Logano stumbles his way to victory in extended Nashville wreckfest

Joey Logano was the last man standing through five overtime attempts at Nashville Superspeedway and drove a stumbling, fuel-starved engine across the finish line for his first NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season.

Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang was in seventh position for the first overtime attempt and was the leader by the time the race hit its fourth. He inherited the race lead when Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. had to pit for fuel. Logano then held serve on the fourth and fifth attempts to score the victory in the Ally 400 over Zane Smith and Tyler Reddick.

“That’s a good question for Paul (Wolfe, crew chief),” Logano said of how much fuel he had to make it to the finish. “I know into [Turn] 3, my fuel light came on, and it stumbled across the line, so that was definitely all of it. But I’m so proud of this Shell/Pennzoil Mustang team. It’s been a stressful few weeks trying to get into the playoffs, and being able to win here is huge for our season. It felt great to get that.”



The much-needed victory clinches Logano a spot in the postseason. The two-time series champion has been bouncing around the playoff bubble recently and entered Sunday’s race the first driver above the cutline by 13 points.

Hamlin was in control of the race when Austin Cindric spun on the backstretch after contact with two laps to go. On the first overtime attempt, Kyle Larson washed up the track and collided with Ross Chastain, who restarted outside the front row. The second attempt went as far as the backstretch before a multi-car crash brought the caution back out.

On the third attempt, Larson didn’t launch in the outside lane and stacked up those behind him. The accordion effect ended with Kyle Busch getting turned by Chase Elliott.

The fourth attempt was interrupted when Josh Berry spun. Logano cleared Chase Briscoe coming off Turn 4 and was moments away from the white flag when the caution was displayed instead.

On the final attempt, Logano got a clean restart and air-blocked his way to his 33rd career victory. He went 110 laps on his final tank, having pitted for the last time on lap 221, and the race went 331 laps. The fuel window was approximately 80 laps for the 1.33-mile racetrack.

Smith beat Reddick to the finish line on the heels of Logano. Ryan Preece finished fourth and Chris Buescher finished fifth.

Ryan Blaney finished sixth; Bubba Wallace, seventh; Larson, eighth; Daniel Hemric, ninth and Noah Gragson completed the top 10. Hamlin finished 12th after leading 70 laps.

The late-race carnage followed a 1h20m red flag for severe weather. NASCAR called the caution on lap 136 for lightning, which was quickly followed by heavy rain.

Christopher Bell was leading at the time and claimed both stage wins. Bell led a race-high 130 laps but crashed out of the event with 73 laps to go. At the time, Bell was running mid-pack after taking four tires on a pit stop and got loose in Turn 2 and backed into the outside wall.

The first stage went caution-free, and there were two natural cautions in the second stage before the weather delay. Riley Herbst exited the race in the third stage after contact from Corey LaJoie sent his Rick Ware Racing Ford into the Turn 2 wall.

Chase Elliott spun off Turn 4 to bring the race’s sixth caution. Bell’s incident followed a few laps later. The next caution would be for Cindric, which set up a chaotic ending.

The five overtime attempts are the most in Cup Series history.


Story originally appeared on Racer