MECHANICAL FAILURE DOOMS LOGANO AT DARLINGTON
DARLINGTON, South Carolina – (April 12, 2014) - Shell-Pennzoil driver Joey Logano qualified second for Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway. Logano continued his streak of making every final round qualifying session in 2014 and he improved his season-long qualifying average to 5.8.
As the green flag flew to start the race, Logano, winner of the previous week’s race at Texas, got the jump on pole-sitter Kevin Harvick and pulled out to a commanding lead. Logano built a lead of nearly 3.5-seconds at one point and led the first 37 laps of the race. Logano has now led laps in seven of the eight races run this season.
After the first cycle of pit stops, Logano reported that the No. 22 Ford was handling tight. Crew chief Todd Gordon and the team made changes to the Shell-Pennzoil Ford that they hoped would help the car’s performance once the sun went down and the track began to change. Unfortunately, handling continued to be an issue all race long on the Shell-Pennzoil Ford and the 23-year-old Logano slipped back to 11th place, where he ran for most of the middle portion of the event.
On lap 202, while exiting the pits, Logano collided with the No. 18 car driven by Kyle Busch and Logano had to come back to pit road to fix damage to the hood of his Ford Fusion. Logano then had to restart 18th, losing valuable track position in the process. With repairs made and the Shell-Pennzoil Ford running the best it had all night long, Logano fought his way back into the top 10 and he was running as high as seventh with less than 50 laps to go.
On lap 355, Logano radioed to the team that he was losing his brakes. Just a couple of laps later, the No. 22 Ford fell off the pace and Logano had to bring the car to pit road for service. It was determined the right front hub had given out, which forced Logano and the Shell-Pennzoil team to retire from the event. Logano wound up being scored with a 35th-place finish.
“We had an issue with the right front hub which broke. It stinks because you run the whole race and get nothing to show for it at the end. I feel like we had a top-five car once the sun went down and we were able to tune our car into where we needed to and were able to get our track position back up there. It is unfortunate that the right front hub broke and then that messed with the rotor and got into the caliper and everything gets hot and breaks after that. Unfortunately, we don’t get to have fun at the end of this thing. It’s just too bad. The car wasn’t great, but we were making gains. I think we could have finished anywhere from fourth to sixth or seventh out there tonight. The guys fought hard and Todd (Gordon) made some great adjustments to the car.”
With the result, Logano dropped to eighth in the series standings, 52 points off the leader’s total. The NSCS will take the Easter weekend off and return to action on Saturday, April 26th at Richmond International Raceway.