Monday December 4th, 2023 3:28PM

Joey Logano on familiar path to Championship 4 race

By Reid Spencer-NASCAR Wire Service

During his 2018 championship season, Joey Logano won the first race in the Round of 8 of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and benefitted from an immediate shift to focus to Homestead-Miami Speedway, then the site of the season finale.

For the third time in five years, Logano has used a victory in the first Round of 8 as a springboard to the Championship 4. This year, he won the opening race of the round at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and will race for a second Cup title at Phoenix Raceway.

“If I look at our best chances to win the championship, they’ve come after winning the first race in the Round of 8,” Logano said. “Winning here in 2018, that gave us a great advantage. We won in Kansas in 2020 and that was a good help, and now once again winning in Vegas. I think those give us our best chance.

“In 2020, I don’t see anything our team did wrong. In a way, that’s kind of extra motivation to seek revenge after that last run at Phoenix when the tires started shaking and we lost the lead with whatever it was – 40-50 to go – and fall back after cycling on the green flag pit stop to the lead.

“Everything was going the way it’s supposed to, ran the 9 (Chase Elliott) down, passed him, the whole nine — and then giving it away like that. That’s hurt for the last couple years for me, and I can’t say I’m over it, so this is the moment of revenge on that.”

Bubba Wallace Returns To Action After One-Race Suspension

Bubba Wallace had his share of self-described “humble pie” after wrecking Kyle Larson in the tri-oval at Texas Motor Speedway.

Wallace served a one-race suspension for the Oct. 16 incident and is ready to return to action in Sunday’s race at Martinsville.

In the interim, Wallace and Larson had a meaningful conversation.

“For the record, I have talked to Larson, and we had a great conversation this week,” Wallace said on Saturday at Martinsville. “I think the best thing for us is we both understood where our frustrations were and moving forward and how we both can handle those situations better.”

The mandatory week off was also a learning experience for the 23XI Racing driver.

“It was tough,” Wallace said. “I tweeted out, ‘humble pie.’… What have I learned? You have to think before you do. In this sport, it’s the heat of the moment type things that get to you. Seeing that and going back and looking at a 10,000-foot view, definitely could have handled everything way different and been in a different spot.

“I put myself in a bad light, I put our team in a bad light, our sponsors – it’s just something that I’m not proud of, but moving on, moving forward and not allowed to make that mistake again.”

Parker Kligerman Will Drive Full-Time For Big Machine Racing In 2023

There won’t be any more ride sharing for Big Machine Racing in 2023.

On Saturday at Martinsville, team owner Scott Borchetta revealed that Parker Kligerman has been hired as the full-time driver of the No. 48 Big Machine Chevrolet in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for 2023.

Kligerman ran one race in the car this season, starting ninth and finishing sixth at Talladega Superspeedway. While doubling as a TV analyst and pit reporter for NASCAR on NBC, Kligerman also competed in 12 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events for owner Charlie Henderson, winning the July race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

“The mission has always been to be with one driver and build the race team,” said Borchetta, who had a revolving door with 10 different drivers in the car this season and picked up a victory at Texas with Tyler Reddick behind the wheel.

“Parker brings experience and a huge desire to do this, and that was our first conversation – ‘Hey, do you still have the fire to go and run for a championship?’”

Kligerman’s answer was an enthusiastic “Yes.”

The tipping point for Kligerman was the Talladega race.

“This happened so fluidly, so seamlessly — it felt like when we did Talladega it was just so seamless,” Kligerman said. “And the short span from talking to signing was quick. We were all aligned with the same goals, the same thought process…

“For me in my career right now, I’ve told everybody that will listen, in the last two years, I’ve never driven better in my life.”

As his schedule permits, Kligerman also will continue to race the No. 75 truck for Henderson.

WDUN will carry live MRN Radio coverage of Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway at 1 pm on 102.9 FM and streaming live on AccessWDUN.

NASCAR Cup Series
Martinsville Speedway – Martinsville, VA
Xfinity 500 – October 30, 2022

Sunday’s Starting Lineup

Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed
1. 5 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 19.709 96.078
2. 9 Chase Elliott (P) NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 19.721 96.019
3. 14 Chase Briscoe (P) Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford 19.721 96.019
4. 12 Ryan Blaney (P) Discount Tire Ford 19.740 95.927
5. 41 Cole Custer Ford 19.780 95.733
6. 6 Brad Keselowski Kohler Generators Ford 19.783 95.719
7. 99 Daniel Suarez Worldwide Expess Chevrolet 19.810 95.588
8. 4 Kevin Harvick BOOsch Light Ford 19.822 95.530
9. 1 Ross Chastain (P) Moose Fraternity Chevrolet 19.828 95.501
10. 21 Harrison Burton # Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford 19.933 94.998
11. 11 Denny Hamlin (P) FedEx Freight Direct Toyota 19.763 95.815
12. 22 Joey Logano (P) Shell Pennzoil Ford 19.766 95.801
13. 34 Michael McDowell Ford 19.788 95.694
14. 7 Corey LaJoie Chevrolet 19.825 95.516
15. 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 19.829 95.496
16. 3 Austin Dillon Dow Chevrolet 19.839 95.448
17. 48 Noah Gragson(i) Ally Chevrolet 19.845 95.420
18. 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s Halloween Toyota 19.849 95.400
19. 38 Todd Gilliland # Moji Sushi Ford 19.861 95.343
20. 20 Christopher Bell (P) DeWalt Toyota 19.882 95.242
21. 16 A.J. Allmendinger(i) Pardon My Cheesesteak Chevrolet 19.888 95.213
22. 17 Chris Buescher Fifth Third Bank Ford 19.891 95.199
23. 43 Erik Jones U.S. Air Force Chevrolet 19.898 95.165
24. 45 Bubba Wallace Leidos Toyota 19.924 95.041
25. 24 William Byron (P) Liberty University Chevrolet 19.942 94.955
26. 23 Ty Gibbs(i) Monster Energy Toyota 19.943 94.951
27. 19 Martin Truex, Jr. Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota 19.958 94.879
28. 8 Tyler Reddick 3CHI Chevrolet 19.980 94.775
29. 31 Justin Haley LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 19.987 94.742
30. 2 Austin Cindric # Menards/Richmond Ford 19.998 94.689
31. 47 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Kroger/Louisiana Hot Sauce Chevrolet 20.086 94.275
32. 42 Ty Dillon U.S. Space Force Chevrolet 20.103 94.195
33. 77 Landon Cassill(i) Nations Guard Chevrolet 20.210 93.696
34. 78 B.J. McLeod(i) Motorsport Games Halloween Ford 20.247 93.525
35. 15 J.J. Yeley(i) Rad Cats Ford 20.356 93.024
36. 51 Cody Ware Nurtec ODT UBCF Ford 20.840 90.864

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (P) Playoff driver

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