Joey Logano qualified the No. 20 GameStop Toyota in the seventh position for Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Texas Motor Speedway.
At the start of the race, Logano slowly began picking up spots on the track. By lap 42, he had moved from seventh to third and was working his way toward the leaders.
On the second run of the night, Logano, like most of the drivers in the field, was complaining of an “extremely loose” No. 20 Toyota. On the team’s second stop, crew chief Adam Stevens called for big changes, including adding a rubber in the right rear and a big swing on the track bar.
It took to just before the halfway point for Logano to work his way back into the top-three and, just a few laps later, into second place.
Logano was chasing down then-leader Kevin Harvick as the two pulled ahead of the rest of the field. Trying to make it to a point to where they could make it all the way on fuel, Harvick and Logano came into the pits one-two and came out of the pits in the same position on lap 143.
Logano was closing in on Harvick when another caution flew, bunching the field up. On the following restart, several cars didn’t pit and Logano had to restart seventh after coming in for his final stop of the night. As the field came back to the green, Logano got bottled up on the bottom lane, losing several seconds to the leaders before breaking free.
The No. 20 GameStop Toyota had worked its way back up to fourth late in the race. However, as the track continued to loosen up, so did Logano’s car.
With several cars at the tail end of the lead lap taking tires late, Logano did all he could to hold onto the car over the race’s final 25 laps, and slipped back from fourth to 10th as the checkers flew.
Logano’s Post-Race Thoughts: “Man, what a disappointing end to a race. If you would have asked me with about 70 laps to go, I would have told you that we were going to win this thing. When we had that long green-flag run going, we were the fastest car on the track. With the clean air, we were catching the 33 (Harvick). After what we thought would be the last pit stop, Harvick started pulling away, but we were a long-run car. I thought if it went green the rest of the way, we were going to be sitting pretty. Unfortunately the caution came out and that was the beginning of the end for us.
“After that, we just fought a really loose car. There was nothing I could do with it, especially in dirty air. And then we had another caution late and there was no reason for us to come in because we didn’t have any tires left. But the guys that had stayed out earlier all came in and they just whipped by us because we were too loose and they had way better tires than us. So after that, we were just holding on for those last 20 or 30 laps. It’s just unfortunate because I thought we had a really good car, but the way the race played out, we just had to settle for what we got. We’ve got two more shots to win races and I think we can win those final two races.”