BROOKLYN, Mich. – No one was even in the same zip code as Joey Logano on Monday afternoon at Michigan Int’l Speedway.
Logano, who started from the pole in Monday’s rain-delayed Firekeepers Casino 400, led 163 laps en route to a dominant victory at Michigan Int’l Speedway.
“A day like that, you don’t get those days all the time,” Logano said from victory lane.
Logano, the reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, was in control of the Firekeepers Casino 400 from the moment the green flag waved. He was rarely challenged, typically only giving the lead up for a few laps at a time when other cars were able to get a run on him or during pit stop cycles.
The last such pit stop cycle began with 28 laps left, with Logano hitting the pits with 26 laps left. It took a little more than 10 laps, but when the cycle was complete with 15 laps left Logano was back in front by nearly a second over Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch.
Initially it didn’t appear Truex and Busch were going to be able to catch Logano, but with seven laps left the two began working together by drafting off one another and they quickly began to close the gap on Logano.
With five laps left Truex had caught Logano and was looking for a way by, but moments later Erik Jones went for a spin in turns one and two, leading to the final caution flag of the afternoon.
The ensuing overtime restart saw Logano get a massive jump on the field, allowing him to pull clear of Truex just past the start/finish line. Busch was able to get alongside Truex and take the second position as Logano tried to distance himself.
Busch tried his best, but he wasn’t able to do anything with Logano over the final lap and a half as the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang earned his second victory of the season.
“What a great execution day. Our race car was obviously very fast, our pit crew was amazing. T.J. Majors, my spotter, spotted his butt off up there,” said Logano, who has won three races at Michigan Int’l Speedway from the pole during his career. “There is nothing like bring a Ford to victory lane on their home turf, and Roger Penske’s cars as well. There is no better feeling than that. This is a big win for us.”
Busch’s second-place finish Monday afternoon matched his best result of the season in the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Chip Ganassi Racing.
“I had a blast. That was the tightest I’ve ever put my belts at the end of a race,” Busch said. “We got enough stage points today and I was like hell with it, we don’t need to get anything but the win. We got second today. Logano’s car was tough.
“I really wanted it to go green at the end with Truex. I was just going to push Truex straight through the 22 (Logano). That was my best shot at it.”
Truex ended up third at the checkered flag, followed by Daniel Suarez and Kyle Busch.
Kevin Harvick, who seemed to be the only driver throughout Monday’s race who could keep up with Logano, ended up seventh after taking four tires during the final pit stop cycle while most others took two.
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