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Joey Logano looks to go back-to-back in the Phoenix spring race

Joey Logano hopes to put his Ford Mustang in the winner's circle at Phoenix for the third time on Sunday. Photo:ared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Joey Logano hopes to put his Ford Mustang in the winner's circle at Phoenix for the third time on Sunday. Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images.
Ted Fleming
EXPERT

It’s only a matter of time before Joey Logano breaks through with his first win of the season. After all, he's had at least one every year since 2014 when he drove for Joe Gibbs Racing. There would be no better time to do it than at a track where he has found victory lane twice, including the spring event last year when he knocked off Kevin Harvick in overtime. He led 60 laps, including the last 24.

Read more: NASCAR at Phoenix: TV schedule, start times, entry list

The 2018 NASCAR Cup Series champion is coming off a top-ten finish at Las Vegas, where he ran tight for most of the race. Logano was in a good spot when he pitted for the final time, taking on four tires and fuel, but the race stayed green the rest of the afternoon, and he could not chase down the leaders.

“We just weren’t as fast as we wanted to be today,” Joey Logano said after the race.

“There’s a little bit of confusion at the moment to figure out exactly where it is and what we need to do better. There are two different theories, and hopefully, we can figure out what those are, but, overall, we tried some strategy stuff to get up there in a stage, led a couple laps, but fell off on the older tires, and then tried some more strategy stuff with tires to try to pass two cars, and it just seemed like we were a ninth-place car. That’s where we were on the long runs; it’s just where we were. We’ve got a little bit of work to do to make up that difference, but it’s a top-10 finish. Hopefully, it keeps us up towards the front in points. We didn’t get many stage points. I’m not sure where we’re at yet, but we’ll head off to Phoenix.”

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Can Joey Logano put a Ford in the winner's circle again?

Now in his 13th full-time season, the 30-year-old Joey Logano has something in his favor heading to Phoenix Raceway. He is driving a Ford, which has dominated at this track, winning 17 times. A year ago, the brand was out front in 210 of the 316 laps in the spring event.

Joey Logano struggled at Phoenix following his first win in the fall 2016 event, failing to break into the top-ten until 2019. He has been tenth or better four times in his last four outings and has led 278 laps. Last year, in the final race of the 2020 campaign, he led for 125 laps and finished third.

Read more: Actor Jason Biggs named Grand Marshal of NASCAR race at Phoenix

Since Roger Penske’s first season in 1991, Joey Logano has done something no other team driver has done: win twice at Phoenix. Team Penske has won only three times at the Arizona venue, and you have to go back to 1998 when Rusty Wallace took his No. 2 Ford to the winner’s circle.

Edited by Utathya Ghosh
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