Joey Logano holds off Kevin Harvick to win 57th Daytona 500


Joey Logano outlasted both a green-white-checkered finish and a strong last-lap challenge from runner-up Kevin Harvick to win Sunday’s 57th Daytona 500 under caution.

Logano, whose previous best finish in the 500 was ninth, took the lead on Lap 191 and held on for the final 13 laps to earn his first career 500 win. The race finished under caution after a multi-car last lap wreck on the backstretch of the 2.5-mile tri-oval.

At 24, Logano becomes the second-youngest driver to win the 500 (Trevor Bayne was the youngest at 20 years old in 2011).

“I can’t believe it, this is absolutely amazing,” Logano said. “This is awesome. The Daytona 500! Oh my God! Are you kidding me? Unbelievable.”

MORE: Unofficial Results, Winnings, and Race Stats – 57th Daytona 500

Logano tried to maintain his calm and focus on what he had to do during the red flag period to clean up debris from the wreck between Justin Allgaier and Ty Dillon on Lap 197, which set up the GWC and resulting last-lap caution.

“Everything,” Logano said when asked what he was thinking while waiting. “I was trying to stay relaxed. You had a red flag and that gave you the opportunity to think of everything. I’m like still in complete awe. I can’t believe this.”

source: AP
Joey Logano celebrates in Victory Lane after winning Sunday’s 57th Daytona 500. (AP photo)

It was the ninth — and obviously the biggest — win of the Connecticut native’s 220-race Sprint Cup career.

Harvick finished second, followed by last year’s 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson.

“I really thought everything was lined up pretty well coming down the backstretch,” Harvick said. “I was trying to back up to Junior and get a run so we were lined up with a little distance coming off Turn 4.”

Added Earnhardt, “We had a really fast car, maybe the best car here. I had a lot of confidence to keep digging and get some spots back. I’m just a little disappointed I let the guys down because we should have won the race.”

Sixth through 10th were Casey Mears, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle.

There were 27 lead changes with 12 different leaders.

Thirty-three cars finished on the lead lap.

The race appeared headed to one of the tightest finishes seen in years, with a pack of more than 15 cars all in tight, three-wide tandem starting about Lap 189.

Then with three laps left in the scheduled 200-lap event, Allgaier and Dillon got together. That brought out a caution and then a nearly seven-minute red flag stoppage to complete cleanup of debris, setting up three extra laps for a 203-lap outcome.

Making the 23rd and final Daytona 500 start of his career, pole-sitter Jeff Gordon led at the halfway point of the race, having paced the field for 77 of the first 100 laps.

source: Getty Images
Jeff Gordon acknowledges cheers of the crowd prior to the 23rd and last Daytona 500 of his career. (Getty Images)

Even though he eventually led 87 laps, the most of any driver, Gordon finished 33rd after being one of several cars involved in a last-lap wreck.

“For some reason, I’m still like smiling and enjoying every moment,” Gordon said. “Obviously, I enjoyed the first half (of the race) a lot more than the second half. What an amazing car we had. We were out there in the front, controlling the race.

“This was an amazing week, an amazing day and I’m just in this different place that’s so foreign to me but so incredible, me taking it all in and enjoying every moment. Right now, I’m a little bit sad, this is my final Daytona 500, but I’m more upset that we didn’t have a shot at winning there at the end.”

As for how the two replacement drivers in the field fared:

* Two-time defending Camping World Truck Series champ Matt Crafton, filling in for the injured Kyle Busch, finished 18th in his first career Sprint Cup race.

* Regan Smith, replacing the suspended Kurt Busch, finished 16th. It marked the first time a Busch brother has not appeared in a Sprint Cup race since late 2001.

On Lap 160, Brad Keselowski’s hopes for a first Daytona 500 win went up in smoke when he became the second of three drivers to suffer engine failure in the race.

“I guess (it was) an oil containment issue, something in the oil pan, broke something important,” Keselowski, who finished 41st, told Fox Sports. “We were just starting to get position for the last run. Had just got to the top five, and it broke.”

Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman tangled after going through oil that was laid down on the track by Keselowski’s Ford.

While McMurray was able to continue on, Newman suffered damage to the right side of his Chevrolet, taking his car to the garage for repairs.

The third engine to expire came on Lap 175, when Ryan Blaney’s Wood Brothers Racing Ford also went up in smoke.

Two of the top names and potential favorites to win Sunday’s race were involved in an early wreck on Lap 41.

source: AP
Tony Stewart’s hopes of finally getting his first Daytona 500 win ended early in this wreck with Ryan Blaney, Matt Kenseth and Michael Waltrip. (AP photo)

Tony Stewart and two-time Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth were part of a four-car scrum that collected Blaney and two-time 500 winner Michael Waltrip.

Stewart, who hoped to finally win his first Daytona 500 in his 17th career start in The Great American Race, suffered significant right front end damage, particularly around the fender.

Stewart’s car was taken to the garage for repairs, but was officially ruled out of the race on Lap 140, finishing 42nd.

Kenseth had right side damage, as well, but it was less extensive as Stewart’s, and fell one lap down while repairs were made.

Kenseth eventually finished one lap down in 35th place.

Blaney’s and Waltrip’s cars suffered minor damage. All three drivers were able to get back into the race.

From a TV replay, it appeared Stewart got loose, was tapped by Blaney and Kenseth hit the wall trying to avoid the wreck in front of him.

Stewart said on his team radio, “I’ll take the blame for that one. One hundred percent my fault. It started getting tighter, but we didn’t have a problem elsewhere.”

Landon Cassill was the first driver to exit the race with engine failure on Lap 19.

“It was sudden, just a typical engine failure where you never see it coming,” Cassill said, per a Chevrolet media release. “The most important thing is that we raced our way into the Daytona 500 and we would have liked to have scored a few more points than what we are going to end up scoring today.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski

NASCAR suspends Chase Elliott one race for incident with Denny Hamlin

1 Comment

NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one Cup race for wrecking Denny Hamlin in Monday’s Coca-Cola 600, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday.

“We take this very seriously,” Elton Sawyer, senior vice president of competition, said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “The incident that happened off Turn 4, again after looking at all the available resources — in-car camera, data, SMT, which basically gives us (a car’s) steering, throttle, gives us braking — it was an intentional act by Chase in our opinion.”

Hendrick Motorsports stated that it would not appeal the penalty. Corey LaJoie will drive the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway. Carson Hocevar will drive LaJoie’s car this weekend.

Hendrick Motorsports also stated that it would submit a waiver request for Elliott to remain eligible for the playoffs. Sawyer said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “I don’t see any reason at this point in time why wouldn’t (grant the waiver) when that request comes across our desk.”

This weekend will mark the seventh race in the first 15 that Elliott will have missed. He missed six races after breaking his leg in a snowboarding accident in early March. Elliott, who is winless this season, is 29th in points.

Elliott and Hamlin got together shortly before the halfway mark in Monday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

As they ran together, Elliott’s car slapped the outside wall. Elliott’s car then made contact with the right rear of Hamlin’s car, sending Hamlin into the wall.

“I got right-rear hooked in the middle of the straightway,” Hamlin said after the incident. “Yes, it was a tantrum. He shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. He shouldn’t be racing.”

Said Sawyer on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: “In the heat of the battle, things happen, but they have to learn to react in a different way. … Our drivers need to understand that you have to handle that in a completely different way than hooking someone in the right rear and putting them in harm’s way, not only with just a major head-on collision like Denny had, but also other competitors.”

Sawyer also said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “nothing gave us the indication that on that particular contact with the fourth-turn wall … that anything was broke” on Elliott’s car and could have caused him to come down and hit Hamlin’s car in the right rear.

NASCAR also announced that Scott Brzozowski and Adam Lewis, crew members on Michael McDowell‘s team, had each been suspended two races after McDowell’s car lost a tire in Monday’s race.

Winners and losers at Charlotte Motor Speedway


A look at winners and losers from Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway:


Ryan Blaney — Blaney stopped his winless streak at 59 races and gave team owner Roger Penske his second major race victory in two days. Blaney had the best car but had to fight through restarts late in the race to win.

William Byron — Byron, the winningest driver this season, barely missed getting victory No. 4. He finished second and scored his fifth straight top 10.

Martin Truex Jr. — Truex logged his third top five of the season.

23XI RacingBubba Wallace was fourth and Tyler Reddick fifth, giving 23XI Racing a pair of top-five finishes for the first time in a points race.


Jimmie Johnson — The seven-time champion admitted having problems adjusting to the Next Gen car on a 1.5-mile track. He crashed early and finished last.

Legacy Motor Club — It was a bad night for Jimmie Johnson and his team’s drivers. Johnson finished last in the 37-car field. Noah Gragson was 36th. Erik Jones placed 32nd.

Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin — Two drivers who had strong cars didn’t make it to the finish after crashing near the halfway point. Hamlin said Elliott “shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. He shouldn’t be racing.”

NASCAR Xfinity Series results: Justin Allgaier wins at Charlotte


CONCORD, N.C. — Justin Allgaier finally broke through for his first win of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season Monday night.

Allgaier stretched his last fuel load over the final laps to finish in front of John Hunter Nemechek. Cole Custer was third, Austin Hill fourth and Ty Gibbs fifth. Gibbs ran both races Monday, completing 900 miles.

The win also was the first of the season for JR Motorsports.

Charlotte Xfinity results

Xfinity points after Charlotte

Justin Allgaier wins NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway


CONCORD, N.C. — Justin Allgaier won a fuel-mileage gamble to win Monday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Allgaier stretched his fuel to outlast second-place John Hunter Nemechek. Following in the top five were Cole Custer, Austin Hill and Ty Gibbs.

The victory was Allgaier’s first of the year and the first of the season for JR Motorsports. He has 20 career wins.

MORE: Charlotte Xfinity results

After a long day at CMS, the race ended at 11:25 p.m. The race started Monday morning but was stopped twice because of weather before it was halted with 48 of 200 laps completed so that the Coca-Cola 600 Cup Series race could be run.

When the race was stopped, Gibbs, Nemechek and Allgaier were in the top three positions.

Gibbs won the first two stages.

Stage 1 winner: Ty Gibbs

Stage 2 winner: Ty Gibbs

Who had a good race: Justin Allgaier has had good cars in previous races but finally cashed in with a win Monday. He led 83 laps. … John Hunter Nemechek, in second, scored his fifth top-two run of the season. … Cole Custer scored his sixth straight top-10 finish. … Ty Gibbs lasted 900 miles for the day and led 52 laps in the Xfinity race.

Who had a bad race: Sam Mayer was running 10th when he spun off Turn 2. He finished 35th. … Sheldon Creed finished three laps down in 28th.

Next: The series moves on to Portland International Raceway in Oregon for a 4:30 p.m. ET race June 3.