Late pit stop propels Joey Logano to Richmond win

Joey Logano got his first win of 2017 on Sunday at Richmond. (Getty)

Joey Logano took advantage of a late caution caused by quasi-teammate Ryan Blaney and drove past Kyle Larson for the win at Richmond on Sunday.

Logano and Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski stayed out on the track when a caution was called for Matt Kenseth’s shredded tire with 33 laps to go. With fresh tires more advantageous than track position, Logano and Keselowski looked like they were going to be toast. Everyone else on the track had pitted for four tires.

And they probably would have been had the race gone green the rest of the way. But not long after the race restarted, Blaney had contact with Kurt Busch and a cut tire caused him to hit the wall in turns 3 and 4 with 24 laps to go. Blaney drives for the Wood Brothers, a satellite team of Team Penske.

Faced with another tire decision because of Blaney’s yellow, Logano came to pit road for four fresh tires and easily passed Larson over the race’s final laps. Larson had stayed out on the final caution and had older tires than Logano.

The win comes in the 300th start of Logano’s Cup Series career and also in a race where he had to start last. After his team changed a transmission in the car on Saturday, Logano was forced to start at the rear of the field.

“I was driving my guts out there — that’s all I had,” Logano said. “We won with a car that may not have been the winning car so it’s something to be very proud of. That means execution was there.”

Keselowski also pitted on the final caution and finished second. He won the race’s second stage and had the race’s fastest car over the last 250 laps of the 400-lap race. But he got caught in traffic on the final restart and by the time he got to second over Denny Hamlin, the lead Logano had built up was far too big to overcome by the end of the race.

“I felt like we would have been fine — that last restart there were about six or seven cars that stayed out and we got behind one that was really slow and didn’t really go so we lost two or three spots by the time we could get going,” Keselowski said.

Larson, who finished 14th, continues to lead the points standings by 40 points over Martin Truex Jr. Logano is now fourth in the standings while Keselowski is fifth.

Results

1. Joey Logano
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Denny Hamlin
4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
5. Kevin Harvick
6. Jamie McMurray
7. Ryan Newman
8. Kurt Busch
9. Aric Almirola
10. Martin Truex Jr.
11. Jimmie Johnson
12. Daniel Suarez
13. Trevor Bayne
14. Kyle Larson
15. Clint Bowyer
16. Kyle Busch
17. Chris Buescher
18. Danica Patrick
19. David Ragan
20. Austin Dillon
21. Landon Cassill
22. Kasey Kahne
23. Matt Kenseth
24. Chase Elliott
25. Paul Menard
26. Ty Dillon
27. Cole Whitt
28. Matt DiBenedetto
29. Michael McDowell
30. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
31. Gray Gaulding
32. Corey LaJoie
33. Reed Sorenson
34. Timmy Hil
35. Jeffrey Earnhardt
36. Ryan Blaney
37. AJ Allmendinger
38. Erik Jones

 

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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