Sunday, October 9, 2016

Logano Emerges Victorious at Charlotte on Xfinity Elimination Day

Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images
CONCORD, N.C. – Although Joey Logano claimed the Xfinity Series race trophy at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Erik Jones was the real winner Sunday evening.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver managed to make the second round of the Chase, skirting out of the bottom four when Brennan Poole suffered battery issues. Jones was five points out of eighth coming into Charlotte and erased that gap with Poole’s issues and a consistent run.

Jones said he and his team “just ran a smart race, stayed up front all day, stayed out of trouble. We only had one mistake that got us back a little bit, but got a caution right away, got a lucky break and finished where we needed to.”

He added, “I think we had a car that probably could have went up and contended with Kyle [Larson, who had a strong car], but we were just taking it pretty easy for the most part and doing what we needed to do today.”

Logano visited victory lane after taking the lead from Larson on a late-race restart. The Team Penske driver, who failed to finish the Sprint Cup race earlier that afternoon, admitted his car wasn’t perfect. However, his crew put him in a position to win.

“We had a good car – maybe not the best car … but the pit crew did their job to keep us in position to make an awesome restart there at the end,” Logano said, adding, “It was kind of an all-or-nothing move, to be able to get the lead and ultimately to hold him off and get the checkered flag. It was a lot of fun to be able to do that.”

Unfortunately, four drivers didn’t have fun at Charlotte; Ty Dillon, Ryan Sieg, Brandon Jones and Poole all failed to advance to the next round of the Chase. Dillon was particularly upset, saying he was “heartbroken” about not advancing. Because these four missed the cut line, drivers like Blake Koch and Ryan Reed move on to the Round of 8.

A dramatic day at Charlotte Motor Speedway ended with Logano taking the No. 12 car to victory lane, and the Sprint Cup Series regular is proud of Team Penske for making gains in both series. He plans on seizing chances at winning as they come – and he hopes they come often.

“I think circumstances have worked out pretty well with the 12 car,” he said. “When we’ve had opportunities to win, we’ve won and I think that’s something that’s fun to do with this group of guys.”


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