Sunday, February 22, 2015

Joey Logano Wins the Daytona 500

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Joey Logano won the Daytona 500 on Sunday after a last-lap wreck forced NASCAR to end the race under caution.

Photo courtesy Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Logano got a great push from Clint Bowyer on the final restart, and that pushed him in front of the field, and he never looked back.

“Clint Bowyer was the best pusher out there today,” Logano said.  “He was able to line up there at the end and give me a push out ahead.”

The green-white-checkered finish came following a red flag to clean up an accident with less than four laps to go.  Logano said he was trying to stay relaxed while leading during the red flag.

“I was so nervous the whole race,” Logano said.  “I was trying to stay relaxed, and it’s always the hard part.  That red flag gave you the opportunity to think of everything.”

A wreck on the backstretch on the final lap forced NASCAR to throw a caution flag before the race ended, freezing the field and giving Logano the victory.  Logano said he thought his car was good enough to win regardless of the caution.

“I saw them crashing in the mirror, and I still think if had got to the checkered…we had a good shot at it.”

The victory was the ninth of Logano’s career.  After winning a career-high five races in 2014, Logano is now already locked into the Chase following his Daytona 500 victory. 

Jeff Gordon led the field to the green flag on Sunday in his final Daytona 500 start.  Gordon led a race-high 87 laps before getting caught up in the last lap accident.  Gordon finished 33rd.

“I’m a little bit sad that it’s my final Daytona 500, but I’m more upset we didn’t have a shot at winning at the end,” Gordon said.

Unofficial results:
1. Joey Logano
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Jimmie Johnson
6. Casey Mears
7. Clint Bowyer
8. Martin Truex Jr.
9. Kasey Kahne
10. Greg Biffle
11. David Gilliland
12. Sam Hornish Jr.
13. Michael Annett
14. Austin Dillon
15. Aric Almirola
16. Regan Smith
17. David Ragan
18. Johnny Sauter
19. Matt Crafton
20. AJ Allmendinger
21. Danica Patrick
22. Cole Whitt
23. Jamie McMurray
24. Carl Edwards
25. Michael Waltrip
26. Bobby Labonte
27. Paul Menard
28. Ty Dillon
29. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
30. Trevor Bayne
31. Michael McDowell
32. Reed Sorenson
33. Jeff Gordon
34. Kyle Larson
35. Matt Kenseth
36. Mike Wallace
37. Justin Allgaier
38. Ryan Newman
39. Ryan Blaney
40. J.J. Yeley
41. Brad Keselowski
42. Tony Stewart
43. Landon Cassill

Photo courtesy Chris Trotman/Getty Images

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