'The greedy part of me wants a little more' - Logano

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'The greedy part of me wants a little more' - Logano

NASCAR

'The greedy part of me wants a little more' - Logano

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Joey Logano’s fourth-place finish in the Southern 500 will be appreciated in the coming days, considering he was one of the few NASCAR Cup Series playoff drivers to survive Sunday night.

But in the immediate aftermath, Logano lamented what could have been.

“It’s a solid day, but a missed opportunity is probably where I would put it,” Logano said. “With so many others having trouble, every time you come to the Southern 500, especially in the playoffs, you’ve just got to survive and you get a solid finish. That’s what we were able to do…finish fourth after so many teams had issues. We had plenty of our own issues, too.”

Logano and the No. 22 Team Penske team started from the pole and led 64 laps in the first stage. William Byron took the lead from Logano on lap 66, and then came one of the issues Logano mentioned.

On a lap 73 pit stop, the No. 22 team was slow because the left front wheel wouldn’t come off. Making matters worse was that it was under green flag conditions, and Logano fell from second to 12th.

He never led the race again.

“We gave up track position a couple of times, and then we got caught with that caution and lost track position fairly late in the race, and then we just battled hard,” Logano said. “It’s really hard to come up through the field here. It’s really hard to pass, and [I] was able to kind of battle back and get a top five out of it, which is OK. I mean, you’ve got to be happy about it because we scored a lot of points, and that’s what it’s all about here in the first round, but also a missed opportunity to win the Southern 500, and I really want that one.

“That one stings a little bit because I think we were better than the cars in front of us if we had the air. If we were able to stay towards the front, we could tune to cleaner air instead of going in the back and trying to tune to dirty air. We just set ourselves back too far.”

Logano was the third-highest finishing playoff driver Sunday night behind Denny Hamlin (second) and Tyler Reddick (third), and one of six playoff drivers that finished inside the top 10. But the former Cup Series champion was not surprised at all to see the rash of issues that bit many of the championship contenders.

“It’s the typical Southern 500. It happens every year,” he said. “There’s going to be issues, wrecks, issues on pit road, engines blowing up, all that stuff is what the Southern 500 is. That’s why it’s so special to win it. It’s the hardest race. Erik [Jones] should be proud of himself because it’s a tough one, for sure.”

In the bigger picture, Logano continues to rack up points and position himself for a playoff run. Logano has finished no worse than 12th in the last six races, with five top-six finishes in that stretch. Logano leaves Darlington as the point leader.

“We’ve been on quite the string of races – five, six, seven races have been really strong for the Shell/Pennzoil team, and we’re firing away with it still,” Logano said. “It’s the Southern 500; it’s the longest, toughest race of the year. I know the Coke 600 is longer, but this is the toughest race of the year, no doubt, with so many pit stops, so much fall off, [and] up against the wall. It’s just so much opportunity to make mistakes.

“As I said, we should be happy that we finished in the top five, but the greedy part of me wants a little more.”

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