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NASCAR Talladega: Joey Logano ends Cup winless streak – NASCAR


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Joey Logano ended a year-long winless NASCAR Cup drought with victory at Talladega, edging Kurt Busch at the finish.

Logano spent the majority of the race towards the front of the pack and finished second in first two stages before charging to the lead on lap 139 of the 188-lap race.

From then on, he controlled the race in his Ford Fusion and led 70 laps in total to end a drought dating back to Richmond last year. In taking victory, Logano has secured a Cup playoff place.

Busch had an eventful race – his team had to replace his steering wheel and helmet after a communications problem before the pace laps had begun, and he dropped back to nearly being a lap down during the first stage.

Crucially, he kept just ahead of the leaders and worked his way back through the field, ending up back in the top 10 at the end of the second stage.

Much of the first stage was a matter of strategy – as many of the Fords pitted early to take enough fuel to go to the end of the 55-lap stage and hoping that there would not be a caution period.

There was not, and Logano’s team-mate Brad Keselowski took the first stage after the Toyotas and Chevrolets pitted much later.

As the race progressed, drivers took to running two and three-wide more frequently. On the restarts, there was even four-wide action on the 2.66-mile oval.

Wood Brothers Racing’s Paul Menard had a strong run in the second stage, challenging and beating Logano to take his first Cup stage win.

However, the days for many of the frontrunners would come to an abrupt end on lap 165 as Jimmie Johnson ended up having a loose Chevrolet Camaro and causing a wreck involving more than a dozen cars.

Involved in the collision were Keselowski, Menard, Darrell Wallace Jr, Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch – all drivers who at one point had run towards the front. Remarkably, Johnson was not collected by anybody and continued to finish in 12th.

Chase Elliot was once again denied a maiden Cup victory, albeit climbing to third after a late tyre change on lap 154 under caution paid off.

Polesitter Kevin Harvick salvaged fourth after dropping back early in the race. He led the opening 12 laps but dropped off after experimenting with the higher line and slipped through the field as a result.

Reigning Cup champion Martin Truex Jr had a day to forget, after he sustained substantial damage to his Toyota Camry in a collision caused by Eric Jones when he hit Jamie McMurray, who had crashed heavily in practice.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps
1 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 188
2 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 188
3 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 188
4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 188
5 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 188
6 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 188
7 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 188
8 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 188
9 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 188
10 Daniel Suarez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 188
11 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 188
12 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 188
13 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 188
14 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 188
15 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 188
16 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 188
17 Kasey Kahne Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 188
18 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 188
19 Matt DiBenedetto Go FAS Racing Ford 188
20 D.J. Kennington Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota 188
21 Cole Whitt TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 188
22 Brendan Gaughan Beard Motorsports Chevrolet 188
23 Timothy Peters RBR Enterprises Ford 187
24 Gray Gaulding BK Racing Toyota 187
25 Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 186
26 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 184
27 Joey Gase StarCom Racing Chevrolet 178
28 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 174
29 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 165
30 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 165
31 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 165
32 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 165
33 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 165
34 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 165
35 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 165
36 Timmy Hill Rick Ware Racing Ford 151
37 Reed Sorenson Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 79
38 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 71
39 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 71
40 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 71



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