Texas Motor Speedway

Joey Logano feeling good about his car ahead of AAA Texas 500

Joey Logano, currently fifth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings, said his “team is in a good spot” ahead of Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Joey Logano, currently fifth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings, said his “team is in a good spot” ahead of Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. AP

Joey Logano wasn’t happy about narrowly missing the pole for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500, but he is able to take solace in knowing how good his No. 22 Ford has performed at Texas Motor Speedway.

That was evident Friday when he qualified second for the race, and in Saturday’s practice where Logano had the ninth-fastest car.

“We are mad about second, and that is when you know your team is in a good spot,” Logano said.

Logano, however, isn’t in a good spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings. He’s fifth in points with two races remaining before the field is cut to four. Logano also is going to have to overcome some tricky TMS history to improve his chances.

In 16 starts at the track, the Team Penske driver has six top-five finishes, including one win in 2014, with an average finish of 17.5. While the results haven’t always been perfect, Logano does enjoy racing at TMS.

This place is awesome. It is a lot of fun and super fast.

Joey Logano on Texas Motor Speedway

“This place is awesome,” he said. “It is a lot of fun and super fast. You can move around and do so many different things. It is a great place to race.

“Our team is tough, and we showed speed in qualifying the last couple weeks. I think this AAA [Ford] Fusion has a lot of speed in race trim. I am excited. It is a fun track to race, and is really racey as well.”

Blaney, Keselowski top practice times

Ryan Blaney posted the fastest time in practice Saturday morning, with a lap of 188.515 mph. Brad Keselowski, who was eliminated from the Chase in the round of 12, was the fastest car in Happy Hour with a lap of 190.685 mph.

Pole-sitter Austin Dillon was 25th in the first practice and 11th in Happy Hour.

Jimmie Johnson, the only driver who has guaranteed a spot in the championship round, was 16th in the first practice and 15th in Happy Hour.

Of the eight drivers still alive for the championship, seven were in the top 20 in Happy Hour practice. The lone exception was Kevin Harvick, who was 28th on the speed charts. Harvick also struggled in the morning practice, sitting 30th.

Lost stalls

Chaser Denny Hamlin lost his pit stall selection for Sunday’s race because of a fourth written warning for an inspection violation. He wasn’t alone in getting penalized, as violations will also cost Greg Biffle and Trevor Bayne pit stall selections for the race.

Pit stall selections are based on the qualifying results. Hamlin will now pit in the middle of the Turn 1 stretch.

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