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)

Power Rankings: Kevin Harvick reigns going into All-Star Race

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Kevin Harvick‘s dominance of his Cup competitors continues in this week’s NBC Sports power rankings, as the Stewart-Haas Racing driver is the unanimous No. 1 driver for the second week in a row.

That comes after Harvick placed fourth at Kentucky Speedway in a race won by rookie Cole Custer.

Fourteen drivers earned votes this week following a weekend of four NASCAR races, including two Xfinity Series events.

Here is this week’s top 10:

 1. Kevin Harvick (30 points): Fourth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top-five finish. Last week: First.

 2. Aric Almirola (22 points): While Almirola finished eighth, he led a career-best 128 laps, won Stage 1 and earned his sixth consecutive top-10 finish. Last Week: Second.

(Tie) 3. Cole Custer (19 points): Custer became the first rookie of the year candidate to win a Cup race since 2016 and the first 2020 rookie to score consecutive top fives with his win. Last week: Ninth.

(Tie) 3. Matt DiBenedetto (19 points): Earned his second top five of the year and his second top 10 in three races. DiBenedetto has earned points in the last eight stages. Last week: Unranked.

(Tie) 5. Brad Keselowski (16 points): His ninth-place finish was his 10th top 10 in the last 12 races, but he didn’t earn any applause from Jimmie Johnson after contact spun Johnson. Last week: Third.

(Tie) 5. Martin Truex Jr. (16 points): Runner-up finish marked his fifth top 10 in the last eight races. Last week: Unranked.

 7. Austin Cindric (12 points): The Xfinity driver dominated his series’ doubleheader in Kentucky and came away with his first oval track wins in NASCAR. Last Week: Unranked.

 8. Kurt Busch (8 points): Placed fifth for his first top five since the second Charlotte race in May. Last Week: Unranked.

 9. Denny Hamlin (7 points): Forgettable day at Kentucky. On to the All-Star race at Bristol. Last week: Fourth.

 10. Tyler Reddick (6 points): Placed 10th to earn his first consecutive top 10 of his Cup career. Last Week: Unranked

Others receiving votes: Chase Briscoe (3 points), Ryan Blaney (3 points), Christopher Bell (3 points), Sheldon Creed (1 point)

NASCAR video explains Choose Rule for All-Star Race at Bristol

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NASCAR detailed in its drivers meeting video how the Choose Rule will be used for restarts in Wednesday night’s NASCAR All-Star Race (8:30 p.m. ET on FS1).

The non-points race marks the first time Choose Rule — which allows drivers to determine what lane they restart — will be used in a NASCAR Cup event. Drivers have been vocal about trying the rule since May.

The Choose Rule will be used for restarts only. It will not be used for the start of the All-Star Race, which is being held for the first time at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The video states that drivers must be single file under caution when crossing the start/finish line at the time to choose their restart lane. The video states that a V shaped painted mark on the track will show where drivers must decide what lane they wish to restart.

To restart in the inside lane, drivers must have their right side tires on or below the painted line at the V shaped mark.

To restart in the outside lane, drivers must have their left side tires on or above the painted line at the V shaped mark on the track.

If in NASCAR’s discretion, a driver has not chosen a lane at the V shaped mark on the track, changes lanes, tires touch the painted box after the V shaped mark or impedes the process, that driver will have to restart at the tail end of the field in the longest line of cars.

Xfinity team owner fined for violating COVID-19 protocol at Kentucky

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NASCAR announced on Tuesday the first fine for a violation of its COVID-19 protocols.

Anthony Clements, owner of Jeremy Clements Racing, was fined $10,000 for violating section 12.8.1.b of the Member Conduct Guidelines and section 7.7.2.j Team Event Roster Guidelines in the rulebook.

Among the potential violations in Section 12.8.1.b is that a member can be fined $5,000-$25,000 for: “Failure to comply with NASCAR’s COVID-19 Event Protocol Guidelines and/or instructions from NASCAR including screenings, social distancing, compartmentalization, and use of required personal protective equipment, etc.”

Last week, NASCAR issued a memo to teams requesting them to address “complacency” regarding its COVID-19 mask policy.

Section 7.7.2.j says “If a team is not in compliance with the Team Event Roster Rules and guidelines, that team will be subject to a Penalty as outlined in Section 12 Violations and Disciplinary Action.”

NASCAR also issued a $5,000 fine to crew chief Dave Rogers for one unsecured lug nut on Riley Herbst‘s No. 18 Toyota.

NASCAR did not issue any penalties for Friday’s post-race fight between Noah Gragson and Harrison Burton.

Last Saturday, NASCAR announced L1 level penalties for three Truck Series teams that failed pre-race inspection.

Wednesday’s Bristol All-Star Race: Start time, lineup and more

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History will be made Wednesday night when NASCAR holds the All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway for the first time.

The night will be filled with many other firsts. Cars will have unique paint schemes centered around their sponsors. Drivers who automatically qualified for the All-Star race will have underglow lights on their cars. This will be the first national NASCAR event with the choose rule.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of Wednesday night’s event.

(All times are Eastern)

START: All-Star Open: Command to start engines is at 7:02 p.m. Green flag is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. All-Star Race: Command to start engines is at 8:56 p.m. Green flag is at 9:01 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage access health screening begins at Noon (teams are assigned specific times). All-Star Open: Driver introductions at 6:43 p.m. Drivers report to cars at 6:45 p.m. Invocation at 6:54 p.m. All-Star Race: Driver introductions at 8:35 p.m. Invocation at 8:47 p.m. National anthem at 8:49 p.m.

DISTANCES: All-Star Open: 85 laps around the half-mile track. All-Star Race: 140 laps.

SEGMENTS: All-Star Open: 35 laps / 35 laps / 15 laps. All-Star Race: 55 laps / 35 laps / 35 laps / 15 laps (only green-flag laps count in final segment)

CHOOSE RULE FOR ALL-STAR RACE: Competitors can choose which lane to restart. Rule is detailed here.

ADVANCING: The winners of each stage in the Open will advance to the All-Star Race. A fourth driver will advance through a fan vote.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will televise the race. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.

FORECAST: For the All-Star Open, wunderground.com forecasts partly cloudy skies, a high of 87 degrees and chance of rain at the start. For the All-Star Race, it forecasts a high of 81 degrees and no chance of rain.

LAST ALL-STAR RACE: Kyle Larson beat Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch to claim his All-Star Race win.

ALL-STAR OPEN STARTING LINEUP: Click here for NASCAR Open starting lineup

ALL-STAR RACE STARTING LINEUP: Click here for All-Star Lineup

Catch up on NBC Sports’ coverage:

Bump and Run: All-Star Race picks, surprising wins, and more

Cash App to sponsor Bubba Wallace in multi-year deal

Xfinity team owner fined for violating COVID-19 protocol at Kentucky

Cup playoff grid after Kentucky Speedway

Cup rookies shine going into All-Star Race

NASCAR in ‘good place’ with Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson after fight