Logano looks to continue CMS dominance at Coca-Cola 600
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) Joey Logano has shown he has a pretty good feel for the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Now the question is whether he can go the distance - 600 miles, that is.
Logano looks to complete a ''Joey sweep'' at CMS at the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night after winning last October's 400-mile playoff race and the Sprint Cup All-Star race here last weekend.
The 26-year-old will start on the front row alongside pole sitter Martin Truex Jr. for the longest and most grueling NASCAR race of the year.
He's hoping the momentum from winning the All-Star race carries over after his previous three Sprint Cup races ended with crashes.
''It is nice to break through after three tough weekends and be able to break through and get that first victory of the year,'' Logano said. ''Even though it was the All-Star Race and it didn't count for points, we really want to win this Coca-Cola 600.''
Logano is eighth in the Sprint Cup point standings and has three top-five finishes in 12 races, but he is still searching for his first points race victory of the season.
In fact, he hasn't won since winning three straight races in the Chase for the Cup contender round of the playoffs last year, a string of 16 straight races.
But Logano said his confidence is running high given his recent success at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
''It's become one of our best race tracks, for sure,'' Logano said. ''Any time you go to the race track and the last two races you've run you've won, that makes you feel good and obviously gives you a lot of confidence going into the race.''
Logano likes that he'll have a premier pit stall for the race.
''You look at 600 miles and you may say qualifying doesn't matter much, but we're going to spend a lot of time on pit road in this race, so the pit stall is going to mean a lot to us,'' Logano said. ''We'll have a good one. We won't have as good of a one as if we were able to get the pole, but we'll get the second best stall in our opinion. Overall, our car has speed. It's transferred over from last weekend.''
ROUSH FENWAY RACING: All three Roush Fenway Racing drivers - Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Greg Biffle - qualified in the top 10.
''That's kind of back to where we were in 2011, '12 when things were looking up for us,'' Bayne said. ''We're glad to be headed the right direction.''
Bayne could be a dark horse to watch on Sunday night. He has worked his way up to 18th in the standings. He is running well at CMS, racing his way into the All-Star event last week by winning one of the three Sprint Showdown segments.
He finished seventh in the All-Star race after running as high as fourth.
JIMMIE'S STRUGGLES: Jimmie Johnson was once the most dominant driver at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning five of six Sprint Cup races here from 2003-05. But the track hasn't been kind to Johnson as of late. He has finished 17th, 40th and 39th in his last three starts.
However, with two wins under his belt already this season it's hard to count out the six-time Cup champion.
''Yeah, it's been a while'' since winning here, Johnson said. ''We all love racing here. Hendrick Motorsports has quite a history here. Our race shop is just a mile down the road and it is wonderful news that (Rick) Hendrick just got inducted into the Hall of Fame. A win here would be great.''
ANYBODY'S RACE: The Coca-Cola 600 has proven to be anyone's race in recent years. There have been 10 different drivers to win the past 12 races. That list doesn't include Tony Stewart, who has been shut out in this race during his career.
GRUELING RACE: The race is the longest of the year, with 400 laps on the 1.5-mile course.
''The hardest part mentally is just getting yourself to overcome that last hundred miles because you are used to the 400- or 500-mile races,'' Sprint Cup leader Kevin Harvick said.
The race normally takes about four to five hours to complete.
REMEMBERING THE FALLEN: The drivers will participate in the ''600 Miles of Remembrance'' on Memorial Day weekend, which honors military service members and their families. Each driver's car will feature the name of a different fallen military member written across the front windshield.