Joey Logano takes All-Star win after battling Larson
Joey Logano is a million dollars richer.
The No. 22 Ford led his Penske teammate Brad Keselowski to the finish line by 1.142-seconds for his first All-Star Race win at Charlotte Motor Speedwayon Saturday night.
“I just won the All-Star Race, baby,” Logano said.
Logano restarted fifth for the final 13-lap shootout. When the first lap shook out, Kyle Larson, who transferred from the Show Down in dramatic fashion following a door-to-door battle with Chase Elliott, took the lead with Logano in tow.
With three laps remaining, Logano pulled to the inside of the No. 42 Chevy down the backstretch. Larson continued to side-draft with Logano. When the pair came around to the start-finish line and battled down into Turn 1 with two laps remaining, Larson ended up in the wall and Logano sailed off to the finish.
“Larson is a hard racer,” Logano said. “I watched him in the Showdown earlier today and I knew what I was up against. I knew he was gonna run hard. I’m a hard racer, I knew it was gonna be a fun battle for sure.
"I got underneath him once and I got to the outside of him once, we went up high and I got underneath him and I got loose underneath him. I knew I had position on him going into the corner and had to keep him on my quarter panel and not let him get to my door, so I drove in there hard. He was gonna drive in there hard to keep on my door and I was gonna drive in there hard to keep him at my quarter.
“What a crazy battle for a million dollars at the end. This is the All-Star Race. It’s special just to be in the race. Forget winning it, it’s just special. It’s neat to be in victory lane.”
Keselowski finished second and led the most laps (39). Dale Earnhardt Jr. was third followed by Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.
Larson was scored 16th after leading 18 laps.
“I was able to get to the front pretty quick there and be in the best position for that last restart,” Larson said. “I got clear right away and thought I could cruise, but I got looser throughout the race—we were making adjustments, but I guess we weren’t making big enough ones.
“I just got loose, and joey caught me, and he did a really good job of side-drafting me. I tried to hang on his quarter, and I just got really loose as soon as I got down in the corner. We were going so fast I couldn’t correct it and drilled the wall.”
Kevin Harvick led the field to green for the 32nd annual All-Star Race but was passed by Kyle Busch on the first lap. Harvick regained the point on Lap 4 but relinquished the lead to Busch when he pit 21 laps later.
On Lap 34, Logano took his first turn with the lead for 10 laps until he pitted, passing off the lead to Carl Edwards. The first caution was called for Jamie McMurray on Lap 46 after he blew a tire on the No. 1 Chevy. Matt Kenseth assumed the lead — but had not pitted by the time the segment concluded and was posted by NASCAR.
Edwards, who took two tires — along with Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch — just prior to the caution, was declared the winner of the first segment.
Carl Edwards led the field to green, but Brad Keselowski quickly took the lead and held the point until the second caution on Lap 64. NASCAR stalled the race to address the weepers in Turn 2 after the third-place car of Kyle Larson nearly spun after hitting water on the track.
When the race returned to green on Lap 71, the field failed to complete a lap before a wreck ignited in Turn 4 collecting Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne in the marsh on the front stretch. Chase Elliott was attempting to pit at the time and cars stacked up behind the No. 24 Chevy.
“I was just very, very confused, I felt like, for the majority of the race," Elliott said. "We had a really good car until we got our damage there. We were trying to play the pit road game. You want to spend the least amount of time you can on pit road and that’s what everybody was doing. I was planning on pitting on that first lap after we got back going and it was just chaotic and if it was my fault and I didn’t do a good enough job getting out of the way, I’ll take the blame. I was just trying to get on pit road.”
Stewart completed just 71 laps in his final All Star appearance before finishing 20th.
“It's the most screwed up All Star race I've ever been a part of, I'm glad it's the last one,” Stewart said. "I'm just mad as hell because I don't know how they've officiated this from start to finish.”
NASCAR continued to count laps as safety workers cleaned the track. On Lap 81, the contest continued with Kyle Busch swinging on the outside of Keselowski for the lead. Busch's advantage would be short-lived as he was busted for speeding on Lap 83.
Keselowski regained the lead on Lap 87 but was passed by Larson in Turn 4 with seven laps remaining in the segment.
Although Larson topped the segment, the field was inverted with the top 11 from segment two being forced to pit. Jimmie Johnson, who was 12th, inherited the lead with Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who earned the lucky dog, lining up behind. The No. 42 Chip Ganassi Chevy was the first of the 11 cars off of pit road and restarted fourth for the final segment.
Larson comes up short: "I hate that I keep letting my team down"
Earnhardt: Chassis changes helped make Logano's All-Star win possible
About this article
|Location||Charlotte Motor Speedway|
|Drivers||Joey Logano , Kyle Larson|