Logano Gets Back to Victory Lane at Talladega

Joey Logano claimed victory in Sunday’s Geico 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway. The win was Logano’s 19th in his career and first win in just over a year. Logano now has three victories at Talladega.

 

Kevin Harvick led the 40-car field to the green flag to get the race underway. It only took about 10 laps for the field to converge into the single file freight train that has become all too familiar at restrictor plate races. Soon after a large majority of the leaders hit the pits for a splash of fuel to get them to the end of stage 1. A good number of drivers played the opposite strategy and chose not to pit which caused the field to get very spread out before the remainder of cars pitted with around 12 to go in the first 55 lap stage. Brad Keselowski would cycle to the lead and pick up the stage win.

 

Following pit-stops William Byron assumed the lead as the second stage began. Keselowski would get the lead back a few laps later. Just like in stage 1 pit-stops began about a dozen laps into the stage. Keselowski would be hit with a too fast entering penalty.

 

The midpoint of stage 2 saw the race’s first accident as Erik Jones got loose on the inside line and shot up the track into Jamie McMurray and Trevor Bayne. Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson would be swept up in the wreck as well.

 

Logano led on the ensuing restart and held the lead until 14 laps to go when Denny Hamlin got by. Hamlin stayed out front for 10 laps until Paul Menard slipped by for his first ever stage win.

 

The start of stage 3 would see Byron once again leading the field to the green flag. Kurt Busch would get around him after a few laps and it appeared Busch would set up the single file train once again but a caution for debris with 60 to go would prevent that. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. opted to take no tires on his pit stop and was the leader when action resumed with 55 laps left.

 

The lead would bounce from Stenhouse to Denny Hamlin to Logano to Keselowski before the field once again would begin green flag pit-stops with 44 to go. Hamlin would be busted for speeding on the way to his pit stall and once again as he came back down the pit lane serving his penalty

 

Timmy Hill’s motor went up in smoke with 34 to go. Cautions tend to breed cautions as shortly after the restart Jimmie Johnson got sideways in front of his teammate Byron which triggered the Big One in turn 4 with 22 laps left. Those involved include Menard, Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney among others.

 

The final restart would come with 17 laps to go with Logano out front. The lack of cars remaining prevented the pack from getting to large which in turn made it almost impossible to pass. Stenhouse, Chase Elliott, and Aric Almirola all attempted to make a second line work in the closing laps but Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick opted to stay behind Logano instead of attempting to pass. Logano had to throw a few blocks on the last lap but otherwise he cruised to victory.

Results for the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway:

1. Joey Logano
2. Kurt Busch
3. Chase Elliott
4. Kevin Harvick
5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr
6. David Ragan
7. Aric Almirola
8. Alex Bowman
9. Ryan Newman
10. Daniel Suarez
11. Chris Buescher
12. Jimmie Johnson
13. Kyle Busch
14. Denny Hamlin
15. Ty Dillon
16. Darrell Wallace Jr
17. Kasey Kahne
18. Ryan Blaney
19. Matt DiBenedetto
20. DJ Kennington
21. Cole Whitt
22. Brendan Gaughan
23. Timothy Peters
24. Gray Gaulding
25. Ross Chastain
26. Martin Truex Jr
27. Joey Gase
28. Jamie McMurray
29. William Byron
30. Paul Menard
31. Clint Bowyer
32. Michael McDowell
33. Brad Keselowski
34. AJ Allmendinger
35. Austin Dillon
36. Timmy Hill
37. Reed Sorenson
38. Trevor Bayne
39. Erik Jones
40. Kyle Larson

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