Bristol II: Joey Logano race report

Joey Logano Recovers from Late-Race Spin to Record Top-10 Finish at Bristol Motor Speedway Joey Logano and the No. 20 GameStop team looked like they were in the driver's seat to earn their second win of the season with just a handful of laps to...

Joey Logano Recovers from Late-Race Spin to Record Top-10 Finish at Bristol Motor Speedway

Joey Logano and the No. 20 GameStop team looked like they were in the driver's seat to earn their second win of the season with just a handful of laps to go in Friday night's Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. However, a late-race tangle with another car sent Logano spinning with just 25 laps to go and forced the GameStop team to scramble just to come back and record a hard-fought 10th place finish.

Logano started off the afternoon by nearly picking up his fifth pole of the season until getting knocked off of the top spot late in the qualifying session by Elliott Sadler. Despite starting second and on the less-preferred inside-lane, Logano got the jump as the green-flag waved at the famed high-banked half-mile track and led the race's first 30 laps before being passed by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch.

The No. 20 GameStop Toyota became extremely tight, and Logano slipped back to the latter-half of the top 10 for much of the race's middle stages while Crew Chief Kevin Kidd devised a plan to get Logano fixed up and back to the front. After several changes to the car, Logano started making his charge back to the top, breaking back into the top five by lap 167 and eventually into third place on lap 182.

Logano was following leader Brad Keselowski and Busch when the two made contact, causing Keselowski to spin and Busch to get into the outside wall. Restarting second with just 25 laps to go, Logano knew that he had an opportunity and a better car to get by Busch on the restart and possibly grab his second win of the year. However, on the ensuing restart, Logano got tagged and spun from behind by Jason Leffler, turning him around in front of the entire field. Luckily, Logano was able to keep the car off the wall and out of harms way. However, the team had to pit for four fresh tires and restarted the race in 19th.

Logano was able to drive up from 19th to 10th in the race's final 20 laps, marking his 13th-straight NASCAR Nationwide Series race with a top-10 finish. Busch went on to record his 10th win of the season.

Joey Logano Thoughts:

"I'm disappointed. That is really all I can say. We had the car to win the race there at the end. We had made improvements, and the car was driving great. I was catching Brad and Kyle and when they got into it, I knew that was my opportunity. I knew that we would be able to battle with Kyle for the win in those final 20 laps and have a good shot for the win. Then, we just flat got wrecked on the restart. We got a little loose, and he never checked up and turned us around. We were lucky not to get hit by any other cars or to hit the wall. So we came in, put some tires on it and just tried to get the best finish that we could. But this was no 10th place car. This was a race-winning or at least a second-place GameStop Toyota.

"Kevin and the guys did a good job and making the car better as the race was going on. We were good in clean air, but when we got behind some cars or in lapped traffic, the car got really tight. We fought and fought the tight condition, then got it good for the end. In the last-half of the race, we were the fastest car on the track lap after lap, and we were catching the front guys. So we felt good and knew we had a shot at it. But, that's how it played out. I'm not happy about it, but there is nothing you can do. The car was better then a 10th place finish, but unfortunately, the final results won't show that."

Kevin Kidd:

"We really just need to find a way to get this monkey off of our back. It seemed like we had so much bad luck and just couldn't get the breaks to go our way early in the year and then we finally won at Kentucky and figured that would turn everything around. Now, that bad luck is back. Honestly, this is just one of about five races or so this year that we were the best car and we should have won, but things just happen. The car is fast every week and Joey is a great driver, but I guess sometimes you can't control the outside influences like flat tires or mistakes by other drivers.

"The one good thing is that getting this close just makes the guys work that much harder and makes Joey just drive that much harder. You come this close to winning so many times, you just say 'I've had enough, let's get this done.' I think that attitude will propel us back into Victory Lane soon, and we'll be able to get back on our game. We just need to keep doing what we do every week, which is give Joey the best car we can and let him do the rest."

What's Next:

The No. 20 GameStop Toyota will go "north of the border" next week to race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal for the Napa Auto Parts 200. It will make Joey's second trip to the road course. He raced there in his rookie season of 2008 and finished 17th.

-source: jgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jason Leffler , Gilles Villeneuve , Elliott Sadler , Brad Keselowski , Joey Logano , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing