Joey Logano Earns a $1Million in Charlotte

by Tucker White On Sun, May. 22, 2016

Joey Logano celebrates winning the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte. Photo: Noel Lanier/OnPitRoad.com

CONCORD, N.C. — Joey Logano will return home tonight a $1 million richer after winning in the Queen City.

The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford out-dueled Kyle Larson in the final 13 laps to win the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Teammate Brad Keselowski finished second in his No. 2 Penske Ford while Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the podium in his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

“Awesome race. I thought it went great. What a great car,” Logano said post-race. “It says a lot about our race team to unload today with a completely new package, have 10 minutes of practice and unload and say, ‘The car is pretty good. I don’t have much to say. We really made only one change on our car. That was about the only amount of time we had in practice was to make one change. It was the same for everybody, but, overall, I felt like our car was competitive.”

He also spoke about the final laps and battling with Larson for the lead.

“I knew we were gonna race really hard. It’s for a million bucks,” he said, “and I was able to, around lap six, move up the race track and find some speed. Obviously, Kyle saw that and he moved up and then I knew I was gonna have to make the bottom work somehow. Once I had position on him going into the corner I had to make sure I kept him on the quarter panel and not to the door. I knew he was gonna drive in to try and suck me around from the outside, and I knew I had to drive in to make sure he didn’t do that, and it was just good, hard racing there at the end. It was a lot of fun. He’s a heck of a racer. He’s gonna win a lot of races, that’s for sure, and it’s fun to race against him and it’s fun to see the youth in this sport. For me, starting eight years ago now, to see guys that are close to my age now and I get to race them for wins is a lot of fun.”

Runner-up Keselowski described his finish as, “a decent night, but not the great night we wanted with the Miller Lite Ford ending up second. I’m pretty happy for my teammate Joey Logano. He kind of did exactly what you would expect out of an All-Star Race format and made a pretty incredible pass to win the race. I’m happy for Team Penske as a whole, but, of course, I wish it was me in victory lane.”

Third-place finisher, Earnhardt, used the race as an opportunity to learn.

“Yeah, we tried to come here and learn as much as we could to get better as a team,” he said. “Ninety percent of the setup in this car we hadn’t run this year. This is the race to try those things. Heck, we kind of came close. We didn’t have the speed those guys did on that last run. Right before that at the end of the second segment, I really loved our car. We’ll see how it works next weekend when we actually get to practice, try some things and change some things. We’ve learned a lot We’re still not as good as the 22 and the 2 at the end of this race but it’s better a run than we’ve had in the last several weeks.”

Carl Edwards finished fourth in his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and will be featured on the cover of “NASCAR Heat Evolution” this September for being the highest finishing Toyota driver.

“I put my guys in a box by missing pit road,” Edwards said. “I tried to come to pit road with the 2 (Brad Keselowski) and the 42 (Kyle Larson) and it just didn’t look right to me so I thought, I’m going to go by and then I put us in that box where my pit crew had to do a really fast pit stop and one lug nut just wasn’t pulled all the way up. Then as it stood we got back up to the fourth position and if we would have had a caution there at the end, I think we had a shot at it. We were the top-finishing Toyota and I had forgotten about the video game cover so the top-finishing Toyota gets the cover of NASCAR Heat Evolution, which is pretty cool. We got something out of the night and really I had fun on those restarts. That was wild. I don’t know what it looked like on television.”

Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five in his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.

Chase Elliott finished sixth in his No. 24 HMS Chevrolet.

“I was just very, very confused, I felt like, for the majority of the race,” Elliott said of his thoughts on the race. “We had a really good car until we got our damage there. We were trying to play the pit road game. You want to spend the least amount of time you can on pit road and that’s what everybody was doing. I was planning on pitting on that first lap after we got back going and it was just chaotic and if it was my fault and I didn’t do a good enough job getting out of the way, I’ll take the blame. I was just trying to get on pit road.”

Trevor Bayne finished seventh in his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford and Greg Biffle finished eighth in his No. 16 RFR Ford. Denny Hamlin finished ninth in his No. 11 JGR Toyota while Kyle Busch rounded out the top-10 in his No. 18 JGR Toyota.

Larson was understandingly disappointed after competing for the win, only to settle for a 16th place finish.

“I hate that I keep letting my team down,” Larson said. “You know, they did everything right. They worked their tails off after I got all that damage in the Showdown and we had a really, really good Target Chevy and I was able to get to the front pretty quick there.

“I was getting looser throughout the race. We were making adjustments  but I guess we just weren’t making big enough ones,  and just got loose and Joey caught me. He did a really good job side drafting me and tried to hang on to his quarter (panel) there  and I just got really loose as soon as I got down in the corner. We were going so fast I couldn’t correct it and drilled the wall. Really disappointed but congrats to Logano and their team.  I’m having fun, just, this will be hard to get over.”

The race lasted one hour, 43 minutes and 40 seconds at an average speed of 98.103 mph. There were 13 lead changes among seven different drivers and four cautions for 18 laps.

** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c)SpeedwayMedia.com. **

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