Montreal: Joey Logano race report

Roller Coaster Day for Logano and GameStop Team Ends with Sixth-Place Finish at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve Road course races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series are known to be exciting, with teams experiencing the highest of the highs and lowest of...

Roller Coaster Day for Logano and GameStop Team Ends with Sixth-Place Finish at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

Road course races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series are known to be exciting, with teams experiencing the highest of the highs and lowest of the lows all afternoon long. And such was the case for Joey Logano and the No. 20 GameStop Toyota team Sunday afternoon at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. Logano started third, battled back from battery problems, battled back from a caved in front end and multiple pit stops en route to a sixth-place finish in the season's final road course event.

Logano started the afternoon from the third-position, right behind road course specialists Marcos Ambrose and Jacques Villeneuve. Logano held his third-position for the race's first seven laps until a restart where Logano got forced into the grass. When he returned to the track, Logano's left front made contact with Villeneuve, forcing Logano to make a green-flag pit stop on lap 11 to clear the tire rub. A subsequent caution allowed the team to make multiple stops to fix the damage and fill the car full of fuel while staying on the lead lap.

The No. 20 GameStop Toyota fell all the way back to 30th following the stops before Logano started making a charge back to the front. Once Logano made his way back into the top-20, he had to pit again for four tires and to fix a little more damage on the nose of the machine. Soon after, just as Logano made his way back into the top-15, he reported the car was starting to lose voltage and switched to the back-up battery.

Despite the battery problem, Logano moved himself into the top-10, getting up to the eighth position. However, the battery continued to drain and the team was forced to change batteries on the next pit stop, losing a ton of track position in the process, but remaining on the lead lap.

A long green-flag run saw Logano climb from 19th to 13th, before the GameStop crew picked up three more spots on the final pit stop. During the final portion of the event, Logano was able to drive the No. 20 Toyota from 10th to his eventual sixth-place finish.

Joey Logano Thoughts:

"It was a rough day to say the least. Things went from good to bad to good to bad all day long. I think we really made the best out of what was given to us. We had both mechanical problems and driver error out there today. I really screwed up there early in the race when I bent the left front fender in when I went off the track and that put us behind the eight-ball from there on out. It was just a mistake on my part and I feel like I let the team and my guys down. Without that problem, we might have been up front all day and not lost the track position we did early.

"The rest of the day, we just fought from behind. We had a battery problem there in the middle portion of the race when the alternator went out. That really cost us track position when we could have been up there battling with the leaders. There is nothing you can do about mechanical problems. We just did what we could and made up the ground that we could.

"I'm disappointed because once the race was over and I saw that (Marcos) Ambrose and (Carl) Edwards both fell out, I realized that we had a car that could have and should have competed for the win. We had the third-best car out there I think behind those two guys. So it stinks to not get out of it what we could have. That is how it goes in these Nationwide road course races."

Kevin Kidd:

"When all was said and done, it was great to get a sixth-place finish with all of the stuff that we went through today. But that doesn't make Joey or the guys feel any better, because we knew we had a much better car then that. Sometimes, you just have to play the hand that is dealt to you and that is what we did today. We got the most out of a bad day. In that sense, sixth-place was good. But we are never happy unless we are competing for the win.

"I'm not sure yet what happened that made the battery go dead. We'll have to look at it come next week. Our teammate (the No. 18 car with Brad Coleman) had the same thing happen, so it might be some sort of part problem. We'll look it over and make sure it doesn't happen again. That really killed our track position and made us change our pit strategy. But Joey didn't give up all day long and he fought his butt off to get a sixth out of it. We just wish we could have been up there contending for the win, because we knew we had the car and driver to do it."

The No. 20 GameStop Toyota will head to Atlanta Motor Speedway this coming Saturday for the Great Clips 300.

-source: jgr

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Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Gilles Villeneuve , Marcos Ambrose , Brad Coleman , Joey Logano