Joey Logano enters the second round of the playoffs seeded sixth with 14 bonus points.
His confidence level is high, but he admits to having an up-and-down relationship with the tracks.
“Dover’s probably the one that concerns me the most,” Logano said on Wednesday’s NASCAR America. “It hasn’t been our best race track in the past. And that being said, it hasn’t been a really bad one for us. We’ve run in the top 10 a lot.”
Logano has 10 top-10 finishes in 19 starts, but only three of these have been top fives with a best of third on two occasions (2010 and 2013). His latest Dover top 10 came in 2016.
“But as we talked about earlier, top 10s aren’t really going to do it for you,” Logano said. “You’ve got to be able to go out there and win races at times.”
Getting off to a strong start is important in each playoff round because it lessens some of the pressure in the second and third races. That is especially true in this round, which includes Talladega Superspeedway.
Logano won the spring race there, which is one of three victories since the beginning of the 2015 season. Three of his other four races in that span on the track ended with crash damage and results of 25th or worse.
“It’s a good race track for us, but it’s either we’ve run good or we’ve crashed,” Logano said. “There’s no in between. We don’t really finish 10th or 12th every now and again there. It’s either we finish first, second, third, or we crash.”
If Logano clears those hurdles, he expects Kansas to be his best track among the next three.
“Then we go on to Kansas where we’ve won a couple of times there and I feel more confident about that race track than I do about Dover at this point,” Logano said.
He has a reason to feel confident. Since joining Team Penske, Logano has won twice at Kansas and finished in the top five seven times in 11 starts.
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