In qualifying for the History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Joey Logano earned his 19th-career NASCAR Nationwide Series pole behind the wheel of the No. 20 GameStop/Hitman Absolution Toyota. The pole position gives Logano sole possession of ninth on the all-time NASCAR Nationwide Series career pole list.
When the race started, Logano jumped out to the lead right away. He would hold the top spot following several early-race restarts until falling back to third on lap 22.
Logano was fighting a car that was loose in and tight on landing most of the day. When the No. 20 GameStop Toyota got behind other cars, Logano reported that the car got even tighter.
The handle on the GameStop Toyota slowly got better, but Logano found himself running third for much of the middle portion of the race.
On lap 127, crew chief Adam Stevens called for a fuel-only stop, getting Logano back out front while the rest of the teams took either two or four tires.
Logano led a total of 26 laps on three different occasions in the History 300.
The hope for the pit strategy was that there would be a longer green-flag run and Logano would be able to pit with the rest of the drivers and come out with four fresh tires while everyone else would have to work on older tires. Unfortunately, another caution came out just 15 laps later and Logano was forced to come down pit road and get his four tires and enough fuel to get him to the end. When he came back out on the track, Logano was 15th with less than 50 laps to go.
Logano raced hard over the final 50 laps, dodging a couple of accidents. However, the tires could only get him so far and Logano had to settle for a sixth-place finish.
Logano’s Post-Race Thoughts:
“We had a strong GameStop/Hitman Toyota today out there, but our pit strategy didn’t work out and we didn’t get the finish that we wanted. I think we had a car that could have finished second or third. We weren’t the best car, but we were better than the sixth where we finished. I can’t complain though, our mile-and-a-half program has come a long way since really struggling at this track last year. To know that we had a car that qualified on the pole and led a bunch of laps and could have easily finished in the top-five makes me feel pretty good.
“We had a good day. It all really started with walking out of the trailer this morning with my Hitman firesuit. I’ve got to say that it’s probably one of the coolest suits I’ve ever seen and I got a lot of great comments on it. Then, we went out there and grabbed the pole on a lap that I didn’t think was all that great. We led some laps and just got behind on our pit strategy. It we would have had a long run there after we took fuel only, we would have been sitting pretty. Unfortunately, we had to come in and pit there on that next caution because we were in our fuel window and had to take our tires there. Trying to come back from 15th is pretty tough on these mile-and-a-half tracks because cars get spread out. We will take a sixth and move onto Dover.”