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Joey Logano Earns Runner-Up Finish at Richmond

Joey Logano

Joey Logano earns a runner-up finish at Richmond (Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

RICHMOND, Va, — Joey Logano and the No. 22 team have had an uncharacteristic year-long winless streak. But during Sunday night’s Toyota Owners 400, Logano nearly ended it. Ultimately though, he finished runner-up.

Logano’s always thrived in the River City, logging two wins and top-10 finishes in each of the three most recent visits NASCAR took to the 0.75-mile track. The speed the 33-year-old showed early in the weekend was no different, with him running second in practice Saturday morning behind polesitter Kyle Larson.

The Team Penske driver did not lose much momentum during qualifying, running a lap time of 22.676 seconds and earning himself a 1oth-place starting position. The race started in wet-weather conditions, and after a Lap 30 competition caution to change from wets to slicks, Logano worked his way up to seventh. With the remaining time in Stage 1, Logano drove to a fifth-place finish, earning stage points the No. 22 team desperately needed.

By using pit strategy, Logano and his crew chief Paul Wolfe snagged a third-place Stage 2 finish by opting for taking two pit stops throughout the 160-lap stage instead of splitting it in half. Logano maintained his position well into the final stage, driving up to second with 30 laps to go. After Larson spun off Bubba Wallace’s fender with two to go, it set up NASCAR Overtime for the first time this season. The No. 22 team pitted, and following the two-lap dash, they scampered home second.

“I didn’t get a good enough restart,” Logano said when asked about overtime. “I really wanted to pressure [Denny Hamlin] down into one and force them to work up [Martin Truex Jr.], but I spun my tires here just trying to stay with them and that ultimately cost me to be close enough to do something.”

“I don’t know. It feels good to be towards the front again … We haven’t had a run like that in a while, but it also stings to be that close and not capitalize on the win. I guess I have mixed emotions. We had a really good car, a car that was capable of winning if we were in the front, but we didn’t execute everywhere else good enough to get there.”

Logano sits 19th in driver’s points after just his second top-10 of the season. He has two DNFs despite poles in two of the first three races.

“This is definitely the hardest start to a season we’ve had. But last week, we started scratching and clawing and got a little bit of momentum through the last three races, and ultimately get to here to where we were in the hunt again,” Logano added. “It feels good. It’s Richmond. It’s a unique racetrack. It’s our best racetrack as a team, so we expect to run good here. I don’t know if this completely takes us out of the deep end, but I think ultimately it’s a good momentum-builder for sure.”

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