Executing a decisive bash-and-run on the next-to-last-lap of Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway, Joey Logano wrested the lead from William Byron and ended a NASCAR Cup Series 40-race winless streak dating to March of 2021 at the Bristol Dirt Track.
After Logano gave Byron’s Chevrolet a jolt entering Turn 3 on the white-flag lap, Byron shot up the track into the outside wall and fell back to 13th at the finish.
Driving a No. 22 Ford sporting the throwback paint scheme of his first quarter-midget racer, Logano beat runner-up Tyler Reddick to the finish line by .775 seconds to earn his first victory at Darlington and the 28th of his career.
To download images from Joey Logano’s victory in the Goodyear 400, click here.
Logano now has won at least one race in 11 consecutive Cup Series seasons.
“Yeah, you’re not going to put me in the wall and not get anything back,” Logano said, apparently referring to earlier contact from Byron’s car. “That’s how that works. Man, super proud of the Shell-Pennzoil team, getting a victory here in Darlington. You know what it’s like—I’ve never won here in a Cup race before.
“So proud of this race team. Great execution all day long. I’ll tell you what, the coolest thing is getting this car into Victory Lane. This is the car where it all started for me back in ’95 in a quarter midget. Really, honestly, all the young kids racing out there right now—this could be you.”
An incensed Byron clearly thought Logano crossed the line with his aggressive maneuver.
“We were really close off of (Turn) 2, and I think it spooked him and got him tight, and he was right against the wall, and I got the lead,” Byron said of a restart on Lap 268. “He’s just an idiot. He does this stuff all the time. I’ve seen it with other guys.
“He drove in there 10 miles an hour too fast, and with these Next-Gen cars, he slammed me so hard it knocked the whole right side off the car, and no way to make the corner.
“Yeah, he’s just a moron. He can’t win a race, so he does it that way. I don’t know, we’ll… yeah, it was close racing on the restart. We were faster than him. Obviously, at the end the right rear (of Byron’s car) started to go away, and, yeah, he didn’t even make it a contest.”
Justin Haley ran third, followed by Kevin Harvick, who posted his 13th straight top-10 result at the Lady in Black—a track record. Chase Elliott started at the rear of the field in a backup car and finished fifth.
A massive wreck off Turn 2 on Lap 261 of 293 took out more than a handful of frontrunning cars and set up the final restart. Martin Truex Jr., who had restarted on the inside of Row 2, lost momentum in the corner and slid back between the Chevrolet of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the Ford of Kevin Harvick.
Truex’s Toyota made slight contact with Stenhouse’s Camaro in the outside—but enough to start Truex spinning sideways. The wreck collected the cars of Kurt Busch, Bubba Wallace, Cole Custer, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Chase Briscoe, Ryan Blaney and Elliott, which suffered damage ranging from minimal to terminal.
Ill fortune led to the demise of three of the strongest cars before the race reached the halfway point. On Lap 114 second-place starter Kyle Larson brought his No. 5 Chevrolet to pit road and retired with engine failure.
Lap 167 brought the downfall of Kyle Busch, who had led 19 laps. The No. 6 Ford of Brad Keselowski pounded the outside wall in Turn 2 and collected the Toyota of Busch, eliminating both cars from the race.
Ross Chastain collected the second stage win of his career in Stage 2, but his elation was short-lived. Moments after the subsequent restart on Lap 196, Chastain’s No. 1 Chevrolet spun to the inside of Hamlin’s Toyota near the exit of Turn 2 and nosed into the inside wall, ending his race.
“We were fighting the balance all day,” Chastain said. “We were racing with those guys for the lead. I just thought I could run the bottom there off of Turn 2 at the exit of the patch (of new asphalt). I just got loose on the transition and spun out.”
By the time the race ended, 13 of the 36 cars already were in the garage, equaling the number of DNFs last month at Talladega.
Logano’s victory in a Ford kept Chevrolet winless at Darlington since Harvick’s victory there in 2014.
–NASCAR Wire Service
2022 NASCAR Season
The Tradition Continues at Darlington Raceway with the Labor Day Race Weekend on Sept. 3-4, featuring the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200 Xfinity Series race on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 3:00 p.m. and start of the Cup Series Playoffs in the 73rd running of the crown jewel Cook Out Southern 500® over Labor Day weekend on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 6:00 p.m.
NASCAR tickets are available for purchase via phone at 866-459-7223 or online at darlingtonraceway.com.
About Darlington Raceway
Darlington Raceway, nicknamed The Lady in Black and the track Too Tough To Tame, is home to the award-winning Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR and annually hosts two NASCAR Cup Series race weekends, along with the NASCAR Xfinity Series and/or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Opening in 1950, Darlington Raceway is “A NASCAR Tradition” and NASCAR’s original superspeedway with its famed 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval, challenging the sports best in one of the most iconic NASCAR races, the Southern 500®. For more information about Darlington Raceway, visit darlingtonraceway.com.
About The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs about 72,000 people and manufactures its products in 57 facilities in 23 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), one local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series) and three international series (NASCAR Pinty’s Series, NASCAR Peak Mexico Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).