Joey Logano qualified the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota in the 10th position for Sunday afternoon’s 267-lap GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL.
At the drop of the green, Logano started a slow and steady charge to the front. By lap five, he was in ninth and 30 laps in he was running strong in seventh and catching the top-five.
Logano reported that the car’s balance was not that far off. The car was snug in the center of the corner and loose off. By lap 50, Logano had moved himself into the top-five.
All afternoon long, crew chief Jason Ratcliff made minor adjustments on the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota, including air pressure, wedge and track bar adjustments. The track continued to loosen up, making Ratcliff’s adjustments even more important to keep up with the constantly changing track.
Logano ran as high as third and was catching the top-two drivers just before the halfway mark.
On lap 148, Logano came into the pits for a green-flag pit stop. He slid the car through the pit stall, losing a little time to his competitors. However, before the full round of green-flag stops were finished, the caution came out, trapping Logano a lap down. The team was able to take the wave-around but had lost a lot of track position and had to restart 10th.
On the restart, Logano got trapped behind several slower cars and briefly fell back to 13th. However once he got clear of the slower cars, Logano raced his way back in the top-10. On the next pit stop, Logano changed just two tires and once again got his track position back, running solidly in the top-five.
The team came in for their final pit stop under green on lap 227. When green flag stops cycled out, Logano was running 11th.
At the finish, Logano had climbed from 11th to seventh to pick up his ninth top-10 finish of the season.
With the top-10 finish, Dollar General customers will receive 10-percent off their entire online order at DollarGeneral.com this Monday. Offer is good only online at DollarGeneral.com and only this coming Monday.
Logano’s Post-Race Thoughts: “Well that was a solid run for our Dollar General Toyota. We came in here not really having the best track record at Chicago and I feel like we were one of the best cars out there all day long. We never really fell out of the top-five and that is a big improvement over our previous races here. We just got behind there in the middle of the race when we got trapped a lap down and had to take the wave-around when the caution came out during those green flag stops. That really made us have to play the track position game on our next stop, but it all worked out.
“I feel like we were a top-three or top-four car all day long. At the end, we were just too loose and didn’t keep up with it. There were a couple of cars that were ahead of us that were able to gamble and take two tires and that helped them be ahead of us. We were catching them but track position at places like this is so key. But we will take a top-10, especially with how tough our last few races have been. Now we will just go on to the New Hampshire and see how it goes there. Nine races left and nine shots to win.”