Joey Logano qualified the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota 19th for Sunday night’s running of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
When the green flag flew, Logano reported that the car was tight center and on corner exit. With the changing track conditions of going from daylight to nighttime, Logano and crew chief Jason Ratcliff began talking about ways to fix the handling of the car.
The car continued to be tight through the first several round of pit stops. Wedge and track bar adjustments, along with air pressure changes, made the car just a little better, but not good enough and Logano eventually lost a lap.
As the long runs went on, the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota would get better. However, Logano had already lost track position and was forced to fight from the back.
Logano ran as high as 15th and as low as 32nd during the 600-mile race.
Late in the going, Ratcliff gambled and left Logano out hoping for a late caution when the team was just one-lap down. However, the caution never came and Logano had to come in for right-side tires and enough fuel to make it to the end.
When the checkers flew, Logano came home with a 23rd-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600. The finish dropped Logano one position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings to 16th.
Logano’s Post-Race Thoughts:
“We really struggled out there tonight with the Dollar General Toyota. Early in the race, we just couldn’t get the handling right. The car was too tight both center and exit and when that happens, you just lose a lot of time to all of the cars that can get the throttle down faster. This is a fast track and when you don’t have the speed off, you get behind quick. We got back there early and just never were able to get that back. Once again, I felt like we had the car better and we got a better handle on it after the sun went down, but with these long green flag runs and going a couple of laps down early, you just don’t have the chance to get back on the lead lap. It was really a frustrating night because I love Charlotte and I’ve always run well here in the past. You just have to move on and try to learn from your mistakes and make it better the next time around. I just wanted to have a really good run for Dollar General and all of the guys on the team. We will put our heads down and keep plugging along. All we can do it work on making it better and getting faster and faster cars each week.”