Joey Logano
Joey Logano

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

In the first NASCAR Nationwide Series race ever at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Joey Logano qualified his No. 20 GameStop/Damage Inc. Toyota a respectable sixth on Saturday morning. The qualifying effort was a surprise after the team struggled all day on Thursday in practice.

In the early portion of the 100-lap Nationwide Series event, Logano radioed that his No. 20 Toyota was tight on corner exit. It was a condition that would plague Logano, crew chief Adam Stevens and the entire 20 team all afternoon long.

Logano ran as high as fifth early, but settled into eighth and rode there for the first 30 laps of the race. Still saying that the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was tight, Stevens called for a number of adjustments, including wedge, track bar and air pressure changes. None of the changes appeared to help Logano’s machine, as he continued to be tight in the middle and on corner exit.

During a round of green flag pit stops just before the halfway mark, a caution waved and gave Logano great track position on the ensuing restart. Logano got up to fourth following and ran there for several laps before the final pit stop of the day.

On the final stop, Stevens called for a four-tire stop while several other teams elected for two tires. After coming into the pits in fourth, Logano came out of the pits in sixth

Logano was able to avoid a number of late cautions and keep his No. 20 GameStop Toyota clean. However, on the final caution of the day, Logano got passed by two cars under the yellow flag. The two cars were left in front of Logano and when the green flag flew, the No. 20 got tight once again.

Logano had to settle for a seventh-place finish at the end of the 100-lap event. It was Logano’s 10th top-10 finish of the season.

Logano’s Post-Race Thoughts: “This was not the weekend we wanted for the GameStop Toyota. Right from the time we unloaded on Thursday, we really struggled with our car. The car was tight and it just never got any better. I felt like we threw everything at the car on Thursday and again this morning and nothing really seemed to help. That is too bad because this car has won two races already this year. But this weekend, it just wasn't the car we needed. We were tight in practice and tight in the race. It never really got any better even during the race. We got it to where it was loose early in runs, but as the run would go on and on, the car would just tighten up and would be tight center and had a four-wheel drift off the corners.

“It was just so hard to pass out there today. The cars are so aero sensitive and we are running so fast, you just can’t pass. You get right up behind them and you either lose the nose of the car and can’t pass them or the car gets tight. It’s frustrating for sure. The one thing I can take away from the race is that I learned a few things for the Cup race tomorrow. One thing that I learned for sure is that it will be all about track position and clean air. We’ll just come back and get them at Watkins Glen.”

Source: Joe Gibbs Racing