The odds are good that Team Penske will win not one but two major titles. With his victory on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Joey Logano became the inaugural driver to clinch a spot in NASCAR’s championship-deciding finale.
Here we go, racing for the title! Come on, let’s get going! Logano bellowed out to the onlookers. All you care about in the first race of the season is making the final four and winning the title. No longer do I see any reason why we can’t triumph.
For the seventh time in his career, Logano has qualified for the NASCAR Cup Series championship race after his third victory of the season and third victory at Las Vegas. Earlier this month, Will Power and his team at Team Penske enjoyed his second IndyCar championship.
During a late pit break, Logano changed to Goodyears in the hopes that they would give him a better chance of winning. However, despite moving six positions on the opening restart, his Ford was still in seventh place with 16 circuits.
Chase Briscoe was in the lead as the race went again, followed by Justin Haley and Ross Chastain. However, Chastain eventually passed them all with a spectacular three-wide move at the bottom of the track. As he sprinted through the field, Chastain made several blocks to stave off Logano’s onslaught.
In the end, Logano passed Chastain on the front stretch with three rounds to take the lead into the championship race at the end of the month.
According to Chastain, who came second in a Chevrolet for Trackhouse Racing and stated, “There was a great disparity in tires there, so we firmly believed that we could hold him off and take the victory on the tires we had, and Joey did a wonderful job of going through the ground.”
Although he was ousted in the initial round of the playoffs, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch still managed to place third in his Toyota.
Briscoe, driving a Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing, finished fourth, and Denny Hamlin, driving a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, advanced from 31st to finish fifth; both drivers were in the playoffs.