Atlanta: Joe Logano race report

Joey Logano & GameStop Team Grab Another Top-10 Finish with Sixth-Place Run at Atlanta Motor Speedway Joey Logano kept his streak of consecutive top 10 finishes alive on Saturday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway by coming home sixth in the Great...

Joey Logano & GameStop Team Grab Another Top-10 Finish with Sixth-Place Run at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Joey Logano kept his streak of consecutive top 10 finishes alive on Saturday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway by coming home sixth in the Great Clips 300. The sixth-place finish was Logano's 15th-straight top 10 run in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Logano has only finished out of the top 10 on one occasion in 2010, coming earlier in the season at Nashville Superspeedway.

Logano started the day in Atlanta by fighting an extremely loose car in practice. The team made wholesale changes before qualifying, and Logano put the No. 20 GameStop Toyota in the 10th position for the evening's race.

When the green flag flew, Logano started picking off his competitors, moving up to eighth before the first pit stop on lap 43. Unlike the morning's practice sessions, the No. 20 GameStop Toyota was tight during the race, and the team worked on getting the car loosened up with track bar and air pressure adjustments.

A long green-flag run saw Logano fall as low at 13th before starting to climb back up through the rankings to eighth before having to come in for a green-flag pit stop. The GameStop/Joe Gibbs Racing team got Logano out quick, and when the leaders' pit stops cycled through, Logano was running sixth.

Several late cautions and two more rounds of pit stops saw the team continue trying to loosen the car up for the final stretch. On each restart, Logano would struggle with the handling of the car and lose a few positions before regaining them as the car came around. However, the track position and "dirty air" prevented Logano from making his way into the top five, despite having a car that was fast enough. When the checkered flag flew, Logano found himself sixth in the final running order.

Joey Logano Thoughts:

"We had a much better car then the sixth-place finish will show, but we really, really struggled on the restarts, and that put us too far behind at the beginning of each run. I don't know what the problem was with the car, but on the restarts, it just wouldn't go. We would lose two, three or four positions, and then have to fight just to get them back. We were faster than a lot of the cars in front of us, but you would just lose too much track position by the time you fought back to where you started the run. Plus, clean air was huge out there tonight and when we got stuck behind another car, we got really tight. We could catch a car in no time flat, but you would get stuck behind them because the car got super tight. So, the combination of those two things really forced our hand, and we had to settle for a sixth-place finish.

"I'm frustrated. I'm ready to get back up there and start competing for wins. It shows what kind of a team we are to knock off top fives and top 10s each and every race, but this team needs to be up there winning races. We are that good, so that is where we should be. Today, we were just a little off. We were off in practice, qualifying and the race. We were too loose in practice and then were too tight in the race. There was too much fighting the car's performance today. I guess we just need to go over our notes and learn what to do and what not to do."

Kevin Kidd Quotes:

"Joey really made the most out of today, but I don't think any of us are coming out of this race feeling good. We all know that this No. 20 GameStop Toyota was a lot better then sixth place. Joey just really struggled with the car being tight on the restarts, and that hurt him tremendously. Once the car would come around, he was as fast as the leaders and a lot faster then some of the guys that finished ahead of him.

"The guys on the crew would work and pick us up a couple of spots in the pits, and then we would give them right back because the car just wouldn't go. You can't win races that way. You need to be good from the start to the finish. That is just one area we are really going to have to work harder on. We need to give Joey a better shot to win these races, because we know he's got the talent to do so and this team is a proven winner."

What's Next:

The No. 20 GameStop Toyota will have a couple of weeks off until returning to the track for the Dover 200 at Dover International Raceway in Dover, Delaware, on September 25.

-source: jgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Joey Logano
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing