Joey Logano scored his third career Talladega Superspeedway win when he took the checkered flag in Sunday’s GEICO 500.
Logano held off the field in the closing laps to give him his first win of the season.
"What a fast Ford," Logano said. "Teamwork is what did it today. And not just the Team Penske Fords, all of them, Kevin (Harvick), Kurt (Busch)…We got a blue oval back in victory lane, so proud of that."
Logano snapped a 36 race winless drought dating back to Richmond in April of 2017. It was his 19th career Cup win (All-Time Winners).
"We knew the win was right around the corner," he said. "Man, it just feels so good that gosh, we don’t have to worry about the whole playoff things anymore. We’re in, and gosh, that just feels really good."
Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounded out the top five.
"The Fords are so fast, we had five or six of them lined up at the bottom," Harvick said. "Kurt went to the outside before I was ready to go and ended up getting hung out there"
David Ragan, Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, Ryan Newman and Daniel Suarez completed the first 10 finishers.
The race was interrupted twice by two big accidents that involved almost 20 cars all told.
Brad Keselowski and Paul Menard won the opening two stages (2018 Stage Points).
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series now heads to Dover International Speedway next Sunday afternoon.
How Logano Won: He led four times for 70 laps, including the final 43. As the laps wound down to the checkered flag it was difficult for any drivers behind Logano to mount a significant charge and challenge the Team Penske Ford driver for the top spot and the win. He was able to score the win relatively unchallenged.
Who Had a Good Day: Kurt Busch had his first top-five finish of 2018 and his best finish at Talladega in 35 races (Read More)…Elliott scored his best restrictor-plate finish in his 10th career start…Harvick notched his first top-five finish at Talladega since he was fifth there in April 2011…Defending race winner Stenhouse Jr. registered his second top-10 finish of 2018, both came in the last three races and he’s finished top-five in three of the last four races at Talladega….Six of the top-seven finishers were driving Fords (Read More).
Who Had a Bad Day: A lot of drivers, thanks to two big accidents that punctuated the race. The first one included the Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray, who got swept up in the accident on the backstretch that also saw Trevor Bayne and Erik Jones, who started the accident, get their cars severely damaged on lap 72 (Read More)….An even bigger incident happened with 23 laps to go when Jimmie Johnson got loose in front of Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron. That triggered a 14-car melee with Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard, Michael McDowell, Ryan Blaney, Bubba Wallace and AJ Allmendinger among the victims (Read More)…Denny Hamlin had numerous pit road speeding penalties to take him out of contention for the win. He finished 14th.
What Else Happened: Despite the two major accidents the race was fairly tame by Talladega standards. Drivers were battling handling issues most of the afternoon thanks in no small part to the new aerodynamic rules in play that impacted the ride height of the cars. Making a move came with a major risk of getting help from behind and finding the right drafting partners proved to be difficult.
Quotable: "They were being very patient with one another and I was surprised by that. If it was me, I feel I would’ve wanted to try," Elliott on the closing laps of the race.
Notable: Logano was the sixth driver to win in 2018…Kyle Busch finished 13th in his bid to win four straight races…Team Penske has won six of the last eight Talladega Cup races.