Rain-Shortened Texas Race Will Make for a Stressful Phoenix for Logano

Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

By Summer Bedgood, Managing Editor

Fort Worth, Texas – Joey Logano was looking good at Texas Motor Speedway. He started second and immediately took the lead from pole-sitter Austin Dillon. The race did not run to completion because of rain, and he led 178 of the 293 laps run. In fact, you might argue that he would have led more if the race hadn’t started with a green/yellow because of some dampness that still remained on the track from a pre-race shower.

However, instead of making it to Victory Lane as it appeared early on that he might, Logano had to settle for second.

Logano lost the lead during a round of pitstops on lap 188 and was never able to get it back. He seemed to have something for eventual race winner Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr., who also led several laps throughout the course of the night, prior to the rain beginning to fall. However, he wasn’t able to pull through and had to settle for a runner-up spot.

“We lost a little speed and some of that could just be that we lost the lead on that green flag cycle,” said Logano. “Some of it could be as simple as when you lose the lead and cars pit one lap before you and gain three seconds and then you come out and there is another three cars that are in between you as well and you have to pass those guys and you are beating your tires up to pass those guys that the leader didn’t have to pass. It is a snowball effect. We needed a caution to catch back up. We had that and then we got back to where we were going to be faster again racing up front in the clean air but it was just a little too late.”

Now, Logano is in an extremely precarious position, tied with Kyle Busch with just a one-point advantage over the cutoff point in the Chase to set the Championship 4 for Homestead.

Phoenix has been a decent track for Logano, especially recently. He has finished in the top 10 in five of the last six races, and two of those were top-five runs. Though he has never won at that track, he has shown some speed in recent weeks and can potentially carry that momentum into Phoenix.

“We’re going to be close,” said Logano. “There’s a lot of cars that are going to be close going into Phoenix. It’s going to be entertaining. It’s going to be probably the closest Phoenix race we’ve ever seen as far as points. It’s going to be a fun one, for sure.”

Logano was in the Championship 4 when this elimination-style format was introduced in 2014 and was a favorite in 2015, but was eliminated in this round last season. Certainly this may begin to feel like some sort of vindication if he makes it that far, but first he has to get through Phoenix.

The final race before the Chase will be Sunday, November 13th, at 2:30PM ET.

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