Logano: What led to Richmond penalty is not the reason for team's struggles

Joey Logano understands it is easy to think that his team’s dip in performance is associated with the penalty it received after he won at Richmond in April.

He wants you to know it isn’t.

“It is nothing from Richmond that would affect what happened,” Logano said. “It is easy to assume that though, I agree. If I was on the outside looking in, I would say the exact same thing, but it is not. I promise you that. It is not that simple. It never is in our sport.

Logano’s team was penalized 35 points for an issue with the rear-end housing assembly on the car after the race. The team has been adamant that the infraction wasn’t an advantage that helped Logano win the race. Logano’s Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski finished second and his car passed inspection.

Most importantly, Logano’s win from Richmond was encumbered. In non-NASCAR vernacular, it means that he can’t use it to make the playoffs. So right now, Logano is considered to be winless in NASCAR terms and is battling with Matt Kenseth for the last provisional spot in the playoffs because of a string of bad finishes that have happened after that Richmond race.

If Logano wins a race — and his car passes inspection — over the next eight races before the playoffs begin, he’s going to be a part of NASCAR’s postseason. And while he said he was surpised he’s currently on the playoff bubble, he fully expects to be involved when the playoffs begin in September.

“This isn’t what you expect when you start the season,” Logano said. “You go out there expecting to win the championship and the playoffs you just assume you would be there. I still assume we are going to be there. We just have to work hard to get there.”

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!