Joey Logano was in touching distance of his first win of the 2021 season before young Joe Gibbs Racing driver Christopher Bell passed him on the final lap to record his first Cup win. In the second week running, Logano came close to a win at Daytona but just could not seal the deal.
While Logano looks like one of the cars to beat this season, he feels he still has some gains to make to be the best car out there. The 2018 NASCAR Cup champ admitted he is still a step behind the Joe Gibbs Racing cars in terms of speed, especially on the road courses.
“One more step to go to be as good as the Gibbs cars on the long haul. The 9, and even the 5 was really good today, too. There’s five or six cars that are a step better. We’ll figure it out,” Logano said after his second-place finish on Sunday.
Having said that, he is confident of his and the No. 22 team’s ability to make great progress on that front, very soon. “We’re the best in the business as well, so we’re going to figure it out. We’re inching up on it as I speak,” he added.
Coming so close to a win again but just falling short, ‘stings’ for Logano. However, he appreciated the efforts of 26-year-old Bell, and further highlighted the improvements made by the No. 20 and his JGR teammates Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin (third place finish on Sunday), and Martin Truex Jr.
Logano also explained where his team has improved and where they need to improve further.
“They (Bell) had a great car. They were able to hang with the 9. Seems like the Gibbs cars definitely made a substantial gain on keeping up with the 9,” Logano expressed.
“I feel like we’ve made a gain as well, but we’re still a step behind on the long runs. Short run speeds are very competitive, our braking is competitive. We just fall off on tires too hard. Just got to figure that out,” he explained further.
Once he does figure it out, expect Logano to get even stronger results, given his additional experience compared to most other drivers. All in all, the rest of the 2021 NASCAR season promises to be a highly competitive one.