Joey Logano scores win in inaugural Bristol Cup dirt race

Joey Logano season in review
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Drivers and crew members will leave Bristol Motor Speedway’s dirt track with mementos, particles of Tennessee red clay on their uniforms, in their hair and all over. Joey Logano will be the only one to leave with the trophy after winning the first NASCAR Cup Series race on dirt since 1970.

Delayed a day by rain and flooding, clear, sunny skies helped bake the track Monday and turn the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” into the “World’s Dirtiest Half-Mile” – leading to an in-race rule change by NASCAR to go to single-file restarts, because of the dust being kicked up.

MORE: Bristol to again host Cup cars on dirt in 2022

MORE: Results of Monday’s Cup race

Logano, who has had two runner-up finishes this year, became the seventh different winner to open the season. That last happened in 2014. The win is the 27th of his Cup career.

“The guys were joking that I’m going to change my name to Joe Dirt now,” Logano said after his overtime victory.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was second. Denny Hamlin placed third and was followed by Daniel Suarez and Ryan Newman.

Logano withstood Hamlin’s attempt on the final restart. Because of dust, restarts over the final 85 laps were single-file instead of double-file. Hamlin’s move to the outside failed and Stenhouse got by for second as Logano pulled away.

“I had an opportunity there to choose if I was going to make a move on him on the high side or the low side. I chose high and the track was just too slick,” Hamlin said. “Certainly, he didn’t get a very good restart. I was on him entering Turn 1.”

Asked why he didn’t “go through” Logano since bump and runs are common on short tracks, Hamlin said: “I think me and (Logano) race differently. I don’t have that mentality.”

Said Logano: “I was fully prepared to get the bumper. I figured that was going to come at some point. You get a green-white-checkered at Bristol – I don’t care if it’s dirt, concrete, you name it, there’s probably going to be contact, but we were able to have a good enough start to prevent that.”

The track proved unkind to some of those with dirt experience and expected to be contenders. On Lap 53, Christopher Bell spun and was hit by two cars, including Kyle Larson‘s car. That ended Bell’s race and Larson’s chances.

Because of high tire wear in Friday’s practice sessions, Monday’s 250-lap race was divided into 50-lap segments to allow teams to pit for tires. Before the final 50-lap segment, NASCAR extended the stage break to 10 minutes to water the track and try to limit the amount of dust.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Martin Truex Jr.

STAGE 2 WINNER: Joey Logano

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s runner-up finish is his first top five since he was second at Talladega in June 2020. … Denny Hamlin’s third-place finish is his sixth top 10 in the first seven races of the season. … Daniel Suarez’s fourth-place finish is the best for Trackhouse Racing. … Ryan Newman’s fifth-place result is his first top five since he was second at Talladega in October 2019. … William Byron‘s sixth-place finish was his fifth consecutive top-10 finish, the longest in his career.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Aric Almirola‘s struggles continue. On Lap 41, he spun in the middle of the track and was tagged by Shane Golobic, then drilled by Anthony Alfredo‘s car. That contact spun Almirola’s car into the path of Corey LaJoie‘s car. Almirola finished 36th. This is the fourth time in seven races this season Almirola has finished 30th or worse. … Christopher Bell spun while running second and was hit by Kyle Larson and Ross Chastain. Bell finished 34th.

NOTABLE: Joey Logano’s win gives him at least one victory in 10 consecutive seasons.

NEXT: The series is off this weekend for Easter. The series’ next race is April 10 at Martinsville Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET on FS1).

NASCAR Saturday schedule at Sonoma Raceway


Cup and Xfinity teams will be on track Saturday at Sonoma Raceway.

Cup teams will practice and qualify for Sunday’s race. Xfinity teams will qualify and race Saturday on the 1.99-mile road course in Northern California.

Sonoma Raceway


Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a high of 75 degrees. Forecast is for mostly cloudy skies, a high of 71 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the Xfinity race.

Saturday, June 10

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.  — Cup Series
  • 1 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 3 – 4 p.m. — Xfinity qualifying (FS1)
  • 5 – 6 p.m. — Cup practice  (FS2)
  • 6 – 7 p.m. — Cup qualifying  (FS2)
  • 8 p.m. — Xfinity race (79 laps, 156.95 miles; FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Alpha Prime Racing’s road woes don’t keep team from competing


SONOMA, Calif. — Alpha Prime Racing owner Tommy Joe Martins laughs. He can. His Xfinity Series cars all are here at Sonoma Raceway.

At one point last week, it was not certain if his team’s cars would make it to Portland International Raceway.

“It was probably the toughest professional week I’ve had of my NASCAR career,” Martins told NBC Sports on Friday at Sonoma.

MORE: Kyle Larson leads Xfinity practice at Sonoma

The Alpha Prime Racing team had both its trucks break down and one of its haulers have mechanical issues last week on the way to the Pacific Northwest.

“We basically sent four pieces of equipment on the road and three of them broke,” Martins said.

For a time, the car Sage Karam is driving this weekend at Sonoma was left in a hauler in Kansas City because there wasn’t room in the dually Martins sent. It had room only for the car that was needed at Portland and other equipment. Karam’s car, which was to be a backup at Portland, was left behind.

“It’s a very helpless feeling when you feel like your stuff is stuck on the side of the road,” Martins said.

He still has one truck still in St. Louis and another in Oregon. Martins estimates the mechanical issues will cost his team about $50,000 when everything is totaled.

Trouble started well before the team left its Mooresville, North Carolina, race shop for Portland.

The Xfinity Series race at Charlotte was scheduled to run May 27. Rain forced that event to be rescheduled to May 29. Martins said the team had planned to send its trucks to Portland on May 28. With the race pushed back to the 29th, the travel schedule tightened.

It got worse.

After the Xfinity race started, rain came. With the Coca-Cola 600 scheduled for 3 p.m. ET that day – after being delayed by rain from Sunday – the rest of the Xfinity race was pushed back until after the 600. That further tightened the window on Xfinity teams to make it to Portland.

The Xfinity race ended around 11:30 p.m. ET on May 29. Alpha Prime Racing’s haulers left the shop around 6 a.m. ET on May 30.

The two trucks traveled together until issues in St. Louis.

The truck hauling the Nos. 44 and 45 cars had engine issues in St. Louis. The other truck kept going until it had mechanical issues with its hauler in Kansas City. The air bags on the hauler failed.

So, Alpha Prime Racing had a truck that worked in Kansas City with a hauler that didn’t and a truck that didn’t work in St. Louis with a hauler that did.

The truck in Kansas City went back to St. Louis to attach to the hauler and take those cars and equipment to Portland. Martins then had to find something to haul the stranded equipment in Kansas City and a driver. He eventually did. A dually left North Carolina for Kansas City. Once there, what fit in the dually was taken to Portland and what didn’t, including Karam’s Sonoma car stayed behind.

Yet, more trouble was headed for Martins and his team.

The truck that had gone back from Kansas City to St. Louis to take hauler that worked then broke down about 200 miles from Portland.

“I laugh knowing that we’re on the other side of it,” Martins said Friday of all the issues his team had transporting cars and equipment across the country.

“We’ve started to make plans and corrections for it not happening again,” he said.

That hauler that was left in Kansas City? It was repaired and transported to Sonoma, arriving earlier this week.

“Our guys are troopers,” Martins said. “Both of our (truck) drivers were just awesome about the whole thing. … They went through hell week as far as driving somewhere, fly back and pick something up, drive again and now are going to have to do the same thing getting back.”

When the garage opened Friday at Sonoma, Alpha Prime Racing had all its cars.

“I don’t think we had any major issues here, so that was good,” Martins said.

The focus is back on the track. Karam was 24th on the speed chart in Friday’s practice, leading Alpha Prime Racing’s effort. Dylan Lupton was 32nd. Jeffrey Earnhardt was last among 41 cars.

After Saturday night’s race, the team heads back to North Carolina for a well-earned weekend off.

Kyle Larson leads Xfinity practice at Sonoma


SONOMA, Calif. — Kyle Larson posted the fastest lap in Friday’s Xfinity Series practice at Sonoma Raceway.

This is the first time the series has raced at the 1.99-mile road course in Northern California. Teams got 50 minutes of practice Friday.

Larson led the way with a lap of 90.392 mph. He was more than a second faster than the rest of the field.

MORE: Xfinity practice results Sonoma

Sheldon Creed was second on the speed chart with a lap of 89.066 mph. He was followed by AJ Allmendinger (89.052 mph), Cole Custer (89.020) and Ty Gibbs (88.989).

Larson, Allmendinger and Gibbs are among seven Cup drivers are entered in the Xfinity race. Aric Almirola was seventh on the speed chart with a lap of 88.750 mph. Ross Chastain was ninth with a lap of 88.625 mph. Daniel Suarez was 16th with a lap of 88.300 mph. Ty Dillon was 33rd with a lap of 86.828 mph.

Anthony Alfredo will go to a backup car after a crash in practice. He was uninjured in the incident that damaged the right side of his car.

Qualifying is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET Saturday. The race is scheduled to begin at 8:20 p.m. ET Saturday.

Anthony Alfredo’s car after a crash in Xfinity practice Friday at Sonoma Raceway. He was uninjured. (Photo: Dustin Long)

Saturday Sonoma Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather


The Xfinity Series will compete for the first time at Sonoma Raceway this weekend. This is one of eight road course events on the Xfinity schedule this season.

Seven Cup drivers are scheduled to compete in Saturday’s race, including AJ Allmendinger, Kyle Larson and Daniel Suarez, who won last year’s Cup race at this track Allmendinger has won 11 of 25 career road course starts in the Xfinity Series.

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Sonoma Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: Golden State Warrior Patrick Baldwin Jr. will give the command to start engines at 8:08 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 8:20 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 1 p.m. … Qualifying begins at 3 p.m. … Driver introductions begin at 7:35 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Earl Smith, team pastor for the Golden State Warriors and San Francisco 49ers, at 8 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by 9-year-old Isis Mikayle Castillo at 8:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 79 laps (156.95 miles) on the 1.99-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 20. Stage 2 ends at Lap 45.

STARTING LINEUP: Qualifying begins at 3 p.m. Saturday

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 8 p.m. ... Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. and can be heard on … SiriusXN NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Mostly cloudy with a high of 72 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: This is the first time the Xfinity Series has raced at Sonoma.