Joey Logano was the rubber band man in Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Logano started the 267-lap race from the pole, led 44 laps, fell out of the top 10 about two-thirds of the way through, then bounced back for a strong fourth-place finish.
It was his best showing in six career starts at the 1.5-mile, progressively banked Sin City racetrack. His previous best had been sixth in 2010 during his second of four seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing.
“It was hurtful, for sure,” Logano said of having to give up the lead. “Once we lost our track position there, it was so loose and so hard to pass. It was even hard for me to pass lapped cars out there.
“We kept swinging at it. Todd (crew chief Todd Gordon) did a good job making adjustments, swinging for the fence with this thing with spring rubbers, track bars, wedge, air pressure. Everything we could change, we changed. It still wasn’t quite good enough at the end to race with those guys. But we got the car good enough and had a good enough restart at the end to get it into the top five.”
Now in his second season with Penske Racing, Logano continues to show marked improvement. Not only did he make the Chase for the Sprint Cup (finished eighth), he’s off to a strong start in 2014.
He finished 11th in the season-opening Daytona 500 and has strung together back-to-back fourth-place finishes last week at Phoenix and again Sunday at Las Vegas, three spots behind race winner and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski.
“It’s still a solid season for us, a couple top fives and the pole to start the weekend,” Logano said. “We have speed and just have to fine tune it a little bit better. Bristol is a good track for us coming up and we’re looking forward to going there.”
Follow me @JerryBonkowski