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Joey Logano Hopeful As He Pursues 3rd Richmond Win

Joey Logano

Joey Logano confers with Ryan Blaney, his Team Penske teammate, during the Toyota Owners 400 race weekend at Richmond. (Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

RICHMOND, Va. — Perhaps no other driver looks forward to the resumption of the short track season than Joey Logano of Team Penske. Namely, Richmond Raceway suits the driver of the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang Dark Horse.

“I have a lot of confidence every time we come to Richmond,” Logano said. “It’s probably our best racetrack.”

In 29 prior starts, the 33-year-old Middletown, Connecticut, native has two wins, 13 top fives and 18 top 10s, tallying an impressive average finish of 10th. While he has not won at the 0.75-mile short track since 2017, he enters Sunday night’s Toyota Owners 400 with three consecutive top 10 finishes at the Dominion State staple.

Admittedly, it has not been the best start for the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. Typically, he is among the mix for wins and a frontrunner mired in the top 10 in the points standings after the first six races, especially as he ranked fifth at this time last year.

Ahead of the 400-lap race on Easter Sunday night, Logano ranks 22nd in the standings. His best finish so far has been a ninth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Despite the frustrating start, including two DNFs in the season opening DAYTONA 500 and Shriners Children’s 500 at Phoenix, he has not lost hope.

“I mean, I think, I mean really go back and just, you know, that we’ve done this stuff before,” he said. “You have rough patches throughout a season. We just had ours early. We’ll be able to just kind of fight through it and build back out of it.

“This team’s been together for a long time. A bunch of experienced racers had been through it before, so I think that’s what kind of keeps you at keep them going.”

Certainly, Logano and crew chief Paul Wolfe have their work cut out for them. Beyond the tough start, the duo continue to extract the maximum from their new Mustang Dark Horse and figure out its strong points against their OEM adversaries in Chevrolet and Toyota.

Joey Logano

As Joey Logano points out, the new Ford Mustang Dark Horse has its potential yet to be extracted ahead of Sunday night’s race at Richmond. (Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

“It’s never one thing. There’s always a little bit of everything,” he remarked. “The aging is probably the number one thing that stands out that we probably gotta keep working on. It’s gonna be plenty bit of everywhere.

“We’ve still got the new car. We’re gonna have to keep learning about and making sure we’re getting all the potential out of the car.”

On the bright side, Logano has two poles, taking the number one spot at Daytona and Las Vegas. With how intense and close the field has been all season long, the 32-time Cup race winner is not shocked by the razor thin margin for error in stock car’s premier division.

“No. You got all the same cars,” he observed. “I’d expect it to be pretty competitive. Yeah, it’s not surprising at all.”

Joey Logano

Joey Logano starts 10th for Sunday night’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond. (Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

Then again, a few weeks ago, Logano and his fellow competitors did not expect a frantic race as seen at Bristol Motor Speedway with the dramatic tire degradation. Given how Richmond’s surface was last repaved 20 years ago, tire wear may become a topic of contention on Sunday night.

If it shakes things up even remotely as much as Bristol, then look for Logano and his team to enjoy this latest challenge at Richmond on Sunday night.

“I thought it was great, I liked it,” Logano said. “If we all knew it was coming, it would definitely change the way we all approached the race. I think that’s what the biggest thing is. It caught us off guard. Outside of that, I thought it was pretty cool.”

Editor’s Notes

Jasmine Sharpe contributed to this article onsite at Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia.

Rob Tiongson is a 30-something motorsports journalist who enjoys sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field and hockey. A Boston native turned Austinite, racing was the first sport that caught his eyes. From interviews to retrospective articles, if it's about anything with an engine and four wheels, it'll be here on TPF, by him or by one of his talented columnists who have a passion for racing. Currently seeking a sports writing, public relations, or sports marketing career, particularly in motorsports. He enjoys editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography. Moreover, he enjoys time with his family and friends, traveling, cooking, working out and being a fun uncle or "funcle" to his nephew, niece and cat. Tiongson, a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, pursues his Master of Arts in Digital Journalism at St. Bonaventure University. Indeed, while Tiongson is proud to be from Massachusetts, he's an everywhere kind of man residing in Texas.

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