The Final Word – Las Vegas almost had a great finish, but Logano’s team got in the way

I wonder what the highlight was from Las Vegas? Just maybe it was the passing opportunity to see Joey Logano get his ass kicked on pit road. However, before that could happen, a lot of dudes on Logano’s race team quickly took Kyle Busch out of the mix as their driver literally got carried off to safety. Rowdy wound up leaving the fray with a small cut on his forehead.

I learned I will never get a job as a NASCAR official at track level. Did you see the size of those lads who helped lead Busch away from the melee? I don’t know what their names are, but Mister, Sir, or whatever they want to be called works for me. They were not little fellows.

As for the spark that led to the tussle, that would have been when Busch dived down to get by a slowing Brad Keselowski on the final lap and made contact with Logano. As they went by, Logano wiggled a bit and the ensuing contact sent Busch for a spin through pit road. Was it all Joey’s fault? Not really, but it sure was fun to watch the aftermath.

Keselowski had the race won. Then with two to go, he found himself with some kind of mechanical issue that took away his brakes and affected his steering. He fell back, and Martin Truex Jr. completed the sweep with two to go, claiming both Stages and coming back to accept the gift that fate bestowed upon him. For Truex, it marked his eighth career victory, gave him at least a win in each of the past three seasons, and he all but placed himself in the Chase.

Las Vegas is going to get a fall race next season, but for most of Sunday, it was just a bunch of guys all spread out going fast and turning left. Not terribly exciting visually, at least until near the end. Then things got real interesting.

Keselowski, along with Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney provided the main opposition in this one. In the end, Larson and Elliott were second and third, while Keselowski got the third highest number of points in finishing fifth. Blaney had the fourth best tally despite coming home seventh. To illustrate the impact of the points system now in place, Matt Kenseth was ninth at the line but claimed 30 fewer points, half that of the winner. Being up front all day long and finishing somewhere in the vicinity at the end is what it is all about.

Not a good day for Kevin Harvick. He had the best total coming in but left with just a single marker after blowing a right front and plowing into the fence in the opening stage. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was not much of a factor on the day, finishing 16th and still sits outside the Top 25. Jimmie Johnson was 11th and is slowly making his way up the ladder. As for the other hometown boy, Kurt Busch got his win at Daytona but Sunday saw him 30th after having issues much of the day. Unlike his brother, however, he did manage to leave the track without a mark on his head.

Now it is off to Phoenix, where Harvick has claimed six of the past nine events staged there, including last spring. Logano won there in the fall, and may again as long as he does not have to pass a certain M&M painted vehicle on the last lap. Johnson has four victories, Junior has a trio to his credit. No time like the present to revisit some old glory. Maybe this time we might have something to talk about other than a mechanical failure or a failure to communicate. We can always hope.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Ron Thornton
Ron Thornton
A former radio and television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, Little League baseball coach, Ron Thornton has been following NASCAR on this site since 2004. While his focus may have changed over recent years, he continues to make periodic appearances only when he has something to say. That makes him a rather unique journalist.


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