Though the No. 22 team didn't need a win to advance into the Eliminator round because they'd already secured a spot with a win last week, the driver did whatever was necessary to snag another victory, including spinning Matt Kenseth in the closing laps.
Crew chief Todd Gordon described the late-race bump-and-pass as a product of great racing.
"I saw two guys racing their butts off. You know, Joey had a couple runs at Matt and Matt blocked both of them and unfortunately got us in the wall into Turn 1 and there's more contact that prevails beyond the contact to the wall. That's just hard racing, two guys that want to win, and ... Joey has talked about it, they're both very competitive race car drivers and they do a lot of similar things, and neither one of them was going to give there, and obviously it came out the way it did," Gordon explained.
Did Gordon alter the team's strategy since they didn't actually have the speed that others had throughout the race?
"We build our race cars to do that. You have to look at the end of the race and checkered flag and race your race backwards. I think we understand how we need to make our cars to be successful on that last stint and how our cars need to be for the whole race.
"Honestly, we didn't have the speed the 48 or 20 had in the middle of the race. Had a tire come apart, actually, and fell back a little ways," he said. "But definitely had a strategy for how we wanted to end the race, and when the caution comes, and we're able to play that strategy and definitely find speed in our race car.
|Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs|
He also discussed the team's unique position to lock out other teams since they've won consecutive races during a single round, a feat not previously achieved since the new Chase format was implemented.
"We talked about it at the team meeting ahead of time and we've talked about it all week because the opportunity after you win Charlotte is that winners go on, and if you can go ahead and lock everybody else out, it puts everybody else that's a Chase contender on edge going to Talladega. It's a great advantage. We'll take what we can. I haven't had a Chase race at Talladega needing to perform there with a win here last year, and this team has done a great job of making sure that everybody else has to," Gordon said.
On edge at Talladega? That isn't exactly a place where a driver wants to be "on edge." Rest assured that at least 11 other drivers will want to make sure that Logano's advantage means nothing as the teams head to their final restrictor-plate race of the season. Hang on, fans. It's going to be a bumpy ride!