Restart push gives Logano second Vegas win

Image by Kinrade/LAT

Restart push gives Logano second Vegas win


Restart push gives Logano second Vegas win


Joey Logano didn’t know if he was supposed to pit under the final caution in the Pennzoil 400, but he did know the way to victory lane.

For the second straight year, Logano was the winner at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Team Penske driver jumped away from the field on the final restart with two laps to go and had taken the white flag when multiple drivers got out of shape behind him to end the race under yellow.

“I’m not really sure what I was supposed to do, but boy, we fought hard for this one today,” said Logano of his 24th career win. “Man, what a battle between Blaney and I, and Chase Elliott and the 19 [Martin Truex Jr.] earlier in the race; and then to see this finish with Matt [DiBenedetto] finishing second is great day for Wood Brothers and for Team Penske.

“Man, nothing like winning the Pennzoil 400 in front of this amazing crowd with this awesome yellow car right here in the front. This is a huge win, and nice to kick off the season with a W.”

Coming off Turn 4, Erik Jones and William Byron collided, and when the two got out of shape, they collected Ryan Blaney in the far outside lane. As those three got themselves situated, Kyle Busch and John Hunter Nemechek body slammed near the start/finish line, which resulted in Nemechek going for a spin across the frontstretch.

The leaders had already taken the white flag, so the caution froze the field and sent Logano to victory lane.

Logano had inherited the race lead when his Team Penske teammate Blaney pitted when the caution flew with six laps to go. Staying out with Logano was William Byron, Matt DiBenedetto, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Tyler Reddick, Austin Dillon, and Darrell Wallace Jr.

Brad Keselowski was first off pit road of those who pitted, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr., Jones, and Blaney.

When the dust cleared, DiBenedetto was, unofficially, scored second with Stenhouse third, Dillon fourth, and Johnson fifth. Stenhouse led 30 laps Sunday through a different pit strategy that twice kept him on track longer the rest of the field.

Wallace finished sixth, Keselowski seventh, Kevin Harvick, who led a race-high 92 laps, eighth, Kyle Larson ninth, and Ty Dillon 10th.

Blaney was scored 11th after leading 19 laps. Finishing 13th was Alex Bowman, who also pitted under the caution with six laps to go.

Before the caution came out, Bowman had been the fastest car on the track and was hunting down Blaney. Blaney had taken the lead from Logano with 13 laps to go, and Bowman moved into second place with nine laps to go.

Chase Elliott led 70 laps and finished 26th. His bid for the victory ended just inside the final 50 laps. After making a pit stop, Elliott had a tire go down and when he spun into Turn 1, knocked the right rear off the wall.

Logano led 54 laps on his way to the victory.

NASCAR Cup Series Race – 23rd Annual Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nevada
Sunday, February 23, 2020

1. (5) Joey Logano, Ford, 267.
2. (19) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 267.
3. (26) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 267.
4. (21) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 267.
5. (18) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 267.
6. (27) Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 267.
7. (8) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267.
8. (3) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 267.
9. (6) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 267.
10. (24) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 267.
11. (7) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 267.
12. (9) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 267.
13. (12) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 267.
14. (23) Chris Buescher, Ford, 267.
15. (1) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267.
16. (30) Corey LaJoie, Ford, 267.
17. (4) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 267.
18. (25) Tyler Reddick #, Chevrolet, 267.
19. (17) Cole Custer #, Ford, 267.
20. (2) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 267.
21. (14) Aric Almirola, Ford, 267.
22. (11) William Byron, Chevrolet, 267.
23. (16) Erik Jones, Toyota, 267.
24. (29) John Hunter Nemechek #, Ford, 267.
25. (13) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 266.
26. (10) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 266.
27. (15) Ross Chastain(i), Ford, 265.
28. (37) JJ Yeley(i), Ford, 264.
29. (33) Brennan Poole #, Chevrolet, 264.
30. (35) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 263.
31. (31) Joey Gase(i), Ford, 258.
32. (32) Quin Houff #, Chevrolet, 258.
33. (22) Christopher Bell #, Toyota, 257.
34. (36) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 253.
35. (34) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 252.
36. (28) Michael McDowell, Ford, 245.
37. (20) Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, Engine, 222.
38. (38) Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, Rear End, 175.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 134.861 mph.
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 58 Mins, 11 Secs. Margin of Victory: Under Caution Seconds.
Caution Flags: 9 for 37 laps.
Lead Changes: 25 among 7 drivers.
Lap Leaders: K. Busch 0;K. Harvick 1-4;J. Logano 5-11;K. Harvick 12-66;C. Elliott 67-82;M. Truex Jr. 83;C. Elliott 84-87;K. Harvick 88-102;C. Elliott 103-122;R. Stenhouse Jr. 123-126;A. Dillon 127;R. Stenhouse Jr. 128-145;C. Elliott 146-162;R. Blaney 163-166;J. Logano 167-171;K. Harvick 172;J. Logano 173-181;R. Blaney 182-183;K. Harvick 184-200;R. Blaney 201-204;C. Elliott 205-217;R. Blaney 218;R. Stenhouse Jr. 219-226;J. Logano 227-254;R. Blaney 255-262;J. Logano 263-267.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Kevin Harvick 5 times for 92 laps; Chase Elliott 5 times for 70 laps; Joey Logano 5 times for 54 laps; Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 3 times for 30 laps; Ryan Blaney 5 times for 19 laps; Martin Truex Jr. 1 time for 1 lap; Austin Dillon 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 9,19,4,12,22,24,42,88,48,6
Stage #2 Top Ten: 9,12,19,24,22,4,48,42,88,18