AVONDALE, Ariz. – An uncontrolled tire sent Joey Logano to the rear of the field. A broken jack cost him time on pit road. And an overtime restart put the field on his back bumper.
Through it all, Logano and the No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang still wound up in victory lane Sunday for the second time this season. Logano held off Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch to become the first repeat winner of the NASCAR Cup Series season while grabbing his second win at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona.
“We had a really good car, but boy, we had more things to wrong today,” Logano said. “Just had some good restarts, getting ourselves back up there, being aggressive and having some tires threre toward the end. That was a pretty intense last 30 minutes of the race; just a lot going on.”
There were two cautions inside the final 10 laps. The first for Ross Chastain spinning at the start/finish line with nine laps to go. Logano held serve on the restart with four laps to go, but the field made it a lap before the caution was displayed again for a spin by rookie John Hunter Nemechek and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who collided and got hooked together at the start/finish line.
We’re going to overtime. pic.twitter.com/HHrwsqYd9e
Logano took the inside lane for the overtime attempt. He cleared Harvick going into turns one and two and then kept him at bay for the final lap.
Kyle Busch finished third with Kyle Larson fourth. Clint Bowyer completed the top five.
Retweet to congratulate Joey Logano on his win at Phoenix [email protected]/HPbsSKOlER
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team, two wins already in the books,” Logano said. “We got to keep this thing rocking.”
It was just after the lap 130 mark when Logano was penalized for an uncontrolled tire. Under caution because of an Austin Dillon crash, the No. 22 team was unable to keep the right front tire from bouncing back to the outer part of the pit box.
Logano restarted 28th but finished seventh in the second stage. The jack broke as the team was attempting to lift the left side of the car on its final pit stop with 45 laps to go.
Once Logano got his track position back when he stayed out under caution with 30 laps to go, he charged to the lead with 20 laps to go. He took the top spot from teammate Brad Keselowski and never relinquished it.
Joey Logano celebrates after winning the FanShield 500, Sunday at Phoenix Raceway. (Photo: Christian Petersen, Getty Images)
“He just had control of the race,” said Harvick. “After we pitted there, I got stuck behind a couple of cars there, lost five or six spots. He got by and got control of the race; he got to restart where he wanted to.
“Our Jimmy John’s Ford was better, especially when we could put it in front of his. We just didn’t get the control of the race back there, and he was able to get by us on that restart where I got hung up.”
The Phoenix race was the first under NASCAR’s new rules package for short tracks, which included a significantly smaller rear spoiler. The hope was the changes would make for more passing and excitement during the race.
For the most part, the tweaks seemed to have their desired effect. There were 20 lead changes and plenty of passing and contact back in the pack. Phoenix also is the site of the Cup Series championship in November.
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Pole-sitter Chase Elliott finished seventh. Elliott was left trying to rebound after he had to pit — from the lead — for a loose right front wheel with 34 laps to go in the second stage. He received the free pass to get back on the lead lap at the end of the stage.
Harvick took over the NASCAR Cup Series points lead by one point over Logano. Entering the day it was Ryan Blaney atop the standings.
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