Joey Logano Drives GameStop Toyota to a Top-10 Finish at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday
The Finish: Joey Logano and the No. 20 GameStop/Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Toyota had a solid day at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge, coming home with an eighth-place finish. The team spent all afternoon fighting a loose condition but rallied back from 13th to eighth over the race’s final 25 laps to grab another top-10 result.
The Race Recap: Logano and the GameStop/Call of Duty: MW3 Toyota struggled in practice on Friday but got it all back in the rare Friday night time trial session, coming home with a third-place qualifying effort, just .02-seconds off the pole. When the green flag dropped for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge on Saturday afternoon, Logano and the GameStop team quickly realized that their current setup was too loose. Logano began to fall through the field, eventually settling into the 10th position. All afternoon, the GameStop pit crew had solid stops on pit road, consistently gaining several spots under caution. At various times during the day, Crew Chief Adam Stevens made track bar, air and wedge adjustments, as well as taking the time to add rubbers to the left rear spring on two different occasions. Despite the various and frequent adjustments, the pit crew continued to get Logano out two or more spots ahead of where he came in. Through the middle portion of the race, Logano found himself running inside the top-five early in runs before eventually fading into the back-half of the top-10. Finally near the end of the race, Stevens hit on something with the No. 20 and Logano was able to race from the last car on the lead lap in 13th position all the way into the top 10. Over the last 25 laps, Logano was one of the fastest cars on the track and drove from 13th to eighth when the checkers flew.
Joey’s Quotes: “We really struggled with the GameStop Toyota today here at Texas. I don’t know what the problem was, but we could never just get the car to handle like we wanted it too. I was really pumped after qualifying but the car was just way too loose when we started the race. That first run I could hardly drive it and really was just hanging on. We lost so much time and so much track position there because of the long green-flag run. When we finally got to come in and make an adjustment, I think we were running 10th and we made a quite a few major adjustments. Our first few adjustments helped early in the runs, but then the car would get just as loose as it was as the runs went on. In the end, I think we ended up going the wrong way and we had to spend the rest of the day adjusting back out of that. Finally at the end, we got it better and I feel like we were fast, but we still had lost a lot of track position. We still needed to make some more changes to get it to where we needed to be, but we ran out of laps. We were able to get up to eighth there at the end, which is better than I felt like we were going to be early in the race, but I know we are all a little disappointed in our run. It’s a good thing though when you can be disappointed with an eighth-place finish I guess.
“This was a brand new car and I don’t know if that was part of our problem or what. We’ve been working on building some new cars and I think it is going to take some time to figure them out. I think once we get the kinks worked out, we’ll be fine. Like anything though, you always have a few bugs to work out when you are working with new stuff. I really think the direction we are going is great though. I was really pumped after how well we ran at Charlotte and coming here with this track being pretty similar. I think we just missed it on the setup a little bit I guess, but eighth isn’t too bad.”
What’s Next: The GameStop/Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Toyota and Logano will return to action next weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. However, next weekend, Logano and GameStop will ride on the side of the No. 18 Toyota.