Logano Overcomes Problems and Wins Cup Race at Phoenix Speedway

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AVONDALE, AZ – RIS -Joey Logano had his share of bad luck in the Ticket Guard 500 NASCAR Cup race, but recovered from each to win his second race of the season. 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 Sunday for the second time this season. Logano held off Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch to become the first repeat winner of the NASCAR Cup Series season while grabbing his second win at Phoenix Raceway.

"We had a really good car, but boy, we had more things to wrong today," Logano said. "Just had some good restarts, getting our Ford back up there, being aggressive and having some tires there toward the end. That was a pretty intense last 30 minutes of the race; just a lot going on."

Cautions after cautions inside the final 10 made the team and driver uneasy, though he was always fast. 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 Ricky 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 one and two 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.”

The race was a first for a new rules package with a smaller spoiler.  The idea was to have more passing and exciting race from start to finish.  It appears that was accomplished. There were 20 lead changes and an abundance of passing in the event.

Harvick took the first stage and Brad Keselowski the second. Keselowski finished 11th.  A full agate of all finishing positions ais listed below.

Unofficial Results: Fanshield 500: Phoenix Raceway

Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 13, Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 316, 3, 3, 60, 5, 7, 52, Running
2) 2, Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Jimmy John's Freaky Fast Rewards Ford, 316, 1, 4, 67, 1, 2, 54, Running
3) 10, Kyle Busch, No. 18 Sport Clips Toyota, 316, 5, , , , 5, 46, Running
4) 4, Kyle Larson, No. 42 McDonald's Chevrolet, 316, , 1, 2, , 9, 35, Running
5) 18, Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Mobil 1/Haas CNC Ford, 316, , , , , 8, 35, Running
6) 7, Kurt Busch, No. 1 GEARWRENCH Chevrolet, 316, , , , , , 31, Running
7) 1, Chase Elliott, No. 9 UniFirst Chevrolet, 316, 2, 6, 93, , , 39, Running
8) 6, Aric Almirola, No. 10 Smithfield Ford, 316, 8, , , , 6, 37, Running
9) 16, Cole Custer #, No. 41 Haas Automation Ford, 316, , , , , 10, 29, Running
10) 17, William Byron, No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet, 316, , , , , , 27, Running
11) 14, Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Alliance Parts Ford, 316, , 4, 82, 1, 1, 36, Running
12) 21, Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 316, , , , , , 25, Running
13) 9, Matt DiBenedetto, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford, 316, 4, , , , , 31, Running
14) 8, Alex Bowman, No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet, 316, 6, , , , , 28, Running
15) 25, Ty Dillon, No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, 316, , , , , , 22, Running
16) 22, Michael McDowell, No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford, 316, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 23, Chris Buescher, No. 17 SunnyD Ford, 316, , 1, 1, , , 20, Running
18) 20, Ryan Preece, No. 37 Velveeta Chevrolet, 316, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 27, Bubba Wallace, No. 43 World Wide Technology Chevrolet, 316, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 3, Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota, 316, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 31, * Daniel Suarez, No. 96 CommScope Toyota, 316, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 19, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger Chevrolet, 316, , , , , , 15, Running
23) 24, Ross Chastain(i), No. 6 Oscar Mayer Ford, 316, , , , , , 0, Running
24) 15, Christopher Bell #, No. 95 Procore Toyota, 316, , , , , , 13, Running
25) 26, John Hunter Nemechek #, No. 38 MDS Transport Ford, 316, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 33, JJ Yeley(i), No. 52 Jacob Construction Ford, 316, , , , , , 0, Running
27) 28, Corey LaJoie, No. 32 Motor Trend Ford, 316, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 11, Erik Jones, No. 20 Interstate Batteries Toyota, 313, 10, , , , , 10, Running
29) 37, Joey Gase(i), No. 53 Chevrolet, 313, , , , , , 0, Running
30) 35, Reed Sorenson, No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet, 312, , , , , , 7, Running
31) 32, Brennan Poole #, No. 15 Goettl Chevrolet, 292, , , , , , 6, Electrical
32) 12, Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, 282, 7, 2, 11, , 3, 17, Accident
33) 29, Tyler Reddick #, No. 8 I Am Second Chevrolet, 264, 9, , , , 4, 13, Accident
34) 34, Quin Houff #, No. 00 Mount-N-Lock/Ashurst Honey Chevrolet, 208, , , , , , 3, Accident
35) 36, Garrett Smithley, No. 51 Jacob Construction Chevrolet, 181, , , , , , 2, Engine
36) 30, Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Off Road Chevrolet, 129, , , , , , 1, Accident
37) 5, Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Menards/Tarkett Ford, 65, , , , , , 1, Accident
38) 38, * Timmy Hill(i), No. 66 PIT BOSS GRILLS Toyota, 51, , , , , , 0, Engine
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie

Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 20 Mins, 50 Secs.
Race Length: 316 Laps: 316. Miles
Average Speed: 94.407 MPH
Margin of Victory: .276 Seconds

Stage 1 Top 10: 4, 9, 22, 21, 18, 88, 19, 10, 8, 20

Stage 2 Top 10: 2, 4, 19, 8, 18, 10, 22, 14, 42, 41

Race Comments: Joey Logano won the FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway, his 25th victory in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Prior to the start, the following vehicle(s) dropped to the rear of the field under penalty for the reasons indicated: No. 19 (Engine Change), No. 38 (Radiator Change).

Caution Flags: 12 for 73 laps;
Laps: 59-63 (No. 47, 53 Incident Turn 2 [38]);
65-71 (No. 2, 11, 12 Incident Turn 3 and 4 [47]);
77-84 (Stage 1 Conclusion [53]);
132-137 (No. 3 Incident Turn 3 [96]);
190-199 (Possible fluid on frontstretch from No. 51, Stage 2 Conclusion [9]);
215-221 (No. 00 Incident Turn 2 [96]);
253-258 (No. 20 Incident Turn 2 [95]);
266-271 (No. 8 Incident Turn 2 [34]);
278-282 (No. 17 Incident Turn 1 [52]);
284-288 (No. 19, 10, 48 Incident Turn 1 [11]);
305-308 (No. 6, 41, 24 Incident Frontstretch [43]);
311-314 (No. 47, 38 Incident Frontstretch [43]).

Lead Changes: 20 among 7 drivers;
C. Elliott 1-60;
K. Harvick 61-91;
C. Elliott 92-102;
K. Harvick 103-132;
C. Elliott 133-137;
M. Truex Jr. 138-140;
C. Elliott 141-155;
B. Keselowski 156-193;
C. Buescher 194;
B. Keselowski 195-215;
C. Elliott 216;
M. Truex Jr. 217-224;
J. Logano 225-250;
K. Harvick 251-254;
C. Elliott 255;
K. Harvick 256-257;
J. Logano 258-267;
B. Keselowski 268-271;
K. Larson 272-273;
B. Keselowski 274-292;
J. Logano 293-316.

Busch Pole Award: Chase Elliott, No. 9 138.116 mph
Sunoco Rookie of the Race: Cole Custer, No. 41

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2020, Issue 3, Posted 11:00 PM, 03.08.2020