Joey Logano and GameStop Team Earn Yet Another Second-Place Finish in Dover 200 Saturday was like a case of dejÃ vu for Joey Logano and the GameStop Toyota in more ways then one. First, Logano repeated his 2009 performance at Dover ...
Joey Logano and GameStop Team Earn Yet Another Second-Place Finish in Dover 200
Saturday was like a case of dejà vu for Joey Logano and the GameStop Toyota in more ways then one.
First, Logano repeated his 2009 performance at Dover International Speedway "to a tee" in the Dover 200. Logano started on the pole and finished second for the second year at the "Monster Mile," falling just short of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate and eventual winner Kyle Busch at the end of the 200-lap event. In addition, dejà vu came for Logano in the form of his second-place run, which was the sixth time Logano's has finished in the runner-up spot during the 2010 season.
Logano and the GameStop team started the day by earning the pole for the event. It was fifth top qualifying effort of the 2010 season and his 12th career pole. When the race started, Logano quickly jumped into the top spot ahead of teammate Busch. Busch then passed Logano four laps into the event, and the two settled in to run lap-after-lap at the front of the field. Logano never fell further than third in the running order on the track.
The GameStop Racing crew did a great job on pit road all afternoon long, consistently getting Logano and the GameStop Toyota out ahead of the competition. For the remainder of the event, Logano ran in the third position before a late caution and another great stop by the GameStop crew got Logano out second behind Busch.
Logano spent the final 50 laps chasing down Busch. In the final 15 laps, Logano reeled in Busch at an alarming rate, cutting the deficit down to just a couple of car lengths. However, Logano and the GameStop Toyota ran out of laps at the end of the race and trailed Busch at the checkers by just 0.04 seconds.
Joey Logano Thoughts:
"We had a solid second-place GameStop Toyota today. We weren't the best car, so we didn't deserve to win. We were the second best car out there to Kyle, and they deserved to win that race. But that isn't to taken anything away from our team, because I think we had a great car. We just really need to improve on the short runs and getting the car to take off on the restarts. It's a problem that we've been dealing with pretty much all year long. If we were able to get this car going, we would have a chance to stay with Kyle and everyone else. But it just takes us too long to come around, and we have too much ground to make up when we do. Most of the time, our car is better than almost everyone's on the long runs. But when you dig yourself a big hole, there isn't much you can do.
"I shouldn't be upset though because we still came home second. I mean, second place is a lot better than third or four or fifth. We never really ran any worse then third all afternoon long so that says something. The cars we are bringing to the track are good. We just need to get them that much better to beat Kyle and the No. 18 team. They are on fire right now. Kyle is a great driver, and you can't give him any sort of edge. If you do, he'll put a whipping on you.
"There at the end of the race, Kevin (Kidd, Crew Chief) came on the radio and said that Kyle was reporting that he had a problem and that his times were dropping off big time. When he did, I got up on the wheel and gave it everything I could. I could see him getting closer and closer in the windshield, but we just ran out of time. With a couple more laps, we would have caught him, but catching someone and getting by them are two different things, especially in these (Nationwide) cars. I would have liked to have had 10 more laps to see what we could have done."
"We had a decent car today, and I really proud of Joey and proud of the effort the guys put in all weekend long. Our pit crew was spot on today and during those last 10 laps or so, Joey was running his butt off. That was about the most determined that I've ever seen Joey run.
"Right now, it is just really hard to beat the 18 (Busch) team. When they are on their game, they are hard to beat. But that just means that we are going to have to keep working that much harder. We know the areas that we are getting beat at, and those are areas that we obviously need to improve upon. Joey is ready to win another of these races, and I know the guys are as well. We just need to improve that little bit more, and we will be right there. We'll get back to work on Monday and start after it again. We are not going to rest until we get this GameStop Toyota back into Victory Lane."
The No. 20 GameStop Toyota will have weekend off before getting back on track way our west when the NASCAR Nationwide Series visits the two-mile California Speedway in Fontana, CA for the CampingWorld.com 300 on October 9.