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Joey Logano: “It feels good to be towards the front again"

Logano has had a miserable start to the 2024 NASCAR Cup season, with just one top 10 finish in the first six races and four finishes of 22nd or worse, including a pair of DNFs.

He didn’t know quite what to expect going into Richmond, but the weekend got off to a surprisingly strong start when he advanced to the final round of qualifying on Saturday, which guaranteed a start in the top 10.

Sunday night’s race turned out to be just as good as Logano ran in the top 10 or top five virtually the entire race and thanks to a late race caution, he got one final overtime restart to try to steal a much-needed victory.

After dispatching his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin ended up holding Logano off by a scant 0.269 seconds but the runner-up finish – and clean race – was a welcome respite from his early-season struggles.

“I had a chance. I didn’t get a good enough restart,” Logano said. “I really wanted to pressure them down into (Turn) 1 and force them to work up Truex, but I spun my tires there just trying to stay with them and that ultimately cost me to be close enough to do something.

“It feels good to be towards the front again. We haven’t had a run like that in a while, but it also stings to be that close and not capitalize on the win. I guess I have mixed emotions.”

Logano has had tough starts to the year before, but this season has been particularly difficult.

Richmond’s result didn’t change much – he moved from 22nd to 19th in the series standings – but combined with a respectable 11th place run last weekend at Circuit of the Americas, he’s strung together his two best weeks of the season thus far.

“This is definitely the hardest start to a season we’ve had, but last week we started scratching and clawing and got a little bit of momentum and ultimately get to here to where we were in the hunt again,” Logano said. “It feels good.

“It’s Richmond. It’s a unique race track. It’s our best race track as a team, so we expect to run good here. I don’t know if this completely takes us out of the deep end, but I think ultimately, it’s a good momentum-builder for sure.”

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