Logano wins first Cup Sequence championship
Joey Logano bumped his manner into the finals. The 28-year-old Workforce Penske driver’s run to his first profession Monster Vitality NASCAR Cup Sequence championship was clear, though no much less dramatic.
Logano didn’t must nudge defending sequence champion Martin Truex Jr. like he did to earn a spot among the many Championship Four final month. Logano simply sped previous Truex with 11 laps left in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 to assert each the race win and the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Outcomes | Standings
“It’s a tremendous evening,” Logano stated. “I do know what second felt like, and I understand how a lot it stinks. I didn’t know what successful felt like, nevertheless it feels actually, actually good.”
Logano completed second to seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson in 2016 after a fourth-place end within the finale two years in the past and, earlier than Sunday, Logano hadn’t completed any greater at this 1.5-mile observe in 9 earlier begins.
Nonetheless, Logano declared himself the favourite after bumping Truex at Martinsville — even when he didn’t have a title like the opposite three Championship Four drivers (Truex, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch). These three additionally had been every searching for a second Cup title.
“I stated earlier than we weren’t the underdog,” Logano stated. “We proved it why we’re not. My group rose to the event and executed underneath stress like no person’s enterprise.
“I’ve labored my entire life to get right here. We spent 10 seasons to get right here. We’re champions — NASCAR champions!”
Picture by LaBounty/LAT
The Championship Four contenders had been the category of the sphere at Homestead and completed 1-2-3-4. Truex held on for second; Harvick, the 2014 champion, got here house third; and Busch, the 2015 champ, completed fourth.
Busch, after a few missteps earlier within the race, rebounded on the ultimate pit cease because the leaders got here in when Daniel Suarez was spun out with 20 laps left. Busch had been holding out for a yellow as a result of he was on a unique pit technique than the leaders.
“I used to be optimistic about it however didn’t suppose it will be that short-lived,” Busch stated. “I figured I may at the least perhaps lead three or 4 laps, however Martin obtained a great restart.”
Truex raced for the ultimate time with Furnishings Row Racing, which introduced in September it will stop operations at season’s finish. Truex will drive the No. 19 Toyota subsequent 12 months and group with Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing.
After he handed Busch on the ultimate restart, it appeared like Truex may ship off the one-car Denver-based operation with one other celebration earlier than Logano made the go with 11 laps left.
“Simply didn’t play out the way in which we wanted it to,” Truex stated. “I had nothing for him on the finish. I wanted 15, 20 extra laps, and that’s simply the way in which it goes. I’m unsure what else to say.”
Brad Keselowski completed fifth, Matt Kenseth sixth, Chase Elliott seventh, Clint Bowyer eighth, Aric Almirola ninth and Kurt Busch 10th.
The primary warning of the weekend — not counting the yellow flags after phases — got here on lap 139 for particles. Neither Friday’s Tenting World Truck Sequence nor Saturday’s Xfinity Sequence races had “pure” cautions.
The second got here after Kyle Larson clipped the wall in Flip Four with 75 laps left. Larson was third on the time and led essentially the most laps (45) of any driver not within the Championship 4.
Kyle Buch’s crew — one of the dominant this season — had its second miscue of the race because the air gun obtained caught underneath the automobile throughout the warning for Larson. That price Busch 4 spots. Earlier within the race, a tire changer dropped a lug nut.
Harvick raced minus his crew chief Rodney Childers and automobile chief Robert Smith, who had been suspended for the ultimate two races of the season after NASCAR discovered Harvick’s No. Four Stewart-Haas Racing Ford had an unlawful spoiler after a victory at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 4.
The race’s begin was delayed a couple of minutes to wash up oil left on the observe by Regan Smith’s Chevrolet throughout the tempo laps. That got here minutes after a skydiver towing a flag obtained caught on the catch fence close to flip 1. The skydiver was not injured, in accordance with a observe spokesperson.