TALLADEGA RECORD: Four top-10 finishes in nine starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Logano said, "Our restrictor-plate results haven't really shown how well we have been run at Daytona and Talladega this year. We were good at the first Talladega race before we lost an engine and were looking good at Daytona (in July) before our tire issue. We've been strong. A top-10 car for sure. We just need to finish the race this weekend. We are good enough to win for sure."
LOOKING BACK: After finishing 18th at Charlotte, Logano said, "It seems like you end up saying this a lot sometimes, but we really had a car that was better than where we finished. I think we had about an eighth to tenth-place car tonight and we finished 18th with it. We were just too far off at the start of the race and by the time we were able to get the car to my liking, we were already a couple of laps down. Then you get no cautions and you just don't have the chance to make those laps up."
ETC.: Logano helped present three retrofitted Toyota vehicles to three deserving veterans last week as part of the continued relationship between team sponsor Pennzoil and Paralyzed Veterans of America. Each veteran recipient received a vehicle of their choosing, retrofitted to their specific needs. "This was one of the best things I've ever done," said Logano.
39 RYAN NEWMAN, Chevrolet
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 12th, 78 points out of first place.
TALLADEGA RECORD: Eight top-10 finishes in 23 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Newman wishes he knew the answer to the question "what does it take to have a good, clean finish at Talladega?" And that is not surprising as he points out "We've been on the short end of the stick at Talladega for the past few years. To be successful at Talladega, you've got to keep yourself in the hunt so you can be there at the end. If you have a good car, you can stay toward the front all day. If you don't, you have to put yourself in position that will allow you to be in the best possible position at the end. It's as simple, or as complex, as that."
LOOKING BACK: Newman finished eighth at Charlotte. "We struggled all night on the short run," said Newman. "Our Quicken Loans Chevrolet was really good as the run went on; it would come to life 20 to 25 laps into the run. But by then, we'd lost track position and couldn't get it back. We weren't able to capitalize on the speed we had in the car. All in all, it's good to complain about a top-10 finish, but we expected a little more than that tonight."
ETC.: Newman's record at Talladega in recent years has not been very good. But he is quick to say "I wouldn't say I dread going to Talladega. It's not my favorite race track, but I don't say I dread it. I love doing what I do. I love driving a race car, even at Talladega. I think the difference is there's more potential to get involved in something not of your making there, and that's frustrating to me."
5 KASEY KAHNE, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: 13th, 81 points out of first place.
TALLADEGA RECORD: Four top-10 finishes including two runner-up finishes in 19 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Kahne knows "we will have a good restrictor-plate car" this weekend. "We just need some luck to go with a fast car," adds Kahne. "If we can get to the end without running into trouble, we should have a shot at it (the win). I feel confident the car will be fast enough. We just need to avoid all the trouble that usually happens at Talladega."
LOOKING BACK: Kahne dominated the first 177 laps as he led 121 of them before teammate Jimmie Johnson took command of the race. But Kahne was the leader following the fourth caution flag of the night after crew chief Kenny Francis decided to change only two tires. And Kahne led the next 17 laps before losing the lead to Brad Keselowski with only nine laps to go. "I was on two (tires) and he was on four and he could just move around a little bit better," said Kahne, who finished second for the second straight time at Charlotte. It was his fifth consecutive top-eight finish at CMS. "I was doing all I could (to hold onto the lead) and felt pretty good, but he made some nice moves and was able to get by me," added Kahne.
ETC.: Kahne hopes his good run at Charlotte is the momentum booster his team needs to finish the 2013 season on a high note. "It was nice having a great car at Charlotte," said Kahne. "That track always gives us a good boost, and we always leave there with confidence. Hopefully, we can run pretty strong the rest of the year because I don't want to finish last (in the Chase point standings)." Kahne is only 18 points out of eighth place.