The 1.5-mile tracks have experienced a renaissance with the Next Gen car in 2022, which has included lots of passing, lead changes, and thrilling finishes. Most thought it would be the same at Texas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race. It wasn’t.
After finishing fourth, Joey Logano visited with reporters following the race and was asked his thoughts on the track. He promptly summed it up with a look and a few words.
Joey Logano finishes fourth in All-Star Race
Joey Logano won the All-Star Race and the million-dollar prize in 2016 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He hoped to do it again at Texas and found himself in the top 5 late but couldn’t ever make his way close enough to the front and challenge Penske teammate and race leader Ryan Blaney.
He finished fourth and talked about his race with reporters following the controversial ending.
“If you’re not on the front row, you’re not going to pass two cars unless they run into each other,” he said. “Considering their teammates, it’s probably not going to happen. Dirty air is just miserable tonight. Really really hard to pass. Unless you can have the tire advantage like the 11 had to get himself in position on the front row at the end, that’s the only way you’re going to have a chance to beat the top two cars. Just stuck for the rest of the race right there in the third or fourth spot.”
Sums up thoughts on Texas Motor Speedway with look and a few words
What Logano described at Texas is completely the opposite of what drivers and fans have seen on the other 1.5-mile tracks this season with the Next Gen car.
Las Vegas featured passing, numerous lead changes, and finished with Alex Bowman making a pit strategy call late that put him upfront and held on to win the race.
A couple of weeks later, it was a carbon copy on the newly reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway with William Byron holding off Christopher Bell and Ross Chastain on the final lap. Kansas. The same thing as Kurt Busch out-dueled Kyle Larson for the win.
Texas. Not so much.
Logano summed up how the drivers felt when a reporter asked him what it is about Texas and why it was so difficult to pass. He smiled, looked at a couple of reps standing nearby, and responded without responding.
“I probably shouldn’t comment,” he said with a laugh before walking away.
Joey Logano and pit crew earn win at Texas
While the racing wasn’t what Logano or anyone else expected or hoped for, the 2018 Cup Series champion and his team did get a win during the race in the pit stop competition held between the second and third stages, and earned a $100,000 bonus and the third starting position for the final stage. He acknowledged that was unquestionably the best moment of the event for him.
“Absolutely the highlight of the night,” Logano said. “It was fantastic to see the pit crew level up when it mattered the most and knock one out. Everybody did a good job. And the fun part about that it’s everything. It’s rolling time. It’s setting the dash right. It’s getting in and out of the stall and the pit crew doing their job. With nothing to lose in the position we were in, it was all or nothing. The bummer part is your restart third. I guess maybe that’s just me being greedy. I should just be happy starting toward the front.”
He should have been happy starting near the front but knew it wouldn’t matter because it was next to impossible to pass. The All-Star Race at Texas didn’t deliver like the other 1.5-mile tracks have done this year. How NASCAR fixes the issue is what many will ask going forward. Unfortunately, it won’t be fixed in time for the fall playoff race in September. After that, anything and everything should be on the table.