Saturday, October 16, 2021

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Joey Logano and Mark Martin Lead Practices For Pocono 400

After Happy Hour practice today, Joey Logano led practice for the Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR with a speed of 179.501mph. Logano is looking for his third top 10 in four races after finishing eighth last week at Dover.

Going into the weekend, Logano was worried about how and when the track would rubber in after the paving job that was done in the Spring. Though Logano says when he was at the tire test, he found that the track rubbered in pretty quickly.

“I felt like by the end of the two-day test this we were starting to be able to kind of move the groove up a little bit,” he said on Wednesday. “I think when you get 43 cars out there, I think you’ll really be able to see the track widen out a little bit. “It actually came to us pretty quick. I was surprised, I thought it was really icy out there and no rubber. But I Goodyear is going to bring a good tire, will have a lot of grip and the track will widen out.”

Logano added that once it widens out, he thought there would be good racing and the track will change quite a bit from practice to race time.

After suffering a flat tire last weekend, Carl Edwards was second in practice at a speed of 179.361, 39 hundreths off of Logano. During the Thursday test session, Edwards said that they weren’t that fast and needed to do a little bit of work.

“We’ve been working on different things we wanted to try in testing,” Edwards said on Thursday. “The track looks completely different. It took me a minute juts to get used to the different visual cues and braking points and the transitions in the corners and stuff, but it looks great. It drives really well and it’s fast.”

Another driver looking for a good run this weekend after having bad luck at Dover is Jeff Gordon, who was third in Happy Hours practice on Friday. So far, Gordon hasn’t had the year he has dreamed of as most weekends, he has ran up front, yet had bad luck bite him and take him out of contention near the end of the race.

“It’s just circumstances and things that have gotten us in this situation and not get the results that relate to the way we have performed this year,” Gordon said. “I mean that’s racing. That happens, it’s unfortunate the things that have happened to us this year.”

Paul Menard and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five. Kasey Kahne was sixth, followed by Greg Biffle, Brad Keselowski, A.J. Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose.

In the first practice, Mark Martin led with a speed of 179.379, 12 hundreths over Jamie McMurray. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was third, followed by Jimmie Johnson and Allmendinger. Ryan Newman was sixth, followed by Kahne, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Regan Smith.

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