The Race Recap: Joey Logano and the No. 20 GameStop team finished second in Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, AL. Logano, who qualified seventh, ran as low as 28th and as high as second while feeling his car out during the early portion of the race. The GameStop team had to fix damage to the nose of the car early on, but through pit strategy, was able to keep the car competitive and near the front. Logano and the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team hooked up with a number of different drivers during the race and was content on being a pusher. His Toyota allowed him to be a pusher by running cool enough to keep from having to do what has been referred to “the switch.” However, near the end of the event, Logano was finally able to pair up with teammate Kyle Busch, who had survived an earlier accident with just minor damage. Over the race’s final laps, Logano and Busch survived the carnage and made their way to the front of the field, with Logano pushing Busch to the lead. Ultimately, it was Busch going to Victory Lane while Logano and the GameStop Toyota team settled for second, a one-two sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing. With the second-place finish, the No. 20 JGR team retained its lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owners point standings, 13 points up on the No. 18 team and 15 points ahead of the No. 60. However, as of now, the No. 20 team is not scheduled to race next weekend in Nashville.
Joey’s Quotes: “Our GameStop Toyota was solid today. I don’t know if we were the best car, but you don’t need to be the best car here. You just need to put yourself in a position to win the race and we did. Our car was better pushing all day, so that is what we did. Finally, we got hooked up with Kyle there at the end of the race and were able to work together and get up there to the front and push him to the win. I would have really liked to have been given the chance to race back to the line to see what might have happened, but when I saw a car flipping in my mirror I knew it was over. Who knows, if we would have raced back maybe neither of us would have won because the other line was coming with some speed. I wish the No. 20 GameStop Toyota could have won this race because the guys deserved it, but if not us, I guess best for another JGR car to win.
“We fought from behind a lot today. We got shuffled back on the first run and no one would work with us. Finally, we got a caution and got hooked up with a good car and we were battling back to the front. I was able to push Reed (Sorenson) to the lead. Then we went to the back again because we had a hole in the nose and the crew took the proper time to fix it right. But, after another caution, we got hooked up with a good car and was headed back to the front. There at the end, Kyle and I talked on the radio and we were going to work together to get to the front, but then he got in the big wreck. They got his car fixed and we were still able to hook up and head towards the front.
“I think I need to have a new nickname… maybe like the ‘bulldozer’ or something. This is the third-straight Nationwide Series Talladega race that I’ve pushed the eventual race winner to the win. First it was (David) Ragan, then (Brad) Keselowski and now Kyle. I need to get some paybacks and get pushed to the win one of these times. But it was a good day for the GameStop Toyota. Just be nice to win one of these things.”
Adam’s Quotes: “I’m really proud of Joey and the whole GameStop team today. That win for Kyle felt like a win for the whole organization. In fact, after the race, the whole No. 18 team came down to our pit stall to give us high fives. I wish the GameStop Toyota was in victory lane, but if not us, I’m glad it’s one of our teammates.
“We had a wild afternoon. We went back to the front to the back to the front. Joey never gave up behind the wheel and the guys did their job getting the car fixed and getting us out with fast stops. We had some damage that we needed to fix and they got it done and got it done right. I’m really proud of them. This was a total team effort to finish second today. At the end of the day, our car looked like it just finished at a short track and not a superspeedway. But it’s all about getting to the front and with our driver, we were able to do that. I’m looking forward to getting back to Daytona with our restrictor plate program.”
What’s Next: The No. 20 GameStop Toyota has several weeks off before its next race on May 14th at Dover International Speedway.