Joey Logano wins Phoenix Cup race in overtime

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Joey Logano won Sunday’s Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway in an overtime finish, beating Kevin Harvick to score his second win of 2020.

Logano is the first repeat winner of the season.

Logano held on to win over Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson and Clint Bowyer.

The Team Penske driver bounced back from an uncontrolled tire penalty in Stage 2, as well as a slow pit stop due to a broken jack. Logano led 60 of the race’s 316 laps. It is his second Cup win at Phoenix.

“Boy, we had more things go wrong today, unfortunate situation with the jack breaking, nobody’s fault,” Logano told Fox. “Had some good restarts to get ourselves back up there, being aggressive and having some tires there towards the end. I knew racing Kevin was going to be hard.  I was figuring I was going to get hit, so I throttled up in the corner so much, I thought he was going to give me the bump‑n‑run, which I expected, wouldn’t blame him for.  I’m out of breath.

“That was a pretty intense last 30 minutes or hour of the race.  A lot going on.  Couldn’t be more proud of this team.  Two wins already in the books.  We’ve got to keep this thing rocking.”

The overtime finish was set up by an incident involving Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and John Hunter Nemechek with three laps left in the original 312-lap distance.

Harvick’s second-place finish comes after he led 67 laps. Harvick remains the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all four races this year. Harvick also earned his 14th consecutive top-10 finish at Phoenix, a track record.

“(Logano) got by and got control of the race,” Harvick told Fox. “He got to restart where he wanted to. “Our Jimmy John’s Ford was better, especially when we could put it in front of his.  We just didn’t get the control of the race back there, and he was able to get by us on that restart where I got hung up.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Kevin Harvick

STAGE 2 WINNER: Brad Keselowski

More: race results, point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Kyle Larson and Clint Bowyer each earned their first top-five finish of the season. Bowyer snapped a string of 23 straight race at Phoenix without a top five.  … Chase Elliott bounced back from an unscheduled pit stop for a loose tire to finish seventh. He also led a race-high 93 laps … Cole Custer placed ninth for his first Cup Series top 10 in his seventh start.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 22nd after he wrecked in Turn 2 on Lap 58, in addition to the incident that created overtime … Points leader Ryan Blaney was eliminated in a three-car incident with Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski on a Lap 64 restartAustin Dillon finished 36th after he hit the wall on Lap 131, not long after an unscheduled pit stop for a loose wheel. … Erik Jones placed 28th after he wrecked in Turn 1 with 60 laps to go … After running in the top 10 most of the day, Tyler Reddick placed 33rd after he was eliminated in a wreck with 48 laps to go … Martin Truex Jr. was eliminated when he wrecked on a restart with 30 laps to go. It was the culmination of a long weekend for Truex, who had to start from the rear after an engine change.

NOTABLE: Seventeen different drivers have finished in the top five through four races in 2020, tied with 2001 for the most ever through four races in a season.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This was huge. It is a huge boost in our step to have a really solid day and fast Mustang. We overcame obstacles all weekend and hopefully we can continue to carry that all through the year. I think we get better every single race, so it is just a matter of continuing that and doing that every single weekend.” – Cole Custer after placing ninth for his first career Cup top 10.

WHAT’S NEXT: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway at 2 p.m. ET on March 15 on Fox

 

eNASCAR Pro Invitational Qualifier to be streamed online

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The qualifying race for Sunday’s eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series event at a virtual Texas Motor Speedway will be streamed on enascar.com/live, NASCAR announced.

The qualifier features Xfinity, Truck and regional series drivers looking to advance to the eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series race that will be at 1 p.m. ET Sunday on Fox, FS1 and the Fox Sports App. At this time, four drivers from the qualifier will advance. That number could change depending on any late additions or drops to the race featuring Cup drivers.

MORE: Roush, Greg Biffle reunite for eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series race

MORE: North Wilkesboro to make its comeback on iRacing 

MORE: eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series reminds Clint Bowyer of being a rookie

The qualifier is scheduled to take place at 11:02 a.m. ET and have 34 drivers battling for those four transfer spots.

The qualifier will be 30 laps at a virtual Texas Motor Speedway. The race will have no cautions.

Practice begins at 10:30 a.m. ET. Qualifying begins at 10:55 a.m., lasting five minutes, followed by the race.

Last week, six drivers advanced from the qualifier to the main event. They were: Anthony Alfredo, Justin Allgaier, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Ty Majeski and Ryan Truex.

Drivers scheduled to compete in Sunday’s qualifier at a virtual Texas Motor Speedway are (with car number):

02 – Spencer Boyd

7 – Justin Allgaier

08 – Jeb Burton

15 – Brennan Poole

16 – Justin Haley

22 – Austin Cindric

23 – Sam Mayer

26 – Tyler Ankrum

27 – Ruben Garcia

29  – Kaz Grala

29a – Trevor Bayne

33 – Anthony Alfredo

35 – Todd Gilliland

36 – Jesse Iwuji

40 – Ryan Truex

45 – Ty Majeski

46 – Chandler Smith

50 – Jeffrey Earnhardt

52 – Stewart Friesen

53 – Joey Gase

54 – Kyle Weatherman

63 – Scott Stenzel

68 – Brandon Brown

74 – Sheldon Creed

78 – Ryan Ellis

80 – Joe Graf Jr.

81 – Christian Eckes

90 – Alex Labbe

93 – Myatt Snider

98 – Chase Briscoe

99 – Harrison Burton

TBD – Derek Kraus

TBD – Drew Dollar

TBD – JJ Yeley

March 28 in NASCAR history: Texas Terry Labonte gets a home win

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Terry Labonte’s last two Cup Series wins were anything but forgettable.

The last one, in 2003, came in the Southern 500. That was the same race he earned his first Cup win in way back in 1980.

But four years earlier, the two-time champion got a home win.

A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, the driver nicknamed “Texas Terry” claimed a victory in the 1999 race at Texas Motor Speedway. It was just the third Cup race held at the facility after it opened in 1997.

Labonte started fourth and would lead 124 of 334 laps around the 1.5-mile track, including the final 12 after he passed Dale Jarrett on the outside going into Turn 1 for the lead.

Jarrett wouldn’t get a chance to fight for the lead again. With four laps to go, Jimmy Spencer crashed on the frontstretch to bring out the caution. Labonte took the checkered and yellow flags together for his 21st Cup win.

“We picked places to go test this year and I said ‘I want to go here cause this is a race I want to win,” Labonte told CBS. “Besides Daytona, coming here to Texas is awesome.”

Making the day even better for the Labonte family was Terry’s younger brother, Bobby, placing third.

Also on this day:

1954: The premier series held two races on different sides of the country. Dick Rathmann won a 125-mile race at Oakland Speedway in California after starting last. In Georgia, Al Keller won his first career race at Savannah’s Oglethorpe Speedway.

1982: Sam Ard claimed his first career Xfinity Series win in a race at Martinsville Speedway. Ard would go on to win 22 Xfinity races and the championships in 1983 and 1984.

1992: Robert Pressley passed Harry Gant on the last lap to win the Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway.

1993: Dale Earnhardt came back from a lap down to win at Darlington Raceway. It was his first win since the Coca-Cola 600 10 months earlier. Alan Kulwicki finished sixth in what would be his last race before his death in a plane crash on April 1.

2004: Kurt Busch won at Bristol for his third consecutive victory on the half-mile track.

Roush, Biffle reunite for eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series race

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After four years, Roush Fenway Racing and Greg Biffle are getting the band back together … digitally.

Roush Fenway Racing announced its former driver will compete in Sunday’s eNASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series event on a digital Texas Motor Speedway.

Like he did in the Cup Series from 2003-2016, Biffle will pilot a No. 16 Ford in the race (1 p.m. ET on Fox and FS1).

“How exciting is it to get back behind the wheel of the No. 16,” Biffle said in a press release. “I watched the iRace last week on TV and I was really impressed with the overall quality of the broadcast and the racing. It was just a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to being a part of the show this weekend.

“We are running a really cool Castrol scheme on the car. I think it’s going to show up really well. My plan is to log a ton of practice time leading up to the race, so hopefully we can have a strong showing and you’ll see a lot of the Castrol green and red on the broadcast.”

This will be Biffle’s iRacing event debut.

After parting ways with Roush Fenway Racing after the 2016 season, Biffle returned to NASCAR last year for a one-off Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway with Kyle Busch Motorsports, which he won.

NASCAR teams impacted by North Carolina stay at home order

Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP
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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced a stay at home order for the entire state of North Carolina, beginning at 5 p.m. ET Monday because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The order is for 30 days.

The move impacts all NASCAR teams based in North Carolina.

“These are tough directives, but I need you to take them seriously,” Gov. Cooper said in afternoon news briefing.

MORE: N.C. Governor enlists Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson for COVID-19 PSA

MORE: North Carolina stay at home order

The order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to stay at least six feet away from each other. The order requires all residents to stay at home except for essential activities. The order states: “non-essential business and operations must cease.”

The order also states that among the definitions for an essential business and operation is “Businesses that meet Social Distancing Requirements. Businesses, not-for-profit organizations or educational institutions that conduct operations while maintaining Social Distancing Requirements:

a. Between and among its employees; and

b. Between and among employees and customers except at the point of sale or purchase.”

Mecklenburg County and Cabarrus County, which are home to such race teams as Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing, were already under a stay at home order through April 16.

By the end of the week, more than 20 states will have issued stay at home orders, including California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey and Ohio.