Logano wins thriller after moving Truex aside

Speedcafe.com

Monday 29th October, 2018 - 12:16pm

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The top three at the finish

Joey Logano has snatched victory at Martinsville after he and Martin Truex Jnr banged into the side of each other on the final lap.

Logano and Truex Jnr fought over the lead at various times during the final stage of the first race of NASCAR Playoff Round of 8, but the 2017 champion was ultimately pipped even for second by Denny Hamlin.

The #22 Team Penske Ford and #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota were nose-to-tail on the penultimate lap before Truex Jnr got down the inside and just led into Lap 500.

However, Logano gave him a nudge into the final corner and that was enough to sneak across the line in the lead, with both barely in control as a result of side-to-side contact.

Logano was already looking good when he led every lap of Stage 2, even if he was nearly pipped by Hamlin at the end, but has now guaranteed that he will be shooting for the title in Miami next month.

Hamlin, who is out of the Playoff race, nabbed second in the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota as Truex Jnr slewed sideways, having also taken out the opening stage.

The result was still an amazing salvage effort for Truex Jnr, who started from 33rd after his Camry failed post-qualifying inspections but was already up to eighth at the end of Stage 1 and fourth after Stage 2.

Kyle Busch, who started from pole, ran as high as second when the race restarted for a final time inside the last 40 laps and went on to take the chequered flag in fourth.

The #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver is now officially second in the Playoff Standings, albeit with a greater number of points than Logano.

Brad Keselowski lost the lead in the pits during the final Caution period and eventually finished fifth in the #2 Team Penske Ford.

Kurt Busch is the first man outside the Playoff cut line after taking sixth in the #41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, and one position ahead of Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) in both the race and standings.

Ryan Newman (#31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet) and Daniel Suarez (#19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) got home in eighth and ninth, respectively.

Kevin Harvick remains 25 points above the cutoff despite only being able to round out the top 10 in the #4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.

He finished Stage 2 a lap down in 15th but got the free pass which put him back on the lead lap.

The Playoff contenders finishing outside the top 10 were Harvick’s other team-mates, Aric Almirola (#10 Ford) in 11th and Clint Bowyer in 21st.

Bowyer spun late in the race as a result of a tag from Jimmie Johnson (#48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet), who was in the middle of the #14 Ford and Suarez as they rounded Turn 2.

The Round of 8 continues with the AAA Texas 500 this coming weekend (November 2-4 local time).

Replay: Final laps

Results: First Data 500, Martinsville Speedway

Pos Num Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 22 Joey Logano Ford 500 309 Running
2 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 500 31 Running
3 78 Martin Truex Jnr Toyota 500 18 Running
4 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 500 100 Running
5 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 500 41 Running
6 41 Kurt Busch Ford 500 0 Running
7 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 500 0 Running
8 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 500 0 Running
9 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 500 0 Running
10 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 500 0 Running
11 10 Aric Almirola Ford 500 0 Running
12 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 500 0 Running
13 37 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 500 0 Running
14 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 500 0 Running
15 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 500 0 Running
16 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 500 0 Running
17 88 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 500 0 Running
18 38 David Ragan Ford 500 0 Running
19 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr Ford 500 0 Running
20 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 500 0 Running
21 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 499 1 Running
22 21 Paul Menard Ford 499 0 Running
23 6 Matt Kenseth Ford 499 0 Running
24 72 Cole Whitt Chevrolet 498 0 Running
25 34 Michael McDowell Ford 497 0 Running
26 20 Erik Jones Toyota 494 0 Running
27 96 DJ Kennington Toyota 493 0 Running
28 95 Regan Smith Chevrolet 492 0 Running
29 15 Ross Chastain Chevrolet 492 0 Running
30 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 491 0 Running
31 23 JJ Yeley Toyota 491 0 Running
32 99 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 490 0 Running
33 51 Jeb Burton Chevrolet 489 0 Running
34 43 Bubba Wallace Chevrolet 488 0 Running
35 00 Joey Gase Chevrolet 467 0 Running
36 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 451 0 Running
37 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 393 0 Engine
38 66 Timmy Hill Toyota 368 0 Engine
39 24 William Byron Chevrolet 364 0 Crash
40 7 Hermie Sadler Chevrolet 230 0 Brakes

Playoff standings

Pos Driver Pts Cutoff (+/-) Playoff race wins Playoff stage wins
1 Joey Logano 4074 Clinch 1 2
2 Kyle Busch 4104 +46 1 0
3 Martin Truex Jnr 4083 +25 0 3
4 Kevin Harvick 4083 +25 0 4
5 Kurt Busch 4058 -25 0 1
6 Chase Elliott 4052 -31 2 0
7 Clint Bowyer 4041 -42 0 0
8 Aric Almirola 4033 -50 1 0
9 Ryan Blaney 2232 Out 1 1
10 Brad Keselowski 2227 Out 1 1
11 Denny Hamlin 2213 Out 0 1
12 Kyle Larson 2179 Out 0 1
13 Jimmie Johnson 2173 Out 0 0
14 Alex Bowman 2164 Out 0 0
15 Erik Jones 2159 Out 0 0
16 Austin Dillon 2157 Out 0 0

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