By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
AVONDALE, Ariz. – There may not be an easy answer as to why Joey Logano struggled on Sunday in the Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Last year’s Daytona 500 champion came to the 1-mile oval with momentum on his side following a runner up result at Las Vegas last weekend.
Logano qualified ninth for Sunday’s race and at one point ran as high as third, but once the 313 laps ticked off he crossed the finish line 18th.
“We just didn’t quite get the luck on our side today,” said Logano. “We created our own luck as well. We need to clean it up a little bit. We need to clean up the mistakes we have had here at the beginning of the season on everybody’s front.
“We still have speed. We were close today. At times it felt like we were a third place car, and we were running up there around third. We just still have work to do to catch the 4 and 19, they were the class of the field.”
Logano has one lone top five in four races this season, but still sits seventh in the championship standings.
However, Logano’s struggles don’t just end with him.
Team Penske as a whole did not have a good weekend as Logano’s teammate, Brad Keselowski, ran into troubles of his own and finished 29th.
Relegated with an undesired result, Logano pointed to track position as being a vital key to Sunday’s race at Phoenix.
“It was important,” said Logano. “It was still tough to pass. It seemed better than what it has been in the past for sure though. It was fun. We were sliding around out there and it is the most we have seen this groove open up at this race track in a long time. I think that is a great sign and that was a great finish at the end.
“I wish this Shell Pennzoil Ford was involved in it.”
Up next for Logano and Team Penske is Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, where he has three top 10’s in nine appearances.
Image: Christian Petersen/Getty Images