Joey Logano ends his Bristol weekend on a down note

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE - APRIL 09: Matt Crafton, driver of the #51 Biohaven/Jacob Co. Ford, spins in front of Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Todd Gilliland, driver of the #38 Speedy Cash Ford, after an on-track incident as Corey LaJoie, driver of the #7 NationsGuard Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, pass during the NASCAR Cup Series Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 09, 2023 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)


Saturday night at Bristol was a good one for Joey Logano, Sunday night not so much.

Saturday night Logano dominated the NASCAR Truck series race winning handily in a ThorSport Racing prepared machine leading a race high 138 laps.

In Sunday night’s Cup race, he only made it 96 of the scheduled 250. The winner of the first Bristol Dirt Race two years ago, Logano was making his way trough the field early but on lap 12 spun to avoid Bubba Wallace going around. Logano’s Ford slid backwards into the water barrels protecting the entrance to pit road, but he was able to continue.

On the restart after Stage 1 on lap 77 while running 14th Logano slid up into the outside wall and fell back. Twenty laps later, just after Daniel Suarez spun but continued; Logano slowed and pitted. The crew checked the car and found a broken A frame.

For the second time in the last six races, Logano was scored in last place with a DNF.

“Someone wrecked in front of me,” Logano said. “I can’t say I really saw it and they came down the racetrack and hit it with the right-front and it broke the steering and then I hit the wall really hard after that.  That just kind of killed our car.

“It’s a bummer.  We got caught up in pretty much everything from the beginning of the race.  I was in the first couple of cautions right off the bat.  We had a really good Mustang that could run its way back through the field and we got our way back to 14th by the end of the first stage and I was like, ‘Alright, I think we’re pretty good.’  And then just got caught up in more of them.”

Several cars had spun but were able to recover, including Suarez who spun just before Logano came in.

“There’s a lot of lanes,” Logano said. “It’s really slick and as the cars get more and more sideways they don’t really like it too much.  They really want to come around easy and you just see cars spin out, which is just a product of not being dirt cars.  I think that’s part of it, but when we do get to race it’s pretty entertaining.”

Logano was disappointed after the run he had the previous night, especially when comparing the track conditions.

“Comparable.  About the same,” he said.  “If anything, it’s probably rubbered in a little bit more, which we would expect. Obviously, it dried out pretty quick as we’d expect, but I think it’s pretty good right now.  The lesson I learned tonight is after they watered the track up top is not more grip.  That’s mud.  Not good.”

Greg Engle