After an exciting race, Logano is “pretty stoked” with his second place finish

Joey Logano struggled to see the front of the field for most of the NASCAR Cup race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Sunday, much less consider trying to take the lead.
Martinsville Speedway Joey Logano 2023

When Logano’s Penske crew identified an issue with water in his No. 22 Ford on Sunday morning, they were forced to start the race from the back of the pack due to unapproved changes.

Logano even lost a lap in the opening stage because passing was so difficult and spent the rest of the race stuck in the center of the pack.

Logano’s luck did, however, change late in the race as a result of back-to-back cautions that came after a series of green-flag pit stops that completely changed the race strategy.

Logano and three other drivers chose to stay on the track after numerous lead-lap cars pitted under caution on lap 346. Logano then took the lead on a new start on lap 355 of the race.

Even after pulling away from the race for a number of laps, Larson eventually got caught by Logano after switching out two tires on his previous pit stop. With 29 laps remaining, Larson took the lead after a side-by-side fight and sped to a 4.142-second victory.

“At one point in the race I would have been just happy to finish on the lead lap,” Logano said. “Paul (Wolfe, crew chief) did a good job of getting some good changes to the (car) to where it got competitive.

“We just needed track position. Was able to stay out and get a lucky caution there during a green flag cycle. Stayed out again when everyone pitted and put us on the front row and a shot to win the race.”

Logano, who openly confesses he hates to lose, wasn’t particularly disappointed when he ultimately missed out on the triumph.

“I tried holding off Larson as long as I could. I didn’t have a fighting chance there. He drove away from me so quick, but he was pretty patient,” he said. “I knew I was going to get bumped. That was the only way he was going to go by me was he was going to have to get physical. Nothing wrong with that.

“Overall, there’s days when you are mad about second. Today is not one of those. Today is when you are pretty stoked that you finished a little better than I thought we were going to.”

The runner-up result for Logano extended his inconsistent season as the current champion. In the first nine races, he has already achieved a win and five top-10 places, but he has also three times placed 28th or worse.

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Nascar, NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity, Joey Logano, Team Penske, Martinsville Speedway

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