Joey Logano and GameStop Team Come Home With "Disappointing" Top-Five Finish at Auto Club Speedway Joey Logano and the entire GameStop team had high expectations and hopes of repeating as race winners in Saturday's CampingWorld.com 300 at ...
Joey Logano and GameStop Team Come Home With "Disappointing" Top-Five Finish at Auto Club Speedway
Joey Logano and the entire GameStop team had high expectations and hopes of repeating as race winners in Saturday's CampingWorld.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. However, a string of events kept the team for competing for the win Saturday afternoon and forced the team to settle for a fifth-place finish. It was Logano's 18th-straight top-10 finish this season and his 12th top-five run in 2010.
Logano qualified the GameStop Toyota in the fifth position for Saturday's 150-lap event. When the green flag fell, Logano settled into a top-five position and started to make a charge to the front with a car that was good on long runs. But the time the first pit stop came around, Logano found himself third.
Following the stop, Logano had his best handling car of the day. He and teammate Kyle Busch traded the second-place position several times during the run before the next stop on lap 87. This time though, the GameStop crew had trouble on pit road, dropping Logano back to 11th.
Logano was able to get back up to the fifth position, but another rough pit stop by the GameStop crew dropped him back to the latter half of the top 10.
During the final green-flag run and subsequent late-race restarts, Logano was able to improve from 10th to his eventual finishing position of fifth, despite a car that was extremely tight in dirty air. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Busch won the event, his 12th win of the 2010 season.
Joey Logano Thoughts:
"We just weren't very good today. We made too many mistakes in the pits and got too far behind, and we didn't have the car adjusted for dirty air and being stuck behind a lot of cars. I made the most of what I had, but I didn't have much more than a fifth-place car in the end. So I guess we really got what we deserved out there today.
"You just can't give up so many positions in the pits. We ended up always fighting from behind all day long. When we were up front, we were as good as Kyle (Busch) and (Kevin) Harvick in clean air. I had a great battle with Kyle there early in the race when we were running second and third. But these cars are very aero sensitive and when you get behind a lot of cars, if you aren't set up just right you get killed, and that is what happened to us with those bad pit stops.
"I know the guys will work on it at the shop, but we need to be a lot better overall. We are a team that should be winning five or six races a year. We felt what it was like to win last week, and now we need to get that back. Hopefully, we'll make some improvements and get it right for next week."
"What we ran into today was a case of shooting ourselves in the foot and taking us out of contention to win or challenge for the win. When you have pit problems like that, it not only puts you behind on the track, but it throws your adjustments off. We needed adjust on the car based off what Joey was saying when he was running second and third in clean air. And we did, but when you have a bad stop and then fall back to mid-pack, those adjustments you made don't really do what they were meant to do, because you are now in dirty air. So, we spent the race just trying to go back on the adjustments we made early because the car was acting so much different in the pack and with dirty air. Had we stayed out front, I think our adjustments would have been right. By the time the race was over, we had a better handle on the car, but it still wasn't where we needed to be.
"Today was not our best performance as a team. We didn't give Joey a chance, from mistakes in the pits, to having a car that just wasn't fast enough. We can't continue to be as up and down on that as we are. We need to put together great weekends from start to finish. We brought our best car here and should have been in contention to win the race. So we'll just work on it a little more and make improvements where needed."
The No. 20 GameStop Toyota be right back at it this coming weekend in the Dollar General 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event will be the fourth and final NASCAR Nationwide Series "new car" event of the 2010 season.