able to save it.”
Sunday night’s effort was Logano’s second top-15 Daytona 500 finish to go along with his ninth-place result in 2012. The next race on the NSCS circuit will be on Sunday, March 2nd at Phoenix International Raceway.