Joey Logano did not win last week at Dover but he did the next best thing. He scored the second-most points and left with a 31-point advantage over the bubble heading into the wildly uncertain race at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC).
A second-place finish in Stage 1, fourth in Stage 2, and third overall combined for 50 points. Kevin Harvick – who won both stages and finished sixth – scored 51. The winner Chase Elliott had 48.
Stage racing has forced drivers to approach every race differently. With up to 20 points available in the stages, Logano is aware that he can lose ground throughout the race – not just at the end.
“We don’t really change the way we speedway race depending on what our points situation is” Logano told Jeff Burton this week on NASCAR America. “We want to go out there and race hard and try and score as many points as possible and stay up front.”
Aggression is needed to win but it comes with risk. Fighting for stage points requires one to race hard to be among the top 10 all day. With the ever-present threat of a multi-car crash, one must accumulate points while they can because there is no guarantee about the finish.
“We either win or we crash because that is the way it seems you have to race to win at these superspeedways,” Logano said.
Logano has won three of the last eight Talladega races. On three other occasions, he has finished 25th or worse with crash damage.
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