Joey Logano quickly put a disappointing day in Las Vegas behind him and shifted focus on the next race in the Round of 12, where he is “crossing our fingers” with Talladega Superspeedway looming.
Logano finished 14th in the South Point 400. His night went sour on lap 90 when he was forced to make a green-flag pit stop because of a left-rear tire rub from contact with Kyle Busch, which knocked Logano off the lead lap. Fighting for the lead off a lap 88 restart, Logano and Busch made door to door contact when Denny Hamlin made it three-wide into Turn 3.
Falling to 32nd in the running order, Logano did not earn points in the second stage. And he did not return to the lead lap until a caution gave him the free pass on lap 251.
“That was a fight tonight for sure,” said Logano. “The start of the race, we were in the hunt for sure, and I felt like we were fairly close and able to get quite a few stage points in the first stage. Then on that restart, we got some damage with the 18 car and the 11 I think just kind of shocked at least me. I don’t know if it shocked the 18; I haven’t seen the replay yet. I was coming down the racetrack like we were two-wide, and next thing I know, we were three-wide, and I got some damage on the left rear.
“We hung out there for a while and eventually got our lap back with 15 to go or so. We were able to fight back to 14th; we salvaged something out of it. We left at least 10 points or so, and that is probably a conservative number of points on the table that would be very nice to have. That is in the past now. Now we move forward and head to Talladega and cross our fingers and see what happens there.”
Can the No. 22 rebound? pic.twitter.com/cGAP8g6JIA
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 28, 2020
Logano earned 32 points Sunday night, which was aided by a second-place run in the first stage. The No. 22 team has won three times at Talladega, and Logano is still above the cutline going into the second race of the round.
However, his advantage is just 11 points.
“You can’t afford to blow a left-rear tire in the playoffs and back the thing in the fence and shoot yourself in the foot,” said Logano of the tire rub. “We had to pit and then just no cautions, and then the one time I had a shot at it (Jimmie Johnson) just got me, so that was a little unfortunate.”