By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
HOMESTEAD, Fla.—Joey Logano sat on pit road in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford for what seemed an eternity, as his crewman tried in vain to get a jack under the left side of the car.
After a superb run in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, a performance in which he had two victories and accumulated more points than any other title competitor through nine Chase races, Logano’s hopes for a title disappeared with the catastrophic mistake on pit road.
On Lap 249 of 267 in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 Championship 4 Round race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Logano brought his car to pit road for the money stop. After routine work on the right side of the No. 22 Ford, the car slipped off the jack as the team prepared to change tires on the left side.
Logano’s crew frantically tried to lift the car high enough to slide the jack under the left side but lost precious seconds in the process. When the stop was finally completed, Logano was 29th in the running order, with his hope of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship all but gone.
Logano described his emotions as he sat in the car—and waited.
“I was pretty pissed off, if that is an emotion,” Logano said.
Logano advanced to 16th place by the end of the race, but with Kevin Harvick winning the race and the series title, and with Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin finishing second and seventh, respectively, Logano was credited with fourth in the final Sprint Cup standings.
“I didn’t say it was over,” Logano said of his attitude after the disastrous pit stop. “We didn’t give up. At that point, I was trying to pass as many cars as we could and really hoped those guys (the other three championship contenders) wrecked each other. That’s all I had going for me at that point.
“When you’re that far back, 24th or 25th, you can’t make that up with 12 (laps) to go, or whatever it was. It’s just too hard to make that up. All you can do is try. It was an amazing opportunity to be here, and it would be dumb to give up. You keep trying, and hopefully something happens. We put ourselves in that boat to have to be able to pull that out. It was too hard.”