Logano wins NASCAR title as contenders fill Miami top four

Speedcafe.com

Monday 19th November, 2018 - 2:35pm

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Joey Logano

Joey Logano has won the NASCAR finale at Homestead-Miami and with it the Cup Series for 2018 in a head-to-head fight for the finish between the Championship 4.

Kyle Busch was in control of the field while Martin Truex Jnr sat alongside him with Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick behind when the race restarted for the final time after an unscheduled Caution with 15 laps remaining.

It was Truex Jnr who got the jump at the green flag and drove his #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota into a position to defend his title, before Logano passed Kyle Busch for second on the same lap.

On Lap 255 of 267, he drove his #22 Team Penske Ford around the outside of Truex Jnr as they ran onto the back straight and led the rest of the way.

“We did it! We won the championship! I can’t believe it,” said Logano, who becomes the 33rd Cup Series champion in history.

“I don’t know what to say. This team, Roger Penske, (crew chief) Todd Gordon, the pit crew… oh my God.

“They gave me the car I needed at the end to do my job, put me in position to do my job; I couldn’t be more proud of them. We won the championship! Oh my God!”

The championship is Ford’s first in the Cup Series since 2004, and Penske’s first since Brad Keselowski in 2012.

Logano had finished third in Stage 2 but got out in front of the field for the restart with Harvick second, and similarly held top spot after Kyle Larson (#42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) hit the wall and brought out a Caution not long before the Lap 200 mark.

On the second occasion, however, he had Truex Jnr with him and they even made side-to-side contact before the Toyota driver grabbed the lead on Lap 219, at which time Harvick was third and Kyle Busch fifth.

The Championship 4 began to file into pit lane under green flag first with Harvick in the #4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford on Lap 231, then Truex Jnr and Logano next time around.

Despite having dropped nearly two seconds to Truex Jnr, Logano jumped the effective leader in the pits due to an error from the Furniture Row crew, before he was soon passed on-track by Harvick.

Kyle Busch got a break, however, when he waited long enough for what would be the final Caution of the season, caused when Keselowski turned Daniel Suarez around.

The incident between the #2 Team Penske Ford and the #19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota effectively gave Suarez’s team-mate Kyle Busch the lead in the #18 Toyota, but he held it only until the race restarted.

Logano went on to take his third race win of the season, from Truex Jnr, and Harvick, who won the first stage and was passed for the lead by Larson off the final corner of the second stage.

Kyle Busch finished fourth, from Keselowski, Matt Kenseth (#6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford), Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet), Clint Bowyer (#14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford), Aric Almirola (#10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford), and Kurt Busch (#41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford).

Pole-sitter Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) was 12th in the end, one position ahead of Larson.

Replay: Contact between Logano and Truex Jnr early in the final stage

Replay: Decisive pass, final lap

Results: Ford EcoBoost 400, Homestead-Miami Speedway

Pos Num Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 22 Joey Logano Ford 267 80 Running
2 78 Martin Truex Jnr Toyota 267 20 Running
3 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 267 58 Running
4 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 267 21 Running
5 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 267 0 Running
6 6 Matt Kenseth Ford 267 0 Running
7 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 267 0 Running
8 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 267 0 Running
9 10 Aric Almirola Ford 267 0 Running
10 41 Kurt Busch Ford 267 0 Running
11 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 267 0 Running
12 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 267 41 Running
13 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 267 45 Running
14 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 267 0 Running
15 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 267 0 Running
16 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr Ford 267 0 Running
17 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 267 0 Running
18 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 267 0 Running
19 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 266 0 Running
20 38 David Ragan Ford 266 0 Running
21 43 Bubba Wallace Chevrolet 266 0 Running
22 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 266 0 Running
23 37 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 266 0 Running
24 24 William Byron Chevrolet 266 0 Running
25 21 Paul Menard Ford 265 0 Running
26 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 264 0 Running
27 20 Erik Jones Toyota 264 0 Running
28 34 Michael McDowell Ford 263 2 Running
29 88 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 263 0 Running
30 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 262 0 Running
31 00 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 262 0 Running
32 23 JJ Yeley Ford 261 0 Running
33 15 Ross Chastain Chevrolet 259 0 Running
34 72 Corey LaJoie Chevrolet 259 0 Running
35 51 BJ McLeod Ford 256 0 Running
36 99 Kyle Weatherman Chevrolet 256 0 Running
37 66 Timmy Hill Toyota 254 0 Running
38 97 Tanner Berryhill Toyota 254 0 Running
39 95 Regan Smith Chevrolet 240 0 Running

Standings

Pos Driver Pts Gap Starts Wins
1 Joey Logano 5040   36 3
2 Martin Truex Jnr 5035 -5 36 4
3 Kevin Harvick 5034 -6 36 8
4 Kyle Busch 5033 -7 36 8
5 Aric Almirola 2354 -2686 36 1
6 Chase Elliott 2350 -2690 36 3
7 Kurt Busch 2350 -2690 36 1
8 Brad Keselowski 2343 -2697 36 3
9 Kyle Larson 2299 -2741 36 0
10 Ryan Blaney 2298 -2742 36 1
11 Denny Hamlin 2285 -2755 36 0
12 Clint Bowyer 2272 -2768 36 2
13 Austin Dillon 2245 -2795 36 1
14 Jimmie Johnson 2242 -2798 36 0
15 Erik Jones 2220 -2820 36 1
16 Alex Bowman 2204 -2836 36 0
17 Ryan Newman 769 -4271 36 0
18 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr 701 -4339 36 0
19 Paul Menard 692 -4348 36 0
20 Jamie McMurray 683 -4357 36 0
21 Daniel Suarez 674 -4366 36 0
22 AJ Allmendinger 603 -4437 36 0
23 William Byron 587 -4453 36 0
24 Chris Buescher 585 -4455 36 0
25 David Ragan 524 -4516 36 0
26 Michael McDowell 493 -4547 36 0
27 Ty Dillon 482 -4558 36 0
28 Bubba Wallace 471 -4569 36 0
29 Matt DiBenedetto 368 -4672 36 0
30 Kasey Kahne 358 -4682 25 0
31 Trevor Bayne 287 -4753 21 0
32 Matt Kenseth 268 -4772 15 0
33 Regan Smith 157 -4883 11 0
34 Corey LaJoie 144 -4896 23 0
35 Cole Whitt 132 -4908 13 0
36 Gray Gaulding 119 -4921 20 0
37 Jeffrey Earnhardt 110 -4930 17 0
38 Kyle Weatherman 33 -5007 7 0
39 Harrison Rhodes 24 -5016 6 0
40 Blake Jones 21 -5019 3 0
41 Mark Thompson 15 -5025 1 0
42 Cody Ware 11 -5029 4 0
43 Derrike Cope 8 -5032 3 0
44 Tanner Berryhill 7 -5033 2 0
45 Chris Cook 6 -5034 1 0
46 Tomy Drissi 5 -5035 1 0
47 Danica Patrick 2 -5038 1 0
48 Alon Day 1 -5039 1 0
49 Stanton Barrett 1 -5039 1 0
50 Hermie Sadler 1 -5039 1 0
51 Brendan Gaughan 0 -5040 4 0
52 Justin Marks 0 -5040 3 0
53 DJ Kennington 0 -5040 10 0
54 David Gilliland 0 -5040 1 0
55 Ray Black Jnr 0 -5040 1 0
56 JJ Yeley 0 -5040 18 0
57 Landon Cassill 0 -5040 29 0
58 Ross Chastain 0 -5040 34 0
59 Joey Gase 0 -5040 8 0

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