Joey Logano salvages day for Team Penske, finishes fifth

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While Brad Keselowski’s late mechanical failure and crash ruined his Eliminator Round opener at Martinsville Speedway, Team Penske is still in early position to advance to the Sprint Cup Championship Race thanks to a fifth-place run from Keselowski’s teammate, Joey Logano.

As Logano explained in post-race, his No. 22 Ford was a handful throughout the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500. But an excellent final restart following a four-tire stop under caution helped him secure an important result.

That, plus Dale Earnhardt Jr. keeping Logano’s Chase rival, Jeff Gordon, from winning today, made Logano feel relatively fine about how things played out.

It’s good the 88 [Earnhardt] won and not the 24 [Gordon],” he said. “We just weren’t fast enough with our Shell/Pennzoil Ford. We didn’t have the lateral, forward drive that I needed off the corner and every time we tried to fix that, the center didn’t turn. We just couldn’t get the handle on it all day.”

“We took four there [under the final caution] and restarted 13th but got to fifth. I was just a little bit too tight there that last run to get a couple more spots. Overall, it was another Top-5, which is great.  We’ve been Top-Fiving the heck out of this Chase, which is what we need to do.

“I just really want to win these things so you take a little bit of pressure off, but it was still a good points day.”

Logano is now third on the Chase Grid at three points over the fifth-place Championship cutoff going into next Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, where he won over Gordon in green-white-checkered this past spring.

When asked if it was a tough decision for him and crew chief Todd Gordon to pit with less than 10 laps remaining, Logano noted what happened to Tony Stewart and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

They, along with David Ragan, opted to stay out under that last caution for the top three track positions. But the trio couldn’t hold back those with fresh rubber when the race restarted with five laps left.

“The 14 [Stewart] stayed out on old tires and finished fourth,” Logano said. “The second-place car that stayed out was the 17 [Stenhouse] and he ended up way back there (15th place), so I think we did the right thing there.”

IMSA at Mid-Ohio Sunday: How to watch, schedules, TV, stream info

IMSA Mid-Ohio schedule
IMSA
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The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to a sprint as the circuit enters the stretch run of the 2020 season with a packed weekend schedule at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The Acura Sports Car Challenge will be a two-hour, 40-minute race around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio, for the DPi, GTLM and GTD classes.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar teams will practice Friday and Saturday. Qualifying will take place at 8 a.m. Sunday before a 2 p.m. green flag (same-day delay 11 p.m. ET, NBCSN; streaming on NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold) for the headlining race of a busy weekend.

There will be eight other races at Mid-Ohio across four series: the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, IMSA Prototype Challenge, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and the Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.

The GTLM class of IMSA’s top series will be short two entries with Porsche pulling out because of positive COVID-19 tests at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend.

This will mark the seventh race of the season. After Mid-Ohio, there are three events left for the premier DPi and four for the GT division, including two of the year’s longest (the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring season finale).

Here are the details for IMSA this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (all times are ET):


IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Mid-Ohio

WHEN: Sunday, 2 p.m.

TV:  11 p.m. (same-day delay), NBCSN (streaming link); 2 p.m. NBC Sports App (streaming link) / TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold

STREAM: NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold (live flag to flag starting at 2 p.m.)

RADIO: IMSA Radio will have live radio coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, as well as SiriusXM

RACE DISTANCE: Two hours and 40 minutes around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio.

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 81 degrees with a 1% chance of rain at the green flag.

ENTRY LIST: Click here for which WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams are racing at Mid-Ohio


IMSA Mid-Ohio weekend schedule

Friday

6:10-7:10 p.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Saturday

10:55 a.m.-12:10 p.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Sunday

8-9:05 a.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

2 p.m. — WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Sports Car Challenge