He led a race high 178 laps, but instead of going to Victory Lane, Joey Logano walked away disappointed with a runner-up finish, his fourth on the season.
After taking the lead on the restart, following five laps of a running under yellow to begin the race, Logano relinquished that top spot just twice in the first 188 laps for a combined five circuits. But after losing the lead to Martin Truex, Jr. in the middle of a green flag pit cycle, the driver of the No. 22 Ford never made it there again in the remaining 105 circuits.
“As the track changed, we lost our handle a little bit. Lost the lead. Kind of went all the way back to fifth,” Logano said of his run. “We got our balance better to where the car was getting going again. Had a good restart to get from fourth to second there at the end. With a good pit stop before that, that got us a couple spots too.
“The team did a very good job on executing when we needed to. Just didn’t have enough laps. It seemed like the momentum swung the other way about three or four laps to go before the caution came out when I started catching the 19 (Carl Edwards) pretty rapidly. Unfortunately it just started raining.”
And while he was very clearly frustrated with the runner-up finish because “when you’re that close to winning and you lead the most laps, second stings,” Logano did walk away with the positive that he gained points in the incredibly tight battle to shape the Championship 4 field.
“We did gain some points. We’re in right now,” he explained. We were out going into this race. So you know, we did the best we could as far as leading laps and getting that bonus point, or those two bonus points with the most laps led as well.
“But we didn’t get the win part. That would have been nice.”
Logano currently sits third tied with Kyle Busch for the third and fourth spots in the preliminary Championship 4 standings. Behind them, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin sit one and two markers below the cutoff line, leaving the battle for those final two positions incredibly tight going into the final race of the round.
The Can-Am 500 will run at Phoenix next Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. ET.
A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.