For the third straight trip to Martinsville Speedway, Joey Logano failed to capitalize on winning the pole.
Still looking for his first win of the season after earning a series-best six wins in 2015, Logano led the field for 21 laps Sunday in the STP 500.
But after Lap 21, the day spiraled out of Logano’s control. Wear on his right-rear tire helped send the No. 22 falling through the field. By Lap 76, Logano was lapped by eventual race winner Kyle Busch.
“It seems like this tire kind of threw us for a loop today, or at least for our car,” Logano said after finishing 11th. “The first run was just absolutely awful to go down a lap from the lead, so we fought to get our car better, which we did, and then we over adjusted and came back and over adjusted on the way back, and then we had a pit road penalty.”
The team was called for an uncontrolled tire on pit road on Lap 385, sending Logano to the back of the field. Logano was able to put himself back on the lead lap, but not without his Ford suffering significant damage to his right-rear and to his hood.
During the final green-flag run, sheet metal placed on his hood for repairs began standing straight up, obscuring his view of the track.
“I was pretty much blindfolded on that one,” Logano told Fox Sports 1. “That was hard. I just relied on my spotter Tab (Boyd) to tell me where cars were in front of me so I didn’t run over someone and just stared at the curb. We were lucky to be able to limp it home after that.”
With his 11th-place finish, Logano exits Martinsville fifth in the points despite not having a win. Logano has earned three top-10 finishes.