Joey Logano won the last NASCAR Cup Series race before the season went on hiatus in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and he’s hoping to win the first one back. But it won’t be easy.
The series is restarting Sunday, May 17, at Darlington Raceway, a challenging banked oval with a rough surface that’s known as The Track Too Tough to Tame. And if running it without practice or qualifying wasn’t enough, the forecast is for hot and humid weather at start time.
Logano won the NASCAR Cup race at Phoenix Raceway on March 8.
“Why not, right? Why not be one of the toughest if not the toughest race track that we go to be the first one that we go back to after two months and let’s not have practice and, yea, let’s make it 90 degrees,” Logano said.
“Boy, if that doesn’t put on a good show for race fans. I’d tune in to watch that mess. It’s gonna be something.”
Since the drivers won’t have any idea how their cars are handling until they take the checkered flag, NASCAR has a planned competition caution scheduled for lap 30 that’ll freeze the field so they can take longer pit stops to make adjustments.
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Some are expecting those first laps to be cautious ones. Kurt Busch suggested, “We all need to drive down there at an 80 percent level and then ramp up our percentage of aggressiveness as the race moves forward,” and Logano said that sounds great, but not for the same reasons.
“Maybe they will, I hope they do, because I’m not. I’m going for it. If I see blood in the water and people running at 80 percent, I’m taking advantage of them all day,” Logano said.
After a random draw to set the lineup, Logano will be starting in ninth position and said he knows you can’t win the race early on, but he and his team are aggressive, maybe too much so:
“That’s where I live, that’s where I want to be. No need to change it now.”
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