Sunday, August 24, 2014

Joey Logano Picks Up Third Victory of the Season at Bristol

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Joey Logano won the Irwin Tools Night Race on Saturday night from Bristol Motor Speedway.

Photo courtesy Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Logano had a strong car throughout the race, but it came down to the final restart when Logano went 3-wide to gain positions.

The win was Logano’s third of the season, putting him atop the standings heading into the Chase.  He is now tied with Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and his teammate Brad Keselowski as winners of three races this season.

Following the win, Logano said this performance showed his team had a legitimate shot at winning the championship.

Kevin Harvick started on the pole, and he led until Gordon took the lead on lap 40.  Kyle Busch, who many expected to be strong this weekend, took the lead on lap 55.  He led until the competition caution came out on lap 60.

Matt Kenseth led the field back to the green flag on lap 68, but the caution came back out on lap 70.  Josh Wise spun in the middle of the field.

Kenseth led at the restart on lap 77, and he led until Logano took the lead for the first time on lap 104.

On lap 125, Brian Vickers got together with Kyle Larson.  Vickers bounced into Aric Almirola, who spun down the track and hit the inside wall hard.  Busch and Clint Bowyer were also collected in the wreck.

Denny Hamlin took the lead under the caution, and he led the field back to the green flag on lap 137.  He led until he was spun by Harvick on lap 161 while the two raced for the lead.  Hamlin hit the inside wall and then spun back up the track into Earnhardt.

Harvick led the field to the green flag on lap 173.  He led until Michael Annett spun on lap 196 to bring out another caution.

Kasey Kahne did not pit under the caution, and he was the leader when the race took the green flag on lap 201.  Jamie McMurray took the lead on lap 239, and he led until Danica Patrick spun on lap 265.

Keselowski won the race off pit road, and he led when the race restarted on lap 270.  McMurray, however, had the faster car, and he retook the lead on lap 312.

Debris on lap 359 brought out another caution, but McMurray held off the field on the following restart on lap 367.

Marcos Ambrose, another pre-race favorite, spun on lap 376 to bring out the caution.  McMurray once again had a good restart when the race went back green.

Debris brought the caution out for the final time on lap 432.  Under the caution, Kenseth stayed out and he led the field back to the green flag on lap 438.

Logano was able to get around Kenseth on lap 456, and he was able to hold off Keselowski to win the race.

Unofficial results

1. Joey Logano
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Matt Kenseth
4. Jimmie Johnson
5. Kurt Busch
6. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
7. Carl Edwards
8. Jamie McMurray
9. Paul Menard
10. Greg Biffle
11. Kevin Harvick
12. Kyle Larson
13. Ryan Newman
14. AJ Allmendinger
15. Jeff Burton
16. Jeff Gordon
17. Clint Bowyer
18. Michael McDowell
19. Justin Allgaier
20. Martin Truex Jr.
21. Brian Vickers
22. Landon Cassill
23. David Ragan
24. Reed Sorenson
25. David Gilliland
26. Casey Mears
27. Danica Patrick
28. Austin Dillon
29. Josh Wise
30. Cole Whitt
31. David Stremme
32. Alex Bowman
33. J.J. Yeley
34. Marcos Ambrose
35. Kasey Kahne
36. Kyle Busch
37. Ryan Truex
38. Michael Annett
39. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
40. Denny Hamlin
41. Aric Almirola
42. Brett Moffitt
43. Dave Blaney

Next weekend, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for a rare Sunday night race.  The Oral-B USA 500 can be seen next Sunday at 7:30 p.m. EST on ESPN.

Photo courtesy Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

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