Logano passes out-of-gas Harvick to win Cheez-It 355 Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen


In a nail-biting finish, Joey Logano passed an out-of-fuel Kevin Harvick two turns from the checkered flag and went on to victory in Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International.

Logano, who led only the final lap not only had enough fuel to pass Harvick, he also did a full celebratory burnout.

Logano became the first driver in Watkins Glen history to sweep the weekend, also winning Saturday’s Zippo 200 Xfinity Series race for his first NASCAR career sweep. He’s also the 20th different Sprint Cup winner at the upstate New York racetrack.

Logano’s first career Sprint Cup victory on a road course contrasted last week’s race at Pocono, which was also determined by fuel mileage. Logano ran out of gas with three laps left while leading.

source: Getty Images

Harvick took lead from Matt Kenseth on Lap 61, ran out of fuel two turns from the finish, giving up the lead to Logano.

Kyle Busch was also at risk of running out of fuel, but still managed to pass Harvick on the frontstretch to take second. Harvick finished third, followed by Kenseth and Kurt Busch.

Clint Bowyer finished sixth and was followed by Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Sam Hornish Jr. and Jimmie Johnson.

MORE: Results, stats and winnings for the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen

MORE: Kyle Busch now 30th in points, becomes Chase eligible

How Logano won: After running out of fuel with three laps left in last Sunday’s race at Pocono, Logano proved he learned his lesson well, coming back to Watkins Glen to save enough fuel to pass Kevin Harvick coming out of Turn 6 and heading into the seventh and final turn. Logano conserved fuel better than any other driver, and the proof is in how he managed to reach the finish line first. One other key to Logano’s win: On the final pit stop, Logano took just fuel, while Kyle Busch took fuel and tires and came out behind Logano. That decision by Logano and crew chief Todd Gordon not to take tires ultimately earned the 22 team the 92nd Sprint Cup win for Team Penske and the 10th career Cup win for Logano. It’s also his second win of the season, starting with a triumph in the season-opening Daytona 500, making Logano the seventh repeat winner of 2015.

Who else had a good race: Kyle Busch has completed his long comeback and finds himself now in the top-30 in the Sprint Cup standings and is officially on the Chase for the Sprint Cup grid. However, Busch must maintain that position in the final four races, especially after the final Chase qualifying race at Richmond, to assure he makes the playoffs. … Despite running out of fuel, Harvick coasted down frontstretch to finish third and maintain his lead in the Sprint Cup standings. It was Harvick’s 15th top-five finish in this season’s first 22 races. … Pocono winner Matt Kenseth earned his career-best finish on a road course, ending up fourth in Sunday’s race.

Who had a bad race: Jeff Gordon’s hopes of winning Sunday were dashed early, as brake issues caused him to fall back four laps. Gordon, who is still seeking his first win of 2015, finished 41st. … Defending race winner AJ Allmendinger shut his engine to save fuel while racing under caution on Lap 51, and was unable to restart it. He was pushed to pit road and finally was able to get his engine re-started. Allmendinger finished 24th, a big blow to his Chase hopes. … A bad restart on Lap 49 by Sam Hornish Jr., saw several cars behind him involved in an accordion-like crash. Suffering the most damage were Jamie McMurray (finished 40th), and Kasey Kahne (42nd) … Bad luck again befell Tony Stewart. He started third but suffered a broken drivetrain on Lap 56, ending his chance to extend his Watkins Glen wins record to six, not to mention qualifying for the Chase. Instead, Stewart finished last in the 43-car field.

Notable: Sunday marked the fifth consecutive race that a Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske driver has finished either first or second. … The track announced shortly after the green flag that it had sold out all reserved grandstand seats. … Denny Hamlin had the hood on his car rise up and fold back over the windshield, just as it did at Indianapolis. Hamlin came in for a backup hood and returned to the race. He finished 27th. … Hornish finished ninth to earn his second-best showing of the season. … Aric Almirola got loose early and Paul Menard ran into him. Almirola lost more than a lap while having repairs on pit road. But Almirola rallied to finish 16th, while Menard held on for a 13th-place showing. … Kurt Busch (finished fifth) earned his sixth top-10 finish in his last eight starts at The Glen.

Quote of the day: “I made it longer this week than last. I was pretty awful last week.” – Kasey Kahne, who finished 42nd after being caught up in an accordion-like wreck just past the halfway point of the race, told NBCSN. It was Kahne’s second consecutive DNF due to a wreck and hurts his chances of making the Chase.

What’s next: Pure Michigan 400, August 16, 2:30 pm ET (NBCSN)

NASCAR weekend schedule at World Wide Technology Raceway, Portland


NASCAR’s top three series are racing this weekend in two different locations. Cup and Craftsman Truck teams will compete at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, and the Xfinity Series will compete at Portland International Raceway.

World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (Cup and Trucks)

Weekend weather

Friday: Partly cloudy with a high of 87 degrees during Truck qualifying.

Saturday: Sunny. Temperatures will be around 80 degrees for the start of Cup practice and climb to 88 degrees by the end of Cup qualifying. Forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 93 degrees around the start of the Truck race.

Sunday: Mostly sunny with a high of 92 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the Cup race.

Friday, June 2

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 1 – 8 p.m. Craftsman Truck Series
  • 4 – 9 p.m. Cup Series

Track activity

  • 6 – 6:30 p.m. — Truck practice (FS1)
  • 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. — Truck qualifying (FS1)

Saturday, June 3

Garage open

  • 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  — Cup Series
  • 12:30 p.m. — Truck Series

Track activity

  • 10 – 10:45 a.m. — Cup practice (FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Cup qualifying  (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 1:30 p.m. — Truck race (160 laps, 200 miles; FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, June 4

Garage open

  • 12:30 p.m. — Cup Series

Track activity

  • 3:30 p.m. — Cup race (240 laps, 300 miles; FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)


Portland International Raceway (Xfinity Series)

Weekend weather

Friday: Mostly sunny with a high of 77 degrees.

Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high of 73 degrees and no chance of rain around the start of the Xfinity race.

Friday, June 2

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 6-11 p.m. Xfinity Series

Saturday, June 3

Garage open

  • 10 a.m.  — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Xfinity practice (No TV)
  • 12 – 1 p.m. — Xfinity qualifying (FS1)
  • 4:30 p.m. — Xfinity race (75 laps, 147.75 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

NASCAR Cup playoff standings after Coca-Cola 600


The severe penalty to Chase Briscoe and his Stewart-Haas Racing team Wednesday for a counterfeit part dropped Briscoe from 17th to 31st in the season standings. Briscoe now must win a race to have a chance at the playoffs.

The penalty came a day after NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one race for his retaliation in wrecking Denny Hamlin in Monday’s Coca-Cola 600. Elliott is 28th in the points. The 2020 Cup champion also needs to win to have a chance to make the playoffs.

Ten drivers have won races, including Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney. That leaves six playoff spots to be determined by points at this time. With 12 races left in the regular season, including unpredictable superspeedway races at Atlanta (July 9) and Daytona (Aug. 26), the playoff standings will change during the summer.

Among those without a win this season are points leader Ross Chastain and former champions Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Elliott.

Here’s a look at the Cup playoff standings heading into Sunday’s Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois. Drivers in yellow have won a race and are in a playoff position. Those below the red line after 16th place are outside a playoff spot in the graphic below.

NASCAR issues major penalties to Chase Briscoe team for Charlotte infraction


NASCAR fined crew chief John Klausmeier $250,000 and suspended him six races, along with penalizing Chase Briscoe and the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team 120 points and 25 playoff points each for a counterfeit part on the car.

The issue was a counterfeit engine NACA duct, said Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, on Wednesday. That is a single-source part.

MORE: Updated Cup playoff standings

The team stated that it accepts the L3 penalty.

“We had a quality control lapse and a part that never should’ve been on a car going to the racetrack ended up on the No. 14 car at Charlotte,” said Greg Zipadelli in a statement from the team. “We accept NASCAR’s decision and will not appeal.”

Asked how then piece could have aided performance, Sawyer said Wednesday: “Knowing the race team mentality, they don’t do things that would not be a benefit to them in some way, shape or form from a performance advantage.”

The penalty drops Briscoe from 17th in the season standings to 31st in the standings. Briscoe goes from having 292 points to having 172 points. He’ll have to win to make the playoffs. Briscoe has no playoff points at this time, so the penalty puts him at -25 playoff points should he make it.

Briscoe’s car was one of two taken to the R&D Center after Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 for additional tear down by series officials.

The penalty comes a day after NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one race for wrecking Denny Hamlin in last weekend’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Championship Weekend returns to Phoenix in 2024


Phoenix Raceway will host the championship races for the Cup, Xfinity, Craftsman Truck and ARCA Menards Series in 2024, NASCAR announced Wednesday.

The races will be held Nov. 1-3, 2024. The Cup season finale will be Nov. 3, 2024. The only other Cup race for 2024 that has been announced is the Daytona 500. It will be held Feb. 18, 2024.

Phoenix Raceway has hosted the championship finale for Cup, Xfinity and Trucks since 2020. Chase Elliott won the Cup title there in 2020. Kyle Larson followed in 2021. Joey Logano won the crown there in 2022.

This year’s Cup finale at Phoenix will be Nov. 5 and air on NBC.