Logano paces Penske 1-2 at Las Vegas

Image by Miller/LAT

Logano paces Penske 1-2 at Las Vegas

NASCAR

Logano paces Penske 1-2 at Las Vegas

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The battle of the Team Penske teammates ended with the reigning series champion winning his sponsor’s race.

Joey Logano held off a last-lap, last-corner charge from Brad Keselowski to win the Pennzoil 400 in the No. 22 Pennzoil Ford Mustang. It was Logano’s 22nd career Cup victory but his first at Las Vegas, while for Team Penske, it was back-to-back victories following Keselowski’s winning feat last weekend in Atlanta.

Over the final 30 laps, Logano and Keselowski traded the lead multiple times before Logano finally broke away for good. Keselowski dug hard on the bottom on the last lap in Turns 3 and 4, but could only get to the bumper of Logano, who was running the high lane, coming off Turn 4.

The Pennzoil Ford driver led a total of 86 laps Sunday, the second-most of the afternoon. He also won Stage 2.

“What a great race!” exclaimed Logano. “Brad and I were so evenly matched, and the way the draft works you couldn’t just drive away.

“My car got tight the last five, six laps and Brad was catching me so quick —  and then I got stuck behind a lapped car, and was like, ‘Oh no!’ But man, it was so close, and to be able to get it there at the end, that was a lot of fun.

“A Team Penske 1-2 shows the speed we’ve got. We had a lot last week — Brad was able to get the win — and this week obviously with us 1-2. What a great day for Team Penske and Ford!”

Keselowski kept the pressure on his Penske teammate to the end. Image by LaBounty/LAT

“My Discount Tire Ford Mustang was really strong,” Keselowski explained after the finish, “and I thought it was a pretty good race. I got past Joey in some lapped traffic, caught a break there; but then lapped traffic cost me the lead. [Joey] pulled a good slide job, I tried to pull it back, and I was just a touch too nice to him.

“But it’s all right. It was a really good day — I’m really happy for Team Penske and all our guys.”

Kyle Busch never quite recovered from a pit lane speeding penalty. Image by Kinrade/LAT

Rounding out the top five were Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Kurt Busch. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch entered the day looking for his third win of the weekend after trips to victory lane Friday night in the Truck Series race and Saturday afternoon in the Xfinity event. He rebounded from losing a lap when he suffered a speeding penalty in Stage 2 while leading, but couldn’t close the gap to the leading Penske pair.

Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, meanwhile, led the most laps Sunday with 88, and won Stage 1, but faded in the final stage.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, and Denny Hamlin finished 6th through 10th. Kyle Larson finished 12th after being penalized for having too many crew members over the wall. Austin Dillon, who had been fastest in the weekend’s practice sessions, was penalized for the same infraction and finished 20th.

The Pennzoil 400 featured just two cautions for stage break with 19 lead changes among nine drivers.

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