Joey Logano is still on the outside looking in

BROOKLYN, MI - AUGUST 11: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 11, 2017 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, Mich.— With three races left before the playoffs start, Joey Logano is on the outside looking in. His failure to qualify so far is arguably the biggest surprise of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season in terms of performance.

He admitted at Michigan International Speedway to feeling desperate, but he sees the closing stretch of regular-season races as really good for him, particularly Bristol and Richmond.

“Bristol is probably one of our best racetracks as well, especially in the fall race,” said Logano, driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford Fusion.

He has two career wins at Bristol in 17 starts. He also has two wins at Richmond. He won there in the spring, but a rules violation meant the win was declared encumbered, so it does not lock him into the playoffs. Darlington is the only weak spot in the group. His average finish there is 18.4, and he has just two top 5 finishes in eight starts.

“I don’t look at that race track (Darlington) and say we don’t have a chance,” he said. “I feel like we’ll still be fine there, it just might be a little bit different.”

Logano is too far back to points-race his way in, so his team is likely to take aggressive chances to try to grab a win.

“Every moment becomes more and more important on the racetrack, and that’s OK,” he says. “That’s where you find out what you’re made of, so I’m all right with that.”

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