At one point this year, Joey Logano looked like a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship favorite. He had eight top six finishes through the first nine races of the season. He celebrated in victory lane at Richmond and appeared locked and loaded for a championship run.
Since, he’s looking pedestrian. In fact, his grasp on the playoffs are slipping further and further by the week. The stats may say he has a victory this year, but the win actually doesn’t count. His car was found to be illegal and his win was encumbered.
Since that decision, Logano has had eight finishes outside the top 20 in 12 starts. That has him back in 13th in the Cup standings, but by virtue of having 13 other winners, he’s 18th in the current playoff grid.
We take 16.
That has him two spots out, as he’s a wide 69 points behind the playoff bubble. That more than one full race and we have just five races left in the regular season. Translation, he needs to win.
Maybe that happens this weekend at Watkins Glen for the I Love New York 355 (3 p.m. ET/NBCSN/MRN). Most people would say AJ Allmendinger or Kyle Busch or someone like that is a favorite, but what about Logano?
He’s ran the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at the New York road course the last two years and he’s won each of them. He’s also been pretty good in the Cup side too. Logano, has finished either first or second the last two years there and has five top seven finishes over his last six starts there.
Will they have the speed in the No. 22 Ford to get him to victory lane and get himself back in the playoffs?