Logano avoids drama and rockets to Vegas win, entering Championship 4

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Logano avoids drama and rockets to Vegas win, entering Championship 4

NASCAR

Logano avoids drama and rockets to Vegas win, entering Championship 4

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A slow pit stop ended up being a blessing for Joey Logano and Team Penske at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Logano won Sunday’s race with the aid of fresh tires to help him chase down Ross Chastain over the final 16 laps. The winning pass came with three laps to go.

The fresh tires resulted from Logano being buried in the field because of a slow pit stop earlier in the day, making it an easy call for crew chief Paul Wolfe. Under caution on lap 240, Logano pitted from ninth and brought others behind him down pit road as well. He restarted 13th with 22 laps to go.

The race quickly went back under yellow before the field completed a lap because of a spin by Landon Cassill. The final restart was with 16 laps to go.

Logano charged to fourth with 14 to go. A lap later, he was third.

With nine to go, Logano, using the high lane, took a big chunk out of Chastain’s lead to cut it under a second. Logano was on his bumper with six laps to go and searching for a way by. With three to go, Logano got underneath Chastain, cleared him going into Turn 3 and drove away.

The victory locks Logano into the Championship 4 with a shot at his second title. It is the fifth time in Logano’s career he will compete for the championship.

“We’re racing for a championship, let’s go!” Logano said after his fourth win of the season. “Man, what a great car. Penske cars were all fast. All of them were really fast today. Oh, man, all you want to do is get to the Championship 4 when the season starts and race for a championship, and we’ve got the team to do it. I don’t see why we can’t win at this point.

“Things are looking really good for us. [We had an] awesome Pennzoil Mustang…and man, just a lot of adversity fought through the last 50 laps or so. I thought we were going to win and then we kind of fell out and then had the tires and racing Ross was fun. He was doing a good job air-blocking me and just trying to be patient and eventually, I was like, I’ve got to go here. Just great to win out here in Vegas again, and it means so much getting to the championship.”

Chastain finished second. He led a race-high 68 laps.

Kyle Busch finished third, Chase Briscoe fourth and Denny Hamlin fifth.

Busch recovered from a spin on lap 78 and the left front wheel coming off his Toyota under the lap 228 caution. Briscoe rebounded from struggling early in the day and falling a lap down.

Tyler Reddick, who started from the pole and led 32 laps, finished sixth, Martin Truex Jr. seventh and Erik Jones eighth. AJ Allmendinger finished ninth and Austin Dillon completed the top 10.

Bubba Wallace finished last after winning the first stage. Wallace was involved in a crash and then a physical altercation with Kyle Larson.

Ryan Blaney finished 28th after winning the second stage. Blaney was running second on lap 228 when he got loose and went up the track, hitting the outside wall before spinning off Turn 2 and hitting the inside wall. The No. 12 team made repairs to keep Blaney on track and finish the race.

There were eight caution flags Sunday afternoon, and 18 lead changes among 11 drivers.

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