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Srigley Stats: Joey Logano Snaps Out of Early-Season Slump with Runner-Up Finish at Richmond

This week, #SrigleyStats covers the end of an early-season slump for Joey Logano, the tightest NASCAR Cup Series field ever, Elliott's first top-five, and Custer's Xfinity milestone.


hero image for Srigley Stats: Joey Logano Snaps Out of Early-Season Slump with Runner-Up Finish at Richmond

After an extremely puzzling start to the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series campaign, things finally seem to be pointed in the proper direction for two-time champion Joey Logano.

Finishing runner-up to Denny Hamlin in Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway, Logano secured his first top-five result of the season, after running through the opening six weeks of the year with just a single top-10 result, a ninth-place run at Las Vegas.

It's the best NASCAR Cup Series result for the 33-year-old veteran driver since finishing second to Martin Truex, Jr. at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last July, more than 20 races ago. Logano's average running position Sunday at Richmond (4.60) is the best for the Team Penske driver since winning at Atlanta Motor Speedway, more than one season ago.

More importantly, though, it puts a full stop to an early-season slump for the Middletown, Connecticut native, who in his decade-long tenure with Team Penske had never gone this deep into a season without recording a top-five result.

"This is definitely the hardest start to a season we've had, but last week we started scratching and clawing and got a little bit of momentum through the last three races, and ultimately get to here, to where we were in the hunt again," said Logano. "It feels good. It’s Richmond. It’s a unique racetrack. It’s our best racetrack as a team, so we expect to run good here. I don’t know if this completely takes us out of the deep end, but I think, ultimately, it’s a good momentum-builder for sure."

The second-place result at Richmond also matches a season-high for Ford Performance, which has had three different drivers record a second runner-up result this year -- Ryan Blaney at Atlanta, Chris Buescher at Phoenix, and now Joey Logano at Richmond.

Since 2019, when Chevrolet went the opening nine races of the season without a victory, no manufacturer has gone this deep into a NASCAR Cup Series season without capturing their first victory.

The last time Ford Performance went this deep into a NASCAR Cup Series campaign without winning a race was in 2010, when Greg Biffle won the manufacturer's first event of the season at Pocono Raceway in August.

Photo Credit: Tyson Gifford, TobyChristie.com


For the second straight year, Richmond Raceway is home to a NASCAR Cup Series record.

Despite the event beginning on wet-weather tires and a NASCAR Overtime restart on a short track, the 407-lap contest featured no attrition whatsoever, with all 36 drivers that started the event being under power when the checkered flag was displayed.

Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series event at Richmond saw last-place finisher Corey LaJoie finish three laps behind the eventual race-winner Denny Hamlin, making the 2024 Toyota Owners 400 the closest field in the history of NASCAR's top-level.

Before Sunday, Richmond Raceway still held the crown for the closest NASCAR Cup Series field in history, after last July's Cookout 400 at the three-quarter-mile short track saw the entire pack finish within six laps (4.5 miles) of the race-winner, Chris Buescher.

Last August, the NASCAR Cup Series field managed to finish within four laps of race-winner Michael McDowell, which equates to a much larger distance (nearly 10 miles), as a result of the track's length being more than two miles.

It's a sign of the times for NASCAR's top level, with the field remaining closer than ever before, a result of the seventh-generation vehicle behind introduced to the series in 2022. Plus, it's also a reflection of how planted these vehicles are, eliminating a lot of the attrition that came with in-race mistakes and crashes.

Photo Credit: Tyson Gifford, TobyChristie.com


Finishing fifth in Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway, Chase Elliott has scored his first top-five result of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series campaign.

A native of Dawsonville, Georgia, Elliott has been in a bit of a slump in the NASCAR Cup Series, not scoring a top-five since last year's regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway.

Even more stunning, is the fact that Elliott, NASCAR's Most Popular Driver, hasn't finished inside the top five on a track shorter than one mile in length since the Fall race at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2022.

It's a much-needed resurgence for Elliott, who continues to build momentum as Hendrick Motorsports approaches the height of its 40th Anniversary Celebration, which will take place at a track where the 28-year-old driver has found success, Martinsville Speedway.

However, despite a lack of top-five results this season, Elliot has remained consistent, being one of just three drivers to finish top-20 in each of the seven events this season -- joining Martin Truex, Jr. and Ty Gibbs.

Photo Credit: Tyson Gifford, TobyChristie.com


With a 10th-place finish in Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway, Cole Custer, the defending champion of the second-tier series, is entering a pretty exclusive list of drivers, and at quite a young age.

The Ladera Ranch, California-native recorded his 100th top-10 finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday, becoming just the 36th driver in series history to accomplish this feat, and one of only a couple to do so before turning 30.

Possibly more impressive, though, is how quickly the Stewart-Haas Racing driver managed to accumulate triple-digit top-10s, reaching the benchmark in just 149 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, giving him the 11th-best top-10 percentage of all-time (67.11%).

In the history of the NASCAR Xfinity Series, only four drivers have managed to score their 100th top-10 finish in fewer starts than Custer, those being Jack Ingram (127), Joey Logano (127), Austin Dillon (137), and Kevin Harvick (143).

Custer's prominence when it comes to stats in the NASCAR Xfinity Series shouldn't be much of a surprise, as the driver has had a pretty impressive tenure in the second-tier series, both before and after his three-season cup stint.

At 26 years old, should a second NASCAR Cup Series promotion not come for Custer, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver is liable to rack up a historic statline in the second-tier series, and likely some more championships.

Photo Credit: Tyson Gifford, TobyChristie.com

#SrigleyStats is a weekly feature piece on Racing America, written by Joseph Srigley, that highlights some of the most interesting stats from the NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Truck Series race weekend.