Laborious-fought third for Logano salvages the night time for Penske
Joey Logano was the intense spot within the Southern 500 ending order for Workforce Penske, however he had simply as hard-fought an evening as his teammates.
Logano completed third, grabbing just a few further spots late after Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott tangled for the race lead. Logano’s No. 22 Ford Mustang was the one one from the Penske camp that completed inside the highest 10, and he did so with a mangled race automobile.
On the ultimate lap of the second stage, a flat tire despatched Logano into the wall. Then, on the Lap 236 restart to kick off the third stage, a sequence response within the pack broken Logano’s hood and left-rear fender. Fortunately, a warning flew on Lap 246 that allowed the staff time to work on the automobile.
“We weren’t that gradual with the harm, to be sincere with you, which was OK, nevertheless it was going to be arduous to vary the tires and issues like that,” mentioned Logano. “You needed to take your lumps and repair it accurately. … It’s by no means good whenever you pull into the pit stall and also you shut the motor off so it doesn’t get sizzling, and I did that twice tonight, in order that’s by no means a superb signal. However high three after that’s nice.
“The race simply sort of performed out on the finish the place we wished it to. Possibly not on the finish of the second stage, however the finish of the race when the opposite warning got here out (with 47 laps to go), which cycled us to tenth after which we had a superb pit cease that cycled us to sixth, after which I used to be capable of get a pair on the restarts and possibly a few fortunate ones with the leaders hitting the wall.”
Brad Keselowski completed eleventh, and he too had a broken race automobile. Keselowski was part of the second warning of the night time on Lap 82 when he hit the wall and wanted right-side repairs. The No. 2 staff fell off the lead lap and outdoors the highest 30.
It took till a warning on Lap 181 for Keselowski to get again on the lead lap. It was a well-timed warning for Keselowski, who had pitted simply laps earlier than and had cycled onto the lead lap. From there, Keselowski and his staff spent the remainder of the night time combating to regain monitor place.
“Jeremy Bullins (crew chief) and everybody on the Low cost Tire staff did an amazing job tonight,” mentioned Keselowski. “I made a mistake early within the race, however we labored collectively and made a superb restoration.”
A protracted night time for Blaney began with pre-race inspection.
Blaney’s staff misplaced 10 driver and proprietor factors for improperly mounted ballast, which they admitted was a five-pound bag of lead by accident left within the automobile. Crew chief Todd Gordon was ejected, and Travis Geisler known as the pictures in the course of the race.
Pressured to start out on the rear, Blaney had made it inside the highest 15 on the finish of the primary stage. Pressured to pit beneath the inexperienced at first of the second stage for a flat left-rear tire, he fell off the lead lap. Blaney took the wave round at a Lap 179 warning after which discovered bother once more with harm suffered on the identical restart his teammate, Logano, wound up with bent fenders.
“Positively wasn’t our night time for our Menards/Maytag staff,” Blaney mentioned of his Twenty fourth-place end. “We had the inspection penalty and misplaced factors earlier than the race began and had some dangerous breaks. We’ll prepare for Richmond and Bristol and attempt to acquire floor again within the playoffs.”
Logano is third on the playoff grid and has a 27-point benefit on the cutline. Keselowski sits fourth on the grid with a 22-point benefit on the cutline. Blaney is final on the playoff grid in a 17-point deficit.