Mission accomplished for Joey Logano on Sunday in Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, VA — Joey Logano was the only driver among the Round of 8 coming into Sunday’s Xfinity 500 knowing that he’d race for a championship next Sunday in Phoenix. The other 7 drivers were racing for the final 3 spots to join him there. That’s exactly the reason to why Logano had a simple plan in mind for how he’d like to get out of the elimination race to the third round.

Don’t piss anyone off and ensure no tires fell off his car to risk further penalties.

“It’s an interesting position to be in when you’re already locked in, but you’re in the mix of it out there,” he admitted. “You have the transfer spot that’s essentially you at that moment when Denny was behind me. I’m like, Oh, man, everyone hates me in I’m in the way or if I let him go.

“It’s kind of just one of those positions to be in there. Just tried to manage it the best I could. Overall Martinsville, what did you expect there at the end? The last corner, I didn’t expect that piece. I’m not sure anybody did. It was pretty crazy.

“Overall we accomplished, the 22 team, what we set out today. We wanted to keep momentum, make sure our pit stops were really good. They were on fire today. We didn’t want to make any enemies and wanted to keep my crew chief, the team together for next week.

“All missions were accomplished, even with some adversity with the fire today. All worked out.”

He was in the mix late and did exactly what he said to bring home his No. 22 Ford in 7th. Now, after two weeks of just showing up, can he turn it back on at Phoenix?

“Yeah, I feel great about our chances,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t really care who else is in. It’s about the 22 team winning a second title. That’s what it’s about.

“We just got to do our job and stay focused on us. Like I said, today we did what we needed to do to be prepared. We’ve had three weeks to think about our race car and how we want to play the race out, how we want to run practice.

“We’ve had the opportunity to really, really dive deep into Phoenix, so we’ll take that to our advantage and move on.”

This is his 5th Championship 4 appearances which is more than the other three combined (Chase Elliott 3, Christopher Bell, Ross Chastain each with 0). He’s the only one in their 30’s to race for the title too.

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