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Joey Logano Unmasks Ford’s Untold Achilles Heel Amidst Failure to Live Up to the Dark Horse Hype

Published 03/31/2024, 3:30 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Six races are already over in the regular season of the Cup Series. With the season picking up momentum, the contention among the drivers seems to intensify with each passing weekend. However, amidst this growing battle, one manufacturer out of the three is yet to pick up the pace and be a strong threat to its competitors. And it is none other than Ford Performance.

While Toyota and Chevrolet have already marked their way into the victory lane, Ford, on the other hand, is in a limping condition. Although the exact reason behind the dismaying performance is yet to be determined, Joey Logano seemed to have unmasked the Achilles heel that is accruing to the pains of the Ford teams.

Joey Logano spills the beans on the dismal performance of Ford

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If one rewinds to the 2023 Cup Series season, it will be apparent that the teams under the Blue Oval banner have struggled through and through. Only in the second half of the season did the drivers seem to have found momentum that finally culminated in Ryan Blaney winning the Cup Series championship. However, trying to undo the mistakes of the past year, Ford unveiled a new version of the Mustang’s Dark Horse with improved aerodynamic performance, but the results are yet to be translated on the track.

While Toyota’s new version of the Camry is already paying off the dividends and standing up to its promises, Ford, on the contrary, is far from keeping its hyped-up promises. Struggling with speed regularly, Team Penske’s Joey Logano tried to dissect what is adding to the troubles of the manufacturer. In an interview with Frontstretch, Logano stated, “It’s never one thing, it’s always a little bit of everything.”

Trying to single out what requires urgent attention, Joey Logano expressed,I say engine is probably the number one thing that stands out right now that we got to keep working on but it’s going to be a little bit of everywhere for sure. Still got the new car we are going have to keep learning about, making sure we are getting all the potential out of the car.”

With the race at COTA drawing to a conclusion, only one Ford driver was able to make it to the top 10 and the driver was the rising star in the Ford camp, Chris Buescher. The RFK Racing driver, who has been a strong contender for the 2023 season, seems to echo a similar thought to Joey Logano.

RFK Racing’s rising star asserts the struggles of the Ford teams

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The closest a Ford driver has come to the victory lane in the ongoing season was during the races in Phoenix and Atlanta. While Ryan Blaney fell short of a fraction of a second to Daniel Suarez, Chris Buescher conceded his victory to Christopher Bell at Phoenix. 

However, the road course race at COTA proved to be a tough nut for all the Ford drivers, including Chris Buescher. Nonetheless, he was the only Ford driver to notch a top-10 finish. Despite everything, Buescher did not turn away from the struggles of the manufacturer and its teams. 

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Speaking on the struggles, Buescher stated, “If it was just us or our organization that we’re talking about then I would say maybe you could say it was execution. But when we have the numbers that we do I would say it is hard to put a blanket over all of us and says that the execution hasn’t been with a single one.”

We’re not the only ones going through it though,” Chris Buescher added. “The Toyota camp had the same thing in front of them. So we are working through it and trying to figure out what exactly it is.”

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Nevertheless, with the next race at Richmond, a track that has proved to be favorable for Ford drivers like Joey Logano, it is to be seen whether these drivers can help Ford in the resurgence and come out of their slump.

 

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Written by:

Ayantika Maitra

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Ayantika Maitra is a NASCAR Content Analyst at EssentiallySports. Using her affinity for research and storytelling, this English major has also woven some attention-grabbing pieces that have brought the women in NASCAR into the limelight. An expert in identifying trends and understanding audience behavior, she loves taking part in core sport reporting.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta