It was an up-and-down night (July 14) for Joey Logano at Kentucky Speedway. Despite a lack of top-tier speed, Logano was able to push forward and get everything he could get out of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car. Pit strategy ultimately put him in a position to stay up front, also rewarding him with his 14th top-10 finish of the season in the Quaker State 400 (10th).
“It was back and forth,” Logano told Frontstretch about how their alternative strategy played out. “Some guys did two and were able to recover and have a good finish out of it. Some guys, it just depended on what happened during the restart on if you could get clean air or not, that was the biggest deal. If you could do that, you’d set yourself up pretty good.
“You fall off a little bit [with two tires] cause you are at a little bit of a disadvantage but it’s not as much as other racetracks.”
As noted above, fresher asphalt meant tires weren’t as important as they are on other tracks. But with the Tire Dragon creating a larger line at repaved Kentucky, that made it harder to hold track position. During long green-flag runs, faster cars could blast by on fresh rubber.
“Tires didn’t really matter [based on] where the line was,” Logano added. “But with the track being wider, it was harder to hold off cars because it was easier to pass.”
With one victory in the bank, Logano has an opportunity to be more aggressive going forward. Tonight, the two-tire stop was a call that almost paid off for other drivers. With seven races remaining in the regular season, expect more strategy calls from the No. 22 team as they seek to catch up to title contenders like Kentucky winner Martin Truex Jr.
“We’re not going to be conservative,” he said. “We need to be aggressive, we need to push hard, and we need to find more speed in our cars.”
— Joey Logano (@joeylogano) July 15, 2018