Logano powers through at Phoenix

Image by Russell LaBounty/LAT

Logano powers through at Phoenix


Logano powers through at Phoenix


An uncontrolled tire sent Joey Logano to the rear of the field. A broken jack cost him time on pit road. And an overtime restart put the field on his back bumper.

Through it all, Logano and the No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang still wound up in victory lane for the second time this season. Logano held off Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch to become the first repeat winner of the season while grabbing his second win at Phoenix Raceway.

“We had a really good Shell/Pennzoil Mustang,” said Logano. “We had more things go wrong today. Unfortunate situation with the jack. No one’s fault. Had some good restarts, get ourselves back up there, being aggressive, having some tires there towards the end. I knew racing Kevin was going to be hard. I was figuring I was going to get hit, so I throttled up in the corner so much, I thought he was going to give me the bump‑n‑run — which I expected, wouldn’t blame him for.

“That was a pretty intense last 30 minutes or hour of the race. A lot going on. Couldn’t be more proud of this team, two wins already in the books. We got to keep this thing rocking.”

There were two cautions inside the final 10 laps. The first for Ross Chastain spinning at the start/finish line with nine laps to go. Logano held serve on the restart with four laps to go, but the field made it a lap before the caution was displayed again for a spin by rookie John Hunter Nemechek and Rick Stenhouse Jr., who collided and got hooked together at the start/finish line.

Logano took the inside lane for the overtime attempt. He cleared Harvick going into Turns 1 and 2 and then kept him at bay for the final lap.

Kyle Busch finished third with Kyle Larson fourth. Clint Bowyer completed the top five.

It was just after the Lap 130 mark when Logano was penalized for an uncontrolled tire. Under caution because of an Austin Dillon crash, the No. 22 team was unable to keep the right-front tire from bouncing back to the outer part of the pit box.

Logano restarted 28th but finished seventh in the second stage. The jack broke as the team was attempting to lift the left side of the car on its final pit stop with 45 laps to go.

Once Logano got his track position back when he stayed out under caution with 30 laps to go, he charged to the lead with 20 laps to go. He took the top spot from teammate Brad Keselowski and never relinquished it.

“He just had control of the race,” said Harvick. “After we pitted there, I got stuck behind a couple of cars there, lost five or six spots. He got by and got control of the race; he got to restart where he wanted to.

“Our Jimmy John’s Ford was better, especially when we could put it in front of his. We just didn’t get the control of the race back there, and he was able to get by us on that restart where I got hung up.”

Polesitter Chase Elliott finished seventh. Elliott was left trying to rebound after he had to pit — from the lead — for a loose right-front wheel with 34 laps to go in the second stage. He received the free pass to get back on the lead lap at the end of the stage.

Harvick took over the NASCAR Cup Series points lead by one point over Logano. Entering the day it was Ryan Blaney atop the standings, however, Blaney finished 37th after being collected in an early accident.



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