While Martin Truex Jr. was clearly the dominant force in the event, Team Penske demonstrated their capability to keep up with him at certain points during the race.
Initially, Ryan Blaney held the lead, but due to a subsequent penalty, his fellow teammate Logano now had the opportunity to challenge Truex for the victory.
He approached the back of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota closely, but could never position himself next to Truex after several restarts. He had to accept second place, finishing just four tenths behind at the end. This was Logano’s strongest finish since April, and it was not a coincidence. He was leading for a significant portion of the day.
Logano expressed his disappointment after the race, stating, “I believed I would have achieved something. Just before the caution was announced, when we had fresh tires on, it appeared that Truex took some time to pick up speed. I was closing in on him and thought to myself, I have an opportunity.”That caution came out right when I was thinking I could make a move on the outside into (Turn) 3.
“And it appeared that the cycles aided him in increasing his performance to the point where he could quickly regain momentum during the last few restarts.”Dangit, the home track, there’s no place you want to win more than this, so it stings to not get the Shell-Pennzoil Ford into Victory Lane. But gosh, second just sucks sometimes, you know. It stings the most when you’re that close and feeling like you had a shot at it. Still a good day for us.”
Loudon proved to be a positive move for the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, despite the defeat. This season, the team has experienced inconsistent performance, making it difficult to predict their outcomes.
“Yes, in terms of direction, it was a positive experience as we experimented with various approaches today,” he clarified. “We struggled in this area last year, so we decided to implement several different strategies. Some were more successful than others, but overall, we were able to consistently remain in the Top 5 throughout the day and have a chance to win.”
“We still have a significant amount of work ahead of us to become the frontrunner currently, but we are currently taking the appropriate measures.”