For much of the first half of Sunday’s rain-delayed AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Joey Logano looked to be untouchable, but when all was said and done, the driver of the No. 22 Ford came up just short as he finished second on Sunday night.
After starting on the outside of the front row, Logano got the jump on polesitter Austin Dillon when the green flag flew at lap six, pulling away from the field with ease to lead the next 25 laps before the competition caution came out at lap 30.
When the race went back green, Logano picked right back up where he left off when the caution flew, leading 153 of the next 158 laps.
However, a green flag pit sequence at lap 188 would change the face of Logano’s race and left him scrambling to try and regain the lead. Martin Truex, Jr. and eventual winner Carl Edwards elected to pit one lap before Logano during that round of green flag pit stops, which gave the two Toyotas the momentum to be able to bypass Logano on the track at that point in the race.
From that point on, Logano stayed in the top-10, slowly but surely making his way back toward the lead. With 64 laps to go, he got the chance he was looking for on a restart after Austin Dillon crashed out of the race.
On the restart, Logano powered his way from fourth place into second place and set his sights on Edwards and the race lead. Over the next 20 laps, he stalked Edwards for the lead, but just as he was closing in, Mother Nature had other ideas as rain set in around the speedway, forcing the race to be called 41 laps shy of the finish.
“We had a good AAA Fusion that was capable of winning the race. We just lost our track position on a green-flag cycle and got our balance off a little bit. We got it fixed and got it going and had a good restart at the end to get back to second but it seemed like we needed maybe five or 10 more laps to try to catch the 19 there. We were making up about three-tenths a lap when the caution came out. It is what it is. We are disappointed with second which is a good thing. I think we are in right now but it sure would have been nice to be locked in. It sure would make it easier next week,” said Logano.
Without a win thus far in the Round of 8, Logano will head to Phoenix next weekend tied with Kyle Busch for third in points, holding a slim one point margin over Matt Kenseth in fifth place for a place in the Championship 4. Logano was eliminated from the Chase at Phoenix last season and will be looking for redemption this time around to punch his ticket to Homestead.
“It is what it is. We are going to be close. There are a lot of cars close going into Phoenix. It will be entertaining. It will probably be the closest Phoenix race we have ever seen as far as points. It should be a fun one for sure.”