It’s been a while since Joey Logano has been in the top five, so he was pretty ecstatic to finish third in Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Logano, who announced after the race he and wife Brittany are expecting their first child next January, made that excitement very apparent in his post-race press conference at the two-mile track.
“You have no idea how good this feels,” Logano said. “Feels like a win, just to stop the bleeding. No secret, last month, month-and-a-half, has been a struggle for us with just a lot of things going wrong during the races.”
After a rash of five straight finishes of 21st or worse since his encumbered victory at Richmond, Logano and the No. 22 Team Penske squad have been racking their brains trying to figure out the problems.
But that didn’t mean Logano and crew chief Todd Gordon were switching things up too much.
“We haven’t changed anything,” said Logano. “It’s easy to say, ‘Man, you got to change something, right?’ The fact of the matter is this is a winning race team, what is there to change?”
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The speed has been there, but Lady Luck just hasn’t been on their side as they try to earn another race win to regain the playoff points they lost from Richmond.
“We just had some bad luck,” he added. “We got to figure out the package a little better. We still got work to do. But we did make our car better throughout the race. We still got work to do to catch those guys. But we made a solid step the last couple weeks”
Prior to Sunday, Logano said there was a laundry list of things the team was trying to work on, indicating it was a “process of elmination” to fix them. FOXSports.com asked Logano if he thought the list had shrunk following the strong Michigan result.
“Yeah, I think so,” Logano said. “There’s always problems that you’re going to identify, as you should, as any competitor or person, you should identify your weaknesses. I think we’re always going to do that. But I think we’re slowly but surely fixing things, understanding our car better, understanding what I need to do to go fast, what to ask for out of my car, all that stuff. We’re slowly making progress.”
As the Monster Energy Series moves on to Sonoma and Daytona the next couple weeks, Logano says that will give the team some time to digest what they have hit on to improve.
“This next couple weeks, obviously you got Sonoma and Daytona, kind of is not the typical racing we always do, so it’s going to change that up a little bit,” Logano said. “Both of them we’ve been successful at. We haven’t won at Sonoma, but we came close last year. Daytona, we’ve proven to be good speedway racers. We’re just going to keep going and start gaining some points back we lost.”
gallery: The 16 drivers in NASCAR’s playoffs for now