Despite all of the news that came out between Joey Logano and the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota this past week, Logano remains solely focused on one thing – winning this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway and making the Chase. This weekend marks the last chance for Logano to make the Chase before the 10-race playoff begins. Logano is one of eight drivers that still have a mathematical shot to make the NASCAR post-season. And Logano’s Chase-clinching scenarios are easy – win and your are in. Sitting 18th in the point standings but with one win to his credit, another victory at Richmond would vault Logano ahead of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch and the rest of the Wild Card hopefuls and into the final Wild Card playoff spot.
RICHMOND STATS A ROLLER COASTER: Joey’s stats are Richmond resemble one of his favorite roller coaster rides, the Intimidator at Carowinds in South Carolina – lots of ups and downs. Logano’s rookie season resulted in two top-20 finishes, a 19th and a 14th. In his second year, Logano began to get the tricky .75-mile track figured out, earning a 16th-place finish and then coming up with his best start and finish at the track, qualifying sixth and finishing fourth in the fall race of 2010. He continued that strong run in the first race of 2011, when he started ninth and finished 11th. Logano also has finishes of 35th (when an engine let go) and 24th at Richmond.
RACE INFO: The Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway (Richmond, VA; .75-mile oval) is set for Saturday, September 8th. Watch and listen live on ABC, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Joey Logano Quotes: “It’s time to put up or shut up. This weekend is all about winning. Getting a second place or a third place isn’t going to do anything for this Home Depot Toyota. This weekend, we just need to go out there and get a win. That is the only way we are going to get into the post season and that is what we strive to do at the start of each and every year. It’s great to even be in a position to where we can go into Richmond and have a legitimate shot at doing just that – getting in the Chase. But I also know that I need to go out there and do everything I have to do to win the race. It should make for an exciting night, especially if any of us who are racing for the Chase are running first or second at the end.
“Richmond and I have a definite love-hate relationship. I would say l struggled there my first couple of times, but then we found something in 2010 and I think we were a force there. Our cars were good and we had a really good handle on the track. But like everything else, I think the other teams just caught up with us and we have to try and find that advantage again. Richmond is a tough track. Even though it’s a short track, it’s a lot about speed and smoothness, which is something you relate more to the 1.5-mile tracks. But I know Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) and the guys in the shop have been working on a good piece for this weekend. So we will go to Richmond and try and do what we need to do – which is win.”