Joey Logano, race winner of the second Duel at Daytona has the best explanation yet
In the Duels at Daytona, we saw two 60-lap races of train racing. The entire field was glued to the outside wall for the vast majority of the race, both races.
Chase Elliott spent the most time on the bottom lane. He frustratingly picked one car off at a time by driving down the hill to build momentum then swing up in front of the car ahead. It’s like a slide job on a restrictor plate track, without the sliding part.
But, when that didn’t work and he didn’t clear the car ahead, then the entire train would drive by Elliott on his outside and he’s have to start all over again at the caboose.
Joey Logano was smart about when he pulled that move. He rode in the train for basically 60 laps. On the white flag lap, he pulled the trigger from the 4th position. He cleared 3 cars, basically by himself.
Logano went on to claim the win in the second Duel at Daytona.
Why are we seeing single file racing at Daytona?
“It’s all driver mentality. It’s just kinda what everyone’s thinking,” Joey Logano said in the Daytona Media Center after the Daytona Duel win.
“I think what kinda leads the top to be strong is a few different things. One of them is the side draft is more effective to the right side of a car. You can slow them down more if you side drift from the right.”
“I think a lot of that is because of the shark fin. I don’t know, that’s just a theory. Maybe I’m wrong.”
“Once that’s in a driver’s head, ‘The bottom’s not going to work.’ And you have five guys that think that. Then when they get to the lead, they move to the wall.”
If you look at the green flag of both duel races, you’ll see the line began with the lead car. Instead of migrating to the bottom lane, the leader started on the inside but moved to the top before turn one. Though, part of that was orchestrated with an all-Hendrick front row in both races.
“When you get to the wall, the wall is going to be the fastest way around. It’s the best way to defend the lead. So, you see those cars go up there.”
Anything wrong with the bottom lane at Daytona?
It’s really not just Daytona. This has been forming at both superspeedway tracks over the past couple of years. It’s just something that’s been more frequent.
The drivers can still mix it up when they want to. They just choose not to because it takes so many pieces to make it happen.
“I personally don’t think the bottom’s that bad,” Logano said.
“But, when you can only get 2,3 or maybe 5 cars with ya… it’s not enough. You gotta have 6 or 7 cars that are really committed to each other.”
“We were able to do that in The Clash. You gotta have the right lead car. You gotta have a fast car and you gotta have a driver that knows how to work the lanes.”
“If you do that, the bottom lane works. It’s easier said than done. Everyone’s looking at it saying, ‘Man, if I pull out of line and it doesn’t work then I’m going back to 35th.’ “
“I’m 7th or 8th right now. I don’t want to go back to 30th. If it doesn’t work, I’m way in the back and it’s going to take me forever to get back to the front and probably won’t get back to the front.”