Logano comes one position short of repeating WGI sweep

Joey Logano loves playing to a full house — particularly at Watkins Glen.

Logano comes one position short of repeating WGI sweep
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota, crash
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Racing Ford, crashed car
Start: Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota leads
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Race winner Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Race winner Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Race winner: Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford

Last year, Logano swept the weekend by winning both the Sprint Cup and Xfinity races. 

Although he won the NXS race on SaturdaySunday, Logano finished second to Denny Hamlin again in front of a sold-out crowd in the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen. 

"It was crazy"

In the most simplest terms, Logano described the action around the 2.45-mile track as just crazy. 

“It was crazy any way you look at it,” Logano said. “Typical Watkins Glen. I mean, it's just awesome, crazy racing, full contact.  Just insane out there.  So a lot of fun from the driver's seat and I'm sure the fans loved it as well in front of a sold‑out grandstand.  

“It was pretty cool when I pulled over for the red flag in front of the grandstands and I could hear just fans screaming and yelling and loving it. I thought, Man, this is really cool to be in the driver's seat right now.”

Just so close. Wish I could take one corner back out of the whole race and we'd probably be sitting in Victory Lane right now.

Joey Logano

After starting seventh, Logano had his share of hairy moments. While his car was solid — and he led twice for a total of eight laps — when he relinquished the lead to pit the first time on Lap 34, NASCAR popped the No. 22 Team Penske Ford for speeding. He was the fourth car busted in the first 35 laps. 

“Overall our car was really good today,” said Logano, who is sixth in the standings. “Driver shot himself in the foot a little bit with getting some damage in the Bus Stop when we were working our way back through the field. Ripped the splitter up. That was kind of the beginning of the end.  

“Really hurt our racecar through the fast parts of the racetrack, so through the S's, the Carrousel, a little bit in (turn) 11. Didn't hurt us in the Bus Stop, that's where we were the fastest car.”

Logano was sitting fifth during the sixth caution — for debris after Alex Kennedy dumped oil on the track on Lap 77. He radioed to his crew, "I wish I had my fender, we'd have something for them.” 

But Logano refused to give up. His Penske teammate had the lead and was battling Kyle Busch. That opened the door for Hamlin, who was third at the time, Martin Truex Jr. and Logano. When the race returned to green on Lap 80,  Hamlin took the lead Logano had moved up to second before Ryan Newman triggered the seventh caution following a spin in Turn 1. 

Before two laps were completed, Danica Patrick triggered a seven-car accident that red-flagged the track for 16:44. When the race went green, Hamlin darted to the lead, Logano went wide and Truex moved into second. It was short-lived as Keselowski punted the No. 78 Toyota on the final lap and Logano regained second-place. 

“We got ourselves in position to win the race, but I didn't have the speed in the race car to make it happen,” Logano said. “It wasn't anyone's fault but mine. A little mad at that. Got close to that sweep again here at Watkins Glen, winning yesterday (in the NXS), getting second today.  

“Just so close. Wish I could take one corner back out of the whole race and we'd probably be sitting in Victory Lane right now. I thought we were faster than the 11 through the parts that we needed to be early in the race to be able to beat him. Unfortunately we're sitting here second.  But not awful considering what our car looked like.”

Taking advantage of last-lap drama

While Logano wasn’t nearly as aggressive as third-place Keselowski or AJ Allmendinger who knocked Kyle Larson out of the way to finish fourth, the driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford admitted he’s not always a saint. 

“Yeah, there's been plenty of times,” Logano said of making contact with his competition. “It's aggressive racing. Sometimes you're on the other end of it. Last week I was on the other end of it.  o me, the protocol is show some respect the next few weeks and hope the dust settles.  That's pretty much what you can do.

“You know, accidents happen. We're pushing these things so hard. We're trying to stop from 180 to, what, 70 or 80 miles an hour. We're cutting off like 100 miles an hour going into the Bus Stop, and we're trying to do that two‑wide where there's only one lane through there. Someone's going to hit somebody. Someone's feelings are going to get hurt.  It depends how understanding the other individual is.”

When tempers flare

While some driver might accept a genuine apology, Logano understands that in some cases it’s just best to give a rival space and allow the dust to settle. 

“Sometimes you can look and say, Hey, it's a racing thing,” Logano said. “Next few weeks, just give me room, unless it's going to become something bigger than what it needs to be. 

“Each situation probably needs to be handled differently depending on who you're dealing with.  But, yeah, I've dealt with it plenty of times. Just seems like, you know, I think I'm doing okay the last few weeks. I didn't make anyone mad today, I don't believe. So, hey, there's a little victory.”

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