JUST WIN BABY WIN… AGAIN: Logano went into last weekend’s Sprint Cup Series event at Michigan International Speedway with some high hopes. And after finding himself third in Saturday’s “happy hour” practice and in the top-10 just two laps into the race on Sunday, things were looking good. However, a loose car and a tap from behind by another driver sent Logano into the wall and his hopes of picking up win number two this season down the drain. So this weekend, with just three races remaining before the start of the Chase, Logano will have another chance to grab an elusive win and get himself locked into the 10-race Sprint Cup Series Championship “playoff.”
BRISTOL THE SIGHT OF ANOTHER RECORD HELD BY JOEY: While Logano’s career stats at Bristol show zero wins and zero top-fives, it’s a track that the 22-year-old enjoys and normally runs well at. It also holds a special place in Logano’s career-highlights resume. Logano won the pole at Bristol Motor Speedway in the spring 2010 race and, in the process, became the youngest driver to ever win a Sprint Cup Series pole at 19 years, nine months and 23 days, eclipsing the previous record that was held by JGR teammate Kyle Busch. In fact, of all the tracks on the Sprint Cup Series schedule, Bristol is his best at average starting position. Logano has qualified first, third, eighth and ninth (twice) over the course of his career at Bristol. His career-best finish is a 13th, which came in the fall race last season.
SECOND VISITS ARE IMPORTANT TO LOGANO & RATCLIFF: While Jason Ractliff’s resume is quite stout, especially when it comes to accolades in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the crew chief still remains a “rookie” when it comes to the Sprint Cup Series. As the season began, Ratcliff and Logano had to rely on past notes to get a baseline for the cars heading into tracks for the first time working as a pair. However now as the season wears on, Logano and Ratcliff can now start looking at their own notes, formulated while working together, to get their No. 20 Dollar General Toyota even better. Not counting Daytona, Bristol will be just the third race where the two will now visit a track for a second time. Already, Logano and Ratcliff were able to go off of old notes learned together at Pocono and Michigan, both of which proved beneficial.
From the Cockpit:
Joey Logano Quotes: “There are a lot of unknowns going back to Bristol this weekend. With the changes they made to the track, I don’t think anyone really knows what it will hold. A lot of us have talked to some of the guys that went and tested there and they said there is no upper groove anymore, which should make for a different type of race. Bristol had gotten to the point to where you could race two- and even three-wide and have a good race and not touch the car outside of inside of you. Now, with the changes, it will be interesting to see how the race plays out. I don’t think we are really going to know until we see the Truck and Nationwide races there this weekend. You really won’t even be able to tell much in practice. So I think fans will see a different race for sure.
“I’m pretty excited about going back to Bristol and be in the Dollar General Toyota on both Friday night and Saturday night. And I’m looking forward to going back because a lot like Pocono to some extent and Michigan, we will be going back and Jason (Ratcliff) has a full race weekend of his own notes and thoughts to go off of. That is always helpful when a crew chief has his own ideas to go off of rather than just old race notes. I feel like that will allow us a better starting spot before we even get to the track and to work from there. I’m really looking forward to going back to some of these tracks for a second time this year and seeing what kind of improvements we can make from the start of the season.”
Source: Joe Gibbs Racing