A third-place finish and bagging 51 points at Talladega Superspeedway is “absolutely” mission accomplished for Joey Logano.
“We came into here saying we’ve got to be 25 or so points above the cutline to feel semi comfortable next week,” Logano said. “I’m not sure we’re 25 points, but I’m sure we moved up spots in points as well, which is helpful. I don’t know where we’re at.
“But I’d say after my last few Talladega races — one, I didn’t have the wheels off the ground at any point, so that was a success — and the points we were able to score and lead laps, we’re really good at the speedway races. I’m really proud of my team and Coleman (Pressley, spotter). We have good strategies, and everything kind of worked out. I finally didn’t crash one of these things, which is a nice feeling for sure.”
Logano was deemed to be third when the caution flew on lap 116 because of a multi-car crash. With only a few laps left in the second stage and past the halfway point in the race, the action was dicey as drivers fought for every spot. And it was under caution when another rain shower hit the speedway and sent the field back under the red flag and ultimately to an early ending.
Bubba Wallace was declared the winner, who was ahead of Brad Keselowski and Logano at the time of the caution.
“He (Keselowski) had a run on the 23 (Wallace) to take the lead and enough of a push from me to be able to kind of continue that and try to get the both of us clear,” Logano said. “Hindsight is 20/20. He didn’t know that they were going to crash on the backstretch, and there is still five to go in the stage. It took probably three or four minutes after they crashed before it actually started raining, so it probably would have got to the end of the stage.
“It would have been kind of hard to decide when to make that move or not to. Overall, though, take that piece out of it, and with the points we scored today, it’s a big win, I think, for us. The 23 winning doesn’t hurt anybody because he’s a non-playoff contender, so no big deal there, and able to score solid stage points. They had us second but then changed us back to third, so I don’t know. We’ve got to kind of go back and see where we actually finished, but, either way, it was a good points day and put us in a good spot.”
My No. 22 @shellracingus @Pennzoil @FordPerformance Mustang was a rocket today! Even though weather permitted us from racing the remaining laps, I can’t argue with the amount of points we gathered today. The Roval is now in our sights & congrats @BubbaWallace on your 1st Cup “W” pic.twitter.com/v8IEMifGAH
— Joey Logano (@joeylogano) October 4, 2021
Logano said what ended up being the run to the finish was as crazy as expected because of the circumstances.
“That’s when it turned into a mess,” he said. “As soon as you heard we’re close to halfway and there’s weather in the area, it just seems like was a traffic jam at that point. Everybody is bumping each other. Pushing like crazy. Out of control.
“You knew that was going to happen; you might as well have said there was 10 laps to go in the race, and then you know the crashes follow that, which they did. So, luckily everyone was OK, and we got out of here, and off we go.”
Going into the second elimination race of the playoffs at the Charlotte Roval, Logano is 21 points above the cutline.
“I feel better than I did when we were six points above the cutline,” Logano said. “ … considering what happened to some other cars today, it put us up there a little bit more.”