Michigan II: Joey Lagano race report

Joey Logano and No. 20 GameStop Toyota Team Bring Home Sixth-Place Finish with New Car at Michigan Saturday afternoon's Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway was the second race of 2010 season with the NASCAR Nationwide Series "new car."...

Joey Logano and No. 20 GameStop Toyota Team
Bring Home Sixth-Place Finish with New Car at Michigan

Saturday afternoon's Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway was the second race of 2010 season with the NASCAR Nationwide Series "new car." Therefore, most teams figured they would spend the weekend feeling out their car's first runs on a two-mile oval. That's exactly what Joey Logano and the No. 20 GameStop Toyota team did Saturday afternoon. The team fought an extremely tight, then an extremely loose car all afternoon long, eventually bringing home a sixth-place finish.

Logano started the race in the ninth position, one spot ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. Logano stayed in the back half of the top-10 for the first part of the event, complaining of a tight condition that had plagued the team all weekend long. After the first round of green flag pit stops, the team "threw the book at it" and made a number of changes, freeing the car up considerably.

Logano stayed in the back half of the top-10 until a caution brought the cars down pit road on lap 64. The No. 20 GameStop crew busted off a great stop and gained Logano three positions in the pits, sending him out fourth. When the green flag dropped, Logano instantly made a few moves and found himself in position to battle for the lead. However, with the new Nationwide Series cars creating a considerable "draft" and the No. 20 now facing a loose condition, Logano fell back to seventh place.

The team elected to stay out under a late-race debris caution and restarted the race in fifth while several others in front and behind Logano pitted. Logano was able to hold his own with the older tires and when the checkered flag flew, Logano found himself crossing the line in sixth.

Joey Logano Thoughts:

"It was a frustrating day with the No. 20 GameStop Toyota for sure. We really couldn't get the handle on the car all weekend long. We were really loose on Thursday, then went the other way and got the car so tight both Friday and today that I could hardly drive it. The guys were making changes and making changes and nothing was really helping it. Finally, we made a change on our first stop in the race and that loosened the car up, maybe just a little too much. We could never really find the handle on it and it showed. We just struggled with this new car, plain and simple.

"I guess it's a good thing when you can be frustrated with a sixth-place finish. We are a good team and we expect to win or compete for the win every single time out. This weekend, we just didn't have it. We were a third- or fourth-place car all afternoon long. We really didn't think tires would do all that much for you, but that is where we got beat at the end. If we would have come in and taken tires, I think we could have finished third.

"We've got some work to do with the new Nationwide Series car. It was a learning experience. But our guys are some of the best out there and they will work their butts off and get it better before the next race. So, we'll just load her up and move on to next week."

Kevin Kidd:

"To say we aren't just a little bit disappointed would be an understatement. Plain and simple, we just didn't run very good today. We struggled with the car and trying to get it to drive to Joey's liking. That's not to say that the guys didn't work their tails off because they did. We just couldn't ever get the handle the way we needed to right from the moment we unloaded.

"We were at least able to come out of here with a sixth-place finish. With the type of weekend that we had and with as much as we struggled with the handling on this car, that isn't terrible. But we do have a lot of work to do. We are not where we want to be with these cars right now. We'll just take our notes and experiences and get back to work getting these new cars figured out."

Up next for the No. 20 GameStop Toyota will be one of the fan favorites, the Sharpie 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

-source: jgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Joey Logano , Kyle Busch