Of the eight drivers still in contention for a berth in the Championship 4, Joey Logano is the biggest darkhorse of the bunch headed into Sunday’s elimination race at Martinsville Speedway. After disappointing outcomes the past two weekends, Logano is ranked last among remaining playoff drivers and needs to leapfrog four drivers in one race to be a part of the Championship 4 at Phoenix. Of course, a victory on Sunday at Martinsville would punch Logano’s ticket to Phoenix regardless of his points situation.
But, Logano — who has just one victory in 2021 — doesn’t sound too optimistic about advancing on the basis of points or by way of a victory at Martinsville. Despite not being as far from the cutline as he was prior to racing at Kansas, Logano is 26 points behind the driver who holds the final transfer spot. “It is pretty far out still,” the Team Penske driver said. “All things considered, it isn’t just that it is 20-something points out, but I am still eighth. I have three or four cars in front of me that I have to get in front of, assuming there isn’t a different (playoff) winner. It is still pretty much a must-win situation. It would be far-fetched for it to happen.”
Given the uncertain nature of the playoffs and the issues that championship contenders have experienced in just this round alone, Logano isn’t giving up on his title hopes just yet, however. “On to Martinsville,” he said. “One more shot to do it. It is crazy watching this thing. I have never seen so many issues in this round. Yeah, it seems like survival has been the key in this round so far.”