Teenage rookie Joey Logano has put himself in a strong position for the Daytona 500 after his impressive performance in Thursday's Gatorade Duel.
The 18-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing driver suffered a tough start to speedweeks when he was involved in an early wreck during the Budweiser Shootout last weekend, but then rebounded in dramatic style during his Gatorade Duel race with a fine run to fourth place.
That means he will start the 500 on Sunday from ninth on the grid in the #20 Home Depot Toyota and he admitted that a solid run in the Duel had set him up well for the event, with time on track in a racing environment being vital ahead of the weekend.
“I think we accomplished everything we needed to do with the Home Depot Toyota,” he said. “Our main goal [in the Duel] was to go out there and finish the race. That was more than we got in the Shootout. Just kind of keep going, gain some respect from these guys like I've been saying all week. I feel like we accomplished that. We can work on our car a little bit more and get ready for the 500.
“I think it's a really big deal [to get a race under my belt]. Just working with those guys, getting used to, from what I say, to adjustments, you know, just working like that. It takes a little bit, but I feel like we're getting there.”
Logano worked closely with team-mate Kyle Busch during the Friday practice sessions, with Busch going on track in the #20 car as the pair worked to perfect the package ahead of the race.