Joey Logano Earns Career-Best Road Course Finish with Second-Place Run in GameStop Toyota at Watkins Glen International It was no secret heading into the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International that Joey Logano wasn't much of a road course ...
Joey Logano Earns Career-Best Road Course Finish with Second-Place Run in GameStop Toyota at Watkins Glen International
It was no secret heading into the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International that Joey Logano wasn't much of a road course "ringer." In both the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series, Logano has taken some time to adapt to road course racing. On Saturday though, Logano finally showed he has what it takes to compete with the best-of-the-best in road course racing by bringing the No. 20 GameStop Toyota home to a second-place finish in the Zippo 200 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Logano's runner-up performance was by far his best performance on a road course. Previously, his best finish was a seventh-place run at Watkins Glen back in 2008.
Logano proved to have one of the two best racecars all afternoon long, starting in the morning's qualifying session when both he and pole sitter Marcos Ambrose broke the track record in qualifying.
When the green flag dropped, Logano ran second until the first round of pit stops on lap 14. The No. 20 GameStop team got Logano out of the pits quickly, and when green flag stops cycled out, the No. 20 Toyota was in the lead. Logano led until lap 27 and fell back to fifth with a bad set of tires during the middle portion of the event. However, on the last stop, Logano got fresh tires and was able to start making his way back to the front, picking off cars one at a time until he found himself once again running second to Ambrose.
In the end, Logano couldn't do anything with Ambrose for the win but still crossed the line in second-place, Logano's third-straight runner-up finish behind the wheel of the No. 20 GameStop Toyota. Logano has five second-place finishes in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010.
With the finish, Logano moved the No. 20 team back into third in the owner's point standings. Logano also was one of only three drivers to lead laps on Saturday. With his eight laps led, Logano has now led laps in 12 of the 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series events he's competed in this season.
Joey Logano Thoughts:
"We had a really great run in the GameStop Toyota today. Most of the time, I'm not happy with a second-place finish. But today, I'll take it. Actually, I'm really excited to run this well. I think today I proved that I'm not a horrible road course racer. I keep just getting better and better every time I get in the car. The more laps I can make, the better. Today, I went out there, had a great car, and was able to learn a lot from some of the best guys.
"We didn't have the car to win the race today. We were second-best to Marcos. But early in the race, I was able to hang with him and learn a lot by following him. In fact, early in the race, I would say we were just a little bit better than he was. Then, we got a bad set of tires on the car and that really hurt us. The car felt great, but the speed wasn't there and that put us behind. Once we got our final set on the car, it came back around and I was able to make some passes out there on the track. All in all, this was a great race. And it was a confidence booster for me as well.
"I've gotta thank all of the GameStop guys. They gave me a great car today and made all of the right adjustments. We just had a bad set of tires which put us behind in the middle part of the race, but there was nothing they could have done about that. We had a car that was better then some of the best in the business out there. The driver just has a little bit more to learn. But I'm getting there. One of these days, maybe guys like Marcos and Kyle (Busch) and Kevin (Harvick) will be chasing me."
"This was really a good day for the No. 20 GameStop Toyota and the entire team. I would venture to say we even exceeded our expectations today. The guys worked hard all day and it showed with a track-record second-place qualifying run and a second-place finish to one of the best road racers in all of NASCAR. We had a second-place car and that is where we finished. It's days like that that really make you happy. If you have a good car, you want a good finish and we were able to get that today.
"I'm really proud of Joey too. Having such a good car gave him the chance to go out there and work on his craft and get some more seat time behind the wheel on these road courses. He didn't just surprise himself, but he surprised all of us. He looked like a veteran out there. He ran strong all day long. Like he said after the race, most of the time you don't want to finish second, but today, we'll take it.
The No. 20 GameStop Toyota will be right back at it next weekend with the Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, August 14.