TALLADEGA, Ala. – Spoiler alert!
Joey Logano could have a substantive effect on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff—even though he failed to qualify for the postseason.
Logano has won the past two fall races at Talladega Superspeedway, and a third victory would change the chemistry of the Playoff. As it stands now, with Martin Truex Jr. taking the checkered flag at Charlotte Motor Speedway, at least five drivers will advance to the Playoff’s Round of 8 on points.
If Logano or any other non-Playoff driver wins Sunday’s Alabama 500 (2 p.m. ET on NBC)—or if Truex wins a second straight race—that number increases to six. And in an otherwise troubled year for the No. 22 Team Penske Ford team, Logano believes Talladega provides the best opportunity for a victory in the final six races.
Don’t expect Logano to cut the Playoff drivers any slack. He’d love to play spoiler at a track where the nature of restrictor-plate racing amplifies the number of potential winners.
“I’m wired one way,” Logano said. “I’ve got one gear, and it’s wide-open. That’s all I’ve got, so, for me, it keeps it pretty simple. When I come to the superspeedways it’s go to the front and stay in the front, race hard, and I think that shows in our results. We either win or we crash, and I’m OK with that. I’ve said this a lot here the last few weeks that fifth, second, 15th, crashing, what’s the difference?
“It’s all about winning. That’s what we’re here to do, and that’s what we’re going to do is just to go out there and race for the win, and that means you’ve got to battle up front all day long, learn as much as you can about your car, get it as best as you can for the end of the race, know who is racing around you and go out there and try to win it.”