Will testing help Logano in second Michigan race?

Joey Logano, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Joey Logano, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

PAYBACK COMING FOR MICHIGAN: The last time the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visited the 2-mile Michigan International Speedway, Joey Logano was coming off of his win at Pocono Raceway and was looking to possibly make it two in a row. And with the tire issues the series experienced during the weekend putting a lot of teams behind the eight ball, Logano and the No. 20 Home Depot team looked to have it figured out, running in the top-five for much of the early portion of the race. However, after having to come in to pit following a tire issue of his own, Logano had to fight his way from the back of the pack. Logano was running 10th following a restart when he jumped to the inside of a much slower car coming out of turn two. The move got Logano’s Home Depot Toyota loose. Logano tried to correct the car but it was too late. His No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing machine slammed into the outside wall and was then hit by several other cars. The resulting damage was too much to continue and Logano retired from the event in the 35th position.

WILL TESTING PAY OFF?: Logano and the No. 20 Home Depot team were one of several teams that took part in Goodyear’s open tire test at Michigan International Speedway following the recent Sprint Cup Series event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 2-mile speedway was repaved before the race in June and tire issues forced the series to hold a tire test at the track to come up with a new Goodyear compound. Logano was fast at Michigan in June and the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota were equally as fast at the test this past Monday, although no “official times” were kept. However, speeds at the test were down some 10mph to where the teams practiced and qualified back in the June race.

JUST WIN BABY WIN: With Logano’s disappointing 32nd place finish at Watkins Glen International this past weekend due to a broken shock mount, the 22-year-old heads into Michigan and the remainder of the Sprint Cup Series “regular season” 18th in the point standings and with one thing on his mind: winning. With several drivers looking for one of the two final Wild Card spots, Logano and his team knows that the only way he can make it into NASCAR’s “post season” is to win at least one race, if not two in the next four events. Of the upcoming tracks left before the Chase starts (Michigan, Bristol, Atlanta and Richmond), Logano has earned top-five and top-10 finishes at both Michigan and Richmond.

From the Cockpit:
Joey Logano Quotes:
“I feel like Michigan kind of owes me one after the race there in June. We had a great weekend and we had a great Home Depot Toyota. We won the Nationwide Series race and learned a lot from that, then applied some of that to our Cup car and we had one of the fastest cars there when the race went green. I don’t know if we would have won the race, because Dale Jr. was really fast, but we easily had a top-five car if not a car that could have finished in the top-three. We just had some bad luck trying to pass a car that was up in the front and out of pit sequence and probably shouldn’t have been there. We just get loose and that was that. It was really frustrating and I want to go back and prove that the Home Depot car will be just as fast this time around.

“We learned a lot at the tire test after Indy. The tire that Goodyear brought was better and will be a good race tire. The track had slowed down and we will just have to see how it is this weekend especially with the temperatures that could be in Michigan. Even in August, it can be really hot or it can be really comfortable and cool. No matter what though, we know the speeds won’t be as high as they were back in June which gave us all of the tire issues. And not only the tire, but we learned a lot of other stuff about the car and a couple of new things that we want to try when we go back. We are at the point to where we need to start taking some chances, start thinking outside the box and going for wins to try and get one of these final Wild Card spots. So we are going to do everything we can to be fast and to try and win the race. That is all that matters right about now. We just need to win.”

Source: Joe Gibbs Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Preview
Tags gibbs, logano, toyota