BROOKLYN, Mich. – Far from being disappointed with his third-place finish in Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Joey Logano was positively beaming when he walked into the media center to answer questions after the race.
The reason? After a series of calamities and ill-handling cars over the past month or so, Logano was simply looking for a trouble-free race. On Sunday, he got it—and then some.
After a restart with five laps left, Logano traded paint with Denny Hamlin to secure the third spot and felt fortunate to get it.
“We made the most possible out of our car,” Logano said. “The only way we were going to do better is something crazy happening in front of me and sneak by to get the lead. That was the only way I was going to do it.
“We had a 10th-place car. We finished third with it. Proud of that. We had a rough month and a half. We stopped the bleeding today. I’m proud of that, as well. You know, you’re right, it’s not a win. But all things considered, over the last month or so, it feels really nice just to stop the bleeding.”
The third-place finish boosted Logano to 10th in the series standings, 242 points behind series leader and Michigan winner Kyle Larson. Logano has one victory this season, at Richmond, but it doesn’t count toward qualification for the playoffs because it’s an encumbered win (accompanied by penalty).
But Sunday’s result was the next best thing to a trip to Victory Lane.
“It feels great,” Logano said. “You have no idea how good this feels. It feels like a win.”
If Logano had won the race, he would have made an announcement in the winner’s circle. As it turned out, he had to resort to Twitter to inform the racing community of an upcoming blessed event.
“Wanted to announce this in Victory Lane,” Logano tweeted. “Thrilled to say (wife) Brittany and I are expecting a Little Logano on 1/11/18.”