Joey Logano holds back Kurt Busch to win at Talladega

Joey Logano’s year-long winless streak in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series came to a thrilling end on Sunday.

Logano held off a furious charge from fellow Ford driver Kurt Busch and a fast-approaching Chase Elliott to win Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

Logano’s most recent win came last spring at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. It’s the 19th win of his career and all-but locks him in the 2018 NASCAR playoffs.

“Yeahh, baby, we’re back! This feels so good!” Logano said over  his team radio has he crossed the finish line.

It's Team Penske's seventh victory at Talladega in the past 13 races.

Kevin Harvick finished fourth and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. completed the top-five.

Following pit stops during the break between Stages 2 and 3, William Byron elected remained on the track and took over the lead when the final stage went green on Lap 116. He was followed by Paul Menard and Harvick.

Kyle Busch was penalized for speeding on pit road during the stops and restarted the race from the rear of the field.

On Lap 125, Kurt Busch got some help on the high side and was able to by Byron to take the lead for the first time in the race.

Caution came out on Lap 129 for debris on the front straightaway, which bunched the field. Bowyer returned to the lead lap as the first car one lap down.

Stenhouse was the first car off pit road and took over the lead on the restart on Lap 134, followed by Hamlin and Kasey Kahne. Elliott was penalized for an outside tire violation during his pit stop and had to restart from the rear of the field.

With 52 laps to go, Hamlin got a run and returned to the top spot followed by Kahne and Ryan Blaney.

On Lap 139, Logano, with help from Keselowski, retook the lead as Hamlin dropped to third.

Two laps later, Keselowski moved to the top spot as Team Penske ran 1-2-3. Logano moved back out front on Lap 142.

On Lap 145, several teams began their final round of green-flag pit stops in the race, with most opting for fuel-only.

Both Hamlin and Stenhouse were penalized for being too fast on pit road and were required to make a pass-thru penalty. Hamlin got caught for speeding again while serving his penalty and was forced to make a stop-and-go penalty.

On Lap 147, Logano cycled back into the lead followed by Keselowski and Almirola.

On Lap 154, a caution was displayed when Timmy Hill appeared to have lost an engine in his No. 51 Ford. Despite reports of a vibration, Logano elected to remain on the track and retained the lead on the restart with 29 laps remaining.

Truex, among those who elected to pit under the caution, was penalized for speeding on pit road and had to restart from the rear of the field.

On Lap 165, Jimmie Johnson appeared to get loose between Turns 3 and 4 and came down the track and into his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, William Byron. The incident triggered an enormous wreck that also collected Keselowski, Blaney, Menard, A.J Allmendinger, Darrell Wallace Jr., Daniel Suarez, Michael McDowell, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Austin Dillon.

The race returned to green with 17 laps remaining.

With 10 laps left, Logano continued to lead the way and holding a small advantage over Harvick and Kurt Busch.

"What a fast Ford," Logano said in Victory Lane. "Teamwork is what did it today. And not just the Team Penske Fords but all of the Fords out there - Kevin (Harvick), Kurt (Busch). We worked really well together. We got a blue oval back in Victory Lane, so proud of that.

"I'm so proud to get this team back in Victory Lane - it's been a year! It feels so good to be back in Victory Lane. There is no feeling like this. It feels so good.

"It's been a long time coming. We've been getting consistent. We've been scoring points and we knew a win was just around the corner. I don't have to worry about the whole playoff thing anymore."

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 188   70
2 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 188 0.127 5
3 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 188 0.247  
4 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 188 0.296 12
5 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 188 0.318 4
6 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 188 0.394  
7 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 188 0.399  
8 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 188 0.490 26
9 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 188 0.501  
10 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 188 0.723 1
11 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 188 0.850 1
12 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 188 0.881  
13 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 188 0.883  
14 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 188 9.955 11
15 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 188 10.038  
16 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 188 10.273 5
17 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 188 10.887 1
18 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 188 10.909  
19 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 188 11.704 6
20 96 canada D.J. Kennington  Toyota 188 11.868  
21 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 188 30.790  
22 62 united_states Brendan Gaughan  Chevrolet 188 35.928 1
23 92 united_states Timothy Peters  Ford 187 1 lap  
24 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 187 1 lap  
25 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 186 2 laps  
26 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 184 4 laps  
27 00 united_states Joey Gase  Chevrolet 178 10 laps  
28 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 174 14 laps  
29 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 165 23 laps 14
30 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 165 23 laps 8
31 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 165 23 laps  
32 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 165 23 laps  
33 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 165 23 laps 21
34 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 165 23 laps 2
35 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 165 23 laps  
36 51 united_states Timmy Hill  Ford 151 37 laps  
37 55 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 79 109 laps  
38 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 71 117 laps  
39 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 71 117 laps  
40 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 71 117 laps

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Talladega
Track Talladega Superspeedway
Drivers Joey Logano
Teams Team Penske
Article type Race report