By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Joey Logano needed some luck on his side to get a strong top-five effort in the race-shortened Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
That’s because during the near two-hour red flag due to rain, problems arose, resulting Logano to serve a two-lap penalty.
One of the crew members of his No. 22 Autotrader Ford Mustang took a picture of the car under the rain delay. That’s because Logano knew there was a piece of rubber in the linkage. It created a safety concern that required them to see what can be fixed once the red flag gets lifted.
NASCAR didn’t budge and penalized the man who got his maiden Cup win at Loudon 12 years ago.
“A straight kick to the gut to start the race with a piece of rubber getting in the linkage, the throttle linkage, and not letting me get wide-open,” said Logano. “All we did was take a picture under the red flag, underneath the hood to see what was under there.
“We took a picture with a camera phone and they gave us a two-lap penalty for that. I understand the rules are the rules, but it’s also a safety factor and the last thing you want is a throttle to stick and get hurt. I don’t know.
“Hindsight is 20/20, but you would never know what it was if you didn’t take a picture, but it still had the piece of rubber in it. It’s frustrating.”
Logano needed quick cautions and showcase the car being superb to rally back. Both he certainly got and when the race was cut eight laps short due to darkness, he was among the quicker cars. When the checkered flag waved, Logano crossed the line in fourth.
Great result, but the penalty from earlier lingered in back of Logano’s mind.
“It’s frustrating when you’re at your home track and you feel like you could have got a win out of it, out of a safety issue that we got a penalty for,” Logano commented.
He continued by saying it certainly cost him a shot of scoring his second win of the season. Instead, it was Aric Almirola who was victorious for the third time ever in his long Cup career.
“Absolutely,” Logano stated. “As much as you fight through a field over and over again you beat up your car a lot. You wear tires out a lot. If you get up front, you can set your pace and save stuff and you can be a lot faster.
“We passed the whole field three or four times trying to get lucky dogs and move up there. I definitely felt like we had the best car we’ve had all season, in my opinion.”
The Cup Series will be off two weeks until they hit Watkins Glen International for the next race of an already chaotic regular season. Logano won there in 2015 which so happens to remain his lone road course triumph to date.