Joey Logano was testing Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway with, ultimately, one goal in mind: to produce a grade-A result in the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on July 1.
Logano, the 2015 DAYTONA 500 champion, was one of five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers at DIS this week for a Goodyear Tire Test that also featured some aerodynamic exams overseen by NASCAR. Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford for Team Penske, was joined by Furniture Row Racing’s Erik Jones; 2008 DAYTONA 500 champion Ryan Newman of Richard Childress Racing; 2013 DAYTONA 500 polesitter Danica Patrick from Stewart-Haas Racing; and Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports.
Logano has a chance to join an elite list by winning at Daytona in July. A total of 20 drivers have won both the DAYTONA 500 and the Coke Zero 400; of those 20, 10 have also won Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships. The Coke Zero 400’s history has run parallel to that of the DAYTONA 500 since its outset, with both events first held in 1959 on the famed 2.5-mile tri-oval.
Logano is fifth in the series standings after seven races this season. He’s winless, but has posted a string of strong finishes, including four top-10 runs. His season started with a sixth-place finish in the DAYTONA 500.
“Daytona International Speedway testing … this gives you an opportunity to try some things,” Logano said. “Here’s an opportunity to make a bunch of laps on our motors, change some things and really get a clean read on what’s better or what’s not [at DIS].
“I just want to win. That’s me. I’m not happy unless I win. I’ll be mad if I finish second. That’s [also] the 22 team. We have one goal in mind. We don’t achieve our goal unless we win.”
Jones, driver of the No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, is 14th in points – and in strong contention for a berth in the Monster Energy Series’ playoffs. Jones, champion of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2015, is a Cup Series rookie. He finished 39th in the DAYTONA 500 after getting involved in a mid-race incident.
“Hopefully we’ll have a good run [in July],” Jones said. “We were in good position in the 500 and got caught up in a wreck. We didn’t want the race to end like that and we want to come back and bring a little bit better car. I don’t think we had the speed we needed [in February]. Hopefully we’ll be faster and have a better finish.”
Daytona International Speedway’s next major event will be the second annual Country 500 music festival (www.country500.com/) on May 26-28. In July, NASCAR returns for a weekend under-the-lights doubleheader. On Friday, June 30, the NASCAR XFINITY Series’ Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola will be held. On Saturday, July 1, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be back for the 59th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. Tickets for all 2017 Daytona International Speedway events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
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