LOGANO’S SECOND STRAIGHT TOP-FIVE FINISH PROPELS HIM TO FOURTH IN POINTS
LAS VEGAS (March 9, 2014) - Joey Logano earned his eighth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) pole Friday when he paced elimination qualifying for the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was the second-straight weekend a Team Penske Ford sat on the pole and the second-consecutive race that Team Penske swept the front row in qualifying.
At the start of the race, Logano was able to get past his Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski and take the race lead. Logano led the first 19 laps, briefly lost the lead during pit stops, but then returned to the front on lap 22 and led through lap 46. After the Shell-Pennzoil Ford had a four-tire pit stop when several other cars took on just two tires, Logano fell back in the pack. Racing in “dirty air,” the No. 22 Ford Fusion was a handful as Logano reported he was experiencing both loose- and tight-handling conditions running behind other cars.
During the middle portion of the race, Logano ran anywhere from 10th to 13th. He also reported during this stretch that it was very difficult to pass cars. He worked his way back into the top 10 by lap 200 as crew chief Todd Gordon and the team began to make improvements to the Shell-Pennzoil Ford.
On lap 224, Logano restarted the race in the eighth position and made a daring move to the outside as he moved up to fourth. The 23-year-old driver advanced to third place, but fell back to the fourth position as the checkered flags waved to end the race.
"I think we were solid,” said Joey Logano after the race. “We weren’t a winning car. I think we were a top-five car and that is where we finished. We were really good in clean air, which everybody probably is, but in dirty air it’s a completely different car and really, really hard to drive. Overall, it was a solid day and another top five. That’s good, but like I said last week, it’s all about the win.”
Logano led twice for 44 laps on the day and he has led laps in all three races this season. The finish was Logano’s best at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and it marked his second career top-10 Sprint Cup Series result at the track – he finished sixth in 2010. He earned his second-straight fourth-place finish with Sunday’s result. Coupled with his 11th-place effort at Daytona, Logano is now positioned fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. It marks his highest standing in the points in his career.