Joey Logano picked up his first top-five of the postseason at Texas Motor Speedway and continues to hold down the final transfer spot.
“We’ve had more blue-collar days then you can imagine throughout these playoffs,” Logano said after finishing fourth. “The stage points is what really has got us from round to round so far, and today we finally got the finish we deserve. But we’ve been working hard during these races and getting all the points we can, and that’s what’s keeping us alive.
“Feels good to finally get one. It’s not a win by any means. We’re not locked in like the 4 [Kevin Harvick] and 19 [Martin Truex Jr.], but we’re not out either. So, we just got to go to Phoenix and do the same things we’ve been doing.”
Logano has a 20-point cushion on Denny Hamlin. The defending series champion laughed that he’s always optimistic about his chances, including when crew chief Todd Gordon makes fun of him for thinking he can win every race, even when he might be running 20th at the time.
ISM Raceway will not be unfamiliar territory for Logano. He entered the elimination race in the last round as the driver on the cutline and there will be a sense of déjà vu this time around.
Above Logano is Kyle Busch by just two points. Logano will be keeping an eye on the drivers sitting outside of a transfer spot regarding the race win, while also racing Busch in hopes of moving up on the playoff grid. In Kansas, Logano overtook teammate Brad Keselowski on points, which left Keselowski being the one knocked out of the playoffs when a driver below the cutline overcame his points deficit.
“It’s going to be a good battle for sure,” Logano said. “We’re definitely racing for that last spot in case someone outside of the top four wins. Then it’ll come down to the 18 and the 22 to try to get that last spot. It’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to the battle. It’ll be a good time.
“The 18 team is good. Kyle’s a good driver but I think we’re a great team, and they’re beatable just like everybody else.”
Busch finished seventh in the AAA Texas 500, his first clean race in a few weeks. Should Busch advance, he would make his fifth consecutive appearance in the title race. His advantage on the cutline is 22 points.
“We all know one guy is going to move through on points and we have to do whatever we have to do in order to be that guy,” Busch said. “If we can obviously go to Phoenix and have a strong run (or) be able to go out there and win, that will put ourselves through as well too.
“We’re two (points) on the 22, so it’s going to be a race between the 18 and the 22. Imagine that.”