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Seventh – And a Boatload of Experience for Logano

Z-Line Designs Driver Joey Logano Scores Seventh Top-10 in 2008

Joey Logano
Joey Logano
Joey Logano fought a tight condition throughout most of Saturday’s Carfax 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway, but the 18-year old rookie managed to rally to a solid seventh-place finish.

Logano, driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), has now scored seven top-10 finishes in eight Nationwide Series starts.

“It was okay,” Logono said of his day. “We just couldn't get the Z-Line Designs Toyota where we needed it to be. We started each run off really, really tight and went backwards really quick. We kept working on it and we'd get a little closer – then we'd fall off. We'd get a little closer, then we'd fall off again.”

The Z-Line Designs crew, led by crew chief Jason Ratcliff, pulled a left rear spring rubber on the first pit stop and tinkered with wedge adjustments on the final two pit stops, but never could quite get the car loose enough for Logano to compete with the top-five drivers. That said, his crew managed to gain him several spots on the final two pit stops, including moving him from 13th to eighth on the final pit stop.

“The pit stops were great,” Logano said. “That kept us in it. That was really cool. We needed one more caution and one more pit stop to make something happen – to free it up even more and we didn't have an opportunity to do it.”

Perhaps more important to Logano, rather than the seventh-place finish, was the valuable experience he gained at the 2-mile Michigan International Speedway–the longest and fastest track the young driver has ever competed on.

“I learned a lot about aero-stuff today,” Logano said. “What to do, where to run. The draft is really big (at Michigan). You haul the mail and then you get right next to another car and it’s like hitting the brakes. The draft is a big deal and I learned a lot today."

The seventh-place finish propelled the 18 car, which has run only a partial schedule so far this season, up two spots to 27th in the owner standings.

There were six caution periods for 21 laps, with nine drivers failing to finish the 125-lap race.

Carl Edwards scored his 16th career Nationwide Series victory, his third of the season and his first at Michigan by winning the Carfax 250. Brian Vickers, Logano’s JGR teammate Tony Stewart, Mark Martin and Greg Biffle secured the rest of the top-five. Mike Bliss, Logano, Jason Leffler, Kelly Bires and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

The next event on the Nationwide Series schedule is the Aug. 22 Food City 250 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 8 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN2 beginning with its pre-race show at 7:30 p.m. The race will also be broadcast live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 128.

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