Photo: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

On the Chase Radar After Martinsville: Joey Logano

By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer

After the events that took place at Martinsville Speedway last year, Joey Logano was looking for redemption. Logano had been leading in his No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion when Matt Kenseth exacted revenge and wiped Logano out of the race, and ultimately, out of the Chase for the Championship.

This time, Logano entered Martinsville without having to look over his shoulder after avoiding drama. With Martinsville being the first race in the Round of Eight, Logano was tied with the other seven Chasers.

In the first practice, Logano was third fastest. He then improved to be second fastest in the second practice. In the final practice, Logano was eighth fastest.

In qualifying, Logano just missed earning his fourth consecutive pole at the half-mile paperclip. Logano placed his Team Penske Ford second on the grid, just 0.008 behind Martin Truex Jr.

Logano stayed within the top five after the green flag waved. A caution 25 laps in gave everyone the chance to pit. Logano took the lead from Truex under the caution.

Logano held onto the lead for the next 20 laps. On lap 46, Truex worked his way back to the lead. Logano briefly stayed a close second, but never recaptured the lead.

By lap 75, Logano had dropped to the 10th position. After stabilizing, he then began to move forward. By the time the third caution waved, Logano had climbed back up to the sixth position.

After the restart, Logano broke back into the top five. However, he was unable to make any progress and remained just inside the top five until the fourth caution waved.

After the field pitted, Logano exited pit road in the ninth position. Although he was able to slowly climb up to seventh, Logano never got any further forward.

By the time the checkered flag waved, Logano was still just inside the Top 10 in ninth. Logano now sits fifth in the points standings, just four points behind Kyle Busch.

After the race, Logano took to Twitter to express his disappointment, but also was optimistic about the upcoming tracks.

Logano has the ninth best average finish among active drivers in the last five races at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch has the best driver average at Texas in the last five races with an average finish of 3.00. Busch has only competed in four of the last five races at Texas.

Logano has a career average finish of 17.50 at Texas in 16-career starts. He has one win, six-career top fives at Martinsville and six career Top 10s. Logano has led a total of 159 laps at Texas, where he also has just one DNF in his career.

In the last five races at Texas, Logano has an average finish of 12.00 with an average driver rating of 99.3. During this five-race span, Logano has one win, three top fives and three Top 10s.

Based on these statistics, Logano will be in good shape heading into the AAA Texas 500 as he tries to secure his position out of the three remaining positions to the Championship Four at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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Seth Eggert has followed NASCAR his entire life. Seth is currently pursuing a writing career and is majoring in Communications and Journalism. He is an avid iRacer and video gamer. Seth also tutors students at Mitchell Community College in multiple subjects. He has an Associate's Degree in History.

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