FORT WORTH, TX – I could have made a very strong case that Joey Logano would get bounced of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs during the Round of 8. The defending series champion had as many top five finishes through the first two rounds as you and me. He hadn’t won a race since June 10 and was running as bad as anyone in the playoff field.
But, as we head to the final race of the Round of 8, Logano extended his lead on the playoff bubble by six points in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500. The Team Penske driver would finish best in class at the Texas Motor Speedway in bringing his No. 22 Ford home fourth. He was the first car to cross the finish line without a Stewart-Haas Racing affiliation.
If you would have told Logano that early on in Sunday’s race, he would have called you crazy. See, Logano had a bad handling race car to start Sunday’s race off with. He even had left rear damage. He’d finish 23rd in the first stage. But, Todd Gordon kept working on his car as the race went on and by Lap 170, he was crossing the finish line in fifth to get six stage points.
He’d remain up front the rest of the evening and earned a fourth place run. It was his first top five since the Brickyard 400 on Sept. 8. It was also just his second top five finish in the last 17 races and only his third since his win at the Michigan International Speedway on June 10.
Logano, is riding a 19 race winless streak heading to a track he has one top 10 finish since his win there in 2016, but holds a 20 point advantage on the next closest driver in Denny Hamlin. So long as Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson or Chase Elliott doesn’t win next Sunday’s race in Phoenix, Logano more than likely is marching to the Championship 4.
That’s a crazy feat.