Joey Logano’s performance Saturday night at Richmond Raceway further solidified the turnaround of the No. 22 group.
Logano won both stages of the Toyota Owners 400 – his first stage victories of the year – and led 92 laps before finishing fourth. And not only did Logano enter the night as the defending race winner but having not won since this event a year ago.
“We had a really good Shell/Pennzoil Ford early in the race and got a couple of stage wins early, which was great,” Logano said. “We maxed out those points, which is awesome. We just lost the handle on the car and fell back to sixth or so. We had a bad pit stop and lost a bunch of spots and then had a really good pit stop and got them all right back and were able to come home with a top five.
“I wish I could re-run that, I feel like we can do better if we tried again. I’m sure the whole field would say that. I’m proud of the speed we showed at Richmond. Just want to be a little better.”
Better, however, is how the Team Penske group has been considering how much of the 2017 season went.
With Kyle Busch winning yet again, it keeps Logano second in the point standings after nine races. Taking out a miserable day at Phoenix last month, Logano has finished no worse than ninth. Even still, his average finish after Richmond is a strong 7.3, second only to Busch.
“[Tonight] was a lot of fun,” said Logano. “There was a lot of speed… especially early in the race and grabbing a couple of stage wins. That was really cool. I wish they were at the end of the race and not necessarily in the beginning and middle, but I’m proud of what the guys did there.
“We just kind of needed everyone to run into each other and be in the right place to make that happen, but, overall, I’m proud of this team. We have a good package here at Richmond – we run really well here, and it was fun to be leading laps again up there. That was a lot of fun to see that clean air and passing cars and racing to the end of the stages was a lot of fun. But I wish it was for the win at the end. We scored a lot of points, so we’re proud of that.”