Logano Brings Momentum to Richmond
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on September 6, 2013 | 10:00 A.M. EST
"The momentum that this team has got right now, it's hard not to have confidence right now. I feel like if we just do our deal, be smart." (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
RICHMOND, Va. - Joey Logano is heating up at the right time.
Just seven races ago, Logano sat 18th in points after coming off his second consecutive 40th-place finish of the season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. But in the last six races, Logano has scored six consecutive top 10s, including a win, to boost him up to eighth in the standings heading into Richmond as he looks to make the Chase for the first time in his career.
With the one victory, Logano sits in a good position for Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway and will clinch a top-10 berth in the Chase with a finish of 11th or better, 12th and at least one lap led, or 13th and the most laps led.
"A lot of scenarios can play out," Logano said. "You look at all the numbers, where you've got to finish, if this happens, that happens. We just have to do what we've been doing."
No other driver has scored more points and top 10s in the last six races than Logano. His win at Michigan International Speedway, which will earn him bonus points if he can make the top 10, was the start of three consecutive top-five finishes.
"(With) the momentum this team has right now, it's hard not to have confidence," Logano said. "We'll be aware of what's going on out there, what the bubble cars are doing. At the same time, we've got to run our race and get the best finish we can."
Last month, Logano tested with his teammate Brad Keselowski at Richmond International Raceway.
"We had a really good test," Logano said. "Our car is going to be pretty fast. We finished third here in the spring."
Clinching a spot in the Chase would come in not only Logano's first season with Penske Racing, but also in a year that saw the organization get hit with a 25-point penalty for both teams after infractions at Texas Motor Speedway.
"Going through what we've gone through this year with penalties, crazy races and everything that's happened ... to be sitting in the seat we're in right now, that's pretty good," Logano said. "I'm proud of that, no matter what happens.
"At the same time, it does mean a lot to get in this Chase - not only for me as a driver but for Penske Racing as a team. If you watch a race on TV, you notice the guys that are not in the race don't get any airtime. It's a big deal for the sponsor."
Logano's best Sprint Cup points finish, of 16th, came in 2010 when he recorded one win and had a good run over the final 10 races with six top 10s driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.
"I think in 2010, I would have finished third if I was in the Chase," Logano said. "So this is our opportunity. Make the most of it. It's one step at a time. We've got to get in first."
Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” – will have live coverage of Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 from Richmond International Raceway at 6:30 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MotorRacingNetwork.com.