Joey Logano Wins His First Race of Season at Michiganby Kyle Pokrefky June 12, 2016 0 comments
BROOKLYN, Mich. — Joey Logano broke through at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday to win his first race of the season on Sunday – the FireKeepers Casino 400.
Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford, rolled into victory lane after putting in a dominant performance having spent 139 of the race’s 200 laps en route to the win.
The race victory is the 15th of career and is the second of his career at the two-mile superspeedway.
“When you lead that many laps, it’s more of a relief when you win than anything because you feel like you’re supposed to when you have a car that good,” Logano said.”It felt really good to pull our car into victory lane, get that win.
“I consider it our second win of the season. I know you guys don’t. But I think we’ve celebrated twice this year, so it’s nice to be able to know that we’re locked into the Chase and we can race even harder than we do now.”
Finishing in the runner-up position was Chase Elliott, who claimed his best-ever finish in the Sprint Cup Series.
The rookie Elliott was in a prime position to score his maiden victory in the series and was perhaps Logano’s toughest competition throughout the day; however, once the green flag waved on a restart with seven laps to go, Logano had checked out from the rest of the field.
“I had another fantastic car, my guys have been doing a really good job the past few weeks,” Elliott stated. “We’ve been trying to give it all we can to get one of these things – I had another fantastic opportunity today.
“I feel like I definitely messed that one up for my guys – you can’t do dumb stuff and expect to win, that’s just the way life is. That’s certainly the way this sport is and I did dumb stuff today, so I can’t expect to win.”
Kyle Larson finished in the third position and recorded his third top-five finish of the season in his No. 42 Target Chevrolet.
Positions four-through-ten belonged to drivers Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch.
Sunday’s race featured the debut of a modified aero package for the Sprint Cup Series that featured reductions to the size of the cars’ front splitter and rear spoiler. The result of the changes made to the package resulted in greater amounts of downforce and sideforce taken away from the cars, which, in turn, created better racing in terms of the on-track product.
Sunday’s event also featured nine individual cautions with seven of those being for various accidents.
Race contenders such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin found themselves falling by the wayside in the race with Earnhardt Jr. and Hamlin both suffering from hard hits with different walls of the track. Johnson’s issues were brought about by a scuff with the wall after contact with the No. 6 car of Trevor Bayne.
Defending champion Kyle Busch also encountered his own share of issues early in the race. The driver of the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota’s engine expired after 52 laps and he was subsequently credited with a last-place finish.
The Sprint Cup Series will take a weekend off for a Father’s Day break and will return to action on Sunday, June 26th with the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.
Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images