Joey Logano holds off the field to win at Phoenix

Joey Logano found victory lane Sunday afternoon at Phoenix Raceway. It was Logano’s 25th win of his career and second of the season, making him the first repeat winner of the 2020 NASCAR Cup season.

Chase Elliott earned the pole, with Kevin Harvick taking the second spot. Martin Truex Jr. would start at the rear due to an engine change.

Stage 1:


American Muscle

We saw action early when Elliott and Harvick led the field to the green. The two would nearly collide in Turn 3 of the opening laps but would keep their cars straight. The two of them would be inseparable as laps later they would battle it out for the race lead, with Harvick eventually taking the top spot.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. would find troubles as his No. 47 would hit the in Turn 1 going underneath J.J. Yeley. The No. 47 would receive rear damage to his Chevrolet, bringing out the first caution.

A restart would ensue and Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Brad Keselowski would find troubles as the three collided into the Turn 3 wall. Blaney would be knocked out of the race while Hamlin and Keselowski would be able to keep on going.

Kevin Harvick would fend off the field to win Stage 1.

Elliott, Logano, Matt DiBenedetto, Kyle Busch, Alex Bowman, Truex, Aric Almirola, Tyler Reddick, and Erik Jones would round out the rest of the Top 10.

Stage 2:

Elliott would lead the first few laps of the stage before Harvick would retake the race lead. However, the No. 9 would fight back and respond by taking the lead back. Keselowski would march his way forward as he would pass by Harvick for the second spot.

Halfway into the stage, Austin Dillon would blow a right front tire, causing the No. 3 to slap the Turn 1 wall, bringing out the yellow.

During pit stops, Logano would get a penalty due to an uncontrolled tire, Harvick would lose spots due to a lengthy pit stop.

Keselowski and Elliott would lead the field down on the restart, but the two would have a close skirmish with each other into Turn 2, giving Truex an opportunity to lead some laps. Elliott and Keselowski would pass the No. 19 shortly after.

Elliott’s lead would be short-lived as he would come down pit lane, reporting a loose wheel, giving Keselowski the first position.

Rookie Tyler Reddick would climb his way toward the Top 5 as he would pass Kyle Busch for position.

Elliott was on the hard charge, trying to pass cars left and right in order to get back onto the lead lap. A caution with two laps to go into the stage would fly when Garrett Smithley’s car would blow up.

As a result, Keselowski got the stage win. For Elliott, he would get the free pass thanks to the yellow.

Harvick, Truex, Reddick, Kyle Busch, Almirola, Logano, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, and Cole Custer would finish out the Top 10 at the end of Stage 2.

Stage 3:

Keselowski and Truex would lead the field down, and Reddick would move his way towards the second position immediately.

Reddick, Logano, and Harvick would later duke it out, going three-wide into Turn 3. Reddick would drive the car wide, dropping him all the way down to ninth.

Elliott, who had issues back in Stage 2, lurked his way into the Top 10 with 101 laps to go. Quin Houff would blow up off of Turn 2 a few laps later, sending the StarCom Chevy into the outside wall.

The field would immediately flood pit road. Truex was the first one off due to a two-tire stop. Reddick, Jones, and Christopher Bell would follow along with two tires as well.

The two-tire strategy would not pay off, as Truex, Reddick, Jones, and Bell would fall backward in position, while those with four new tires would surge their way past.

Logano and Harvick would pull away from the field until a crash in Turn 1 by Jones and Custer would bunch the field back up. A plethora of cautions would follow upon the restarts.

Reddick, who had a promising run throughout, would have a right-front tire go down, sending the rookie into the Turn 2 wall. Chris Buescher would have a left front go down after contact with Bell, resulting with the No. 17 hitting the Turn 1 wall.

Truex, on a restart, would get a shove from Almirola, sending his Bass Pro Shops Toyota hard into the Turn 1 wall, knocking him out of the race. Logano, who was trying to block Bowman, had a close call and saved it in the dogleg.

Keselowski and Bowyer would lead the front row on the restart, but Logano would close in on the two and would discard them quickly. Harvick would later move Keselowski to take second away. With nine laps to go, Ross Chastain would spin off of Turn 4 after contact with William Byron.

A four-lap shootout would arise, and Logano would have to hold off the field again when John Hunter Nemechek and Stenhouse collided off of Turn 4.

It led to NASCAR Overtime, and with a solid restart, Logano would run away from Harvick to secure the victory at Phoenix.

There were 20 lead changes for seven different leaders. There were 12 cautions for 73 laps.

Results:

  1. Joey Logano – 60 laps led
  2. Kevin Harvick – 67 laps led, Stage 1 winner
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Kyle Larson – two laps led
  5. Clint Bowyer
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Chase Elliott – 93 laps led
  8. Aric Almirola
  9. Cole Custer
  10. William Byron
  11. Brad Keselowski – 82 laps led, Stage 2 winner
  12. Jimmie Johnson
  13. Matt DiBenedetto
  14. Alex Bowman
  15. Ty Dillon
  16. Michael McDowell
  17. Chris Buescher
  18. Ryan Preece – one lap led
  19. Bubba Wallace
  20. Denny Hamlin
  21. Daniel Suarez
  22. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  23. Ross Chastain
  24. Christopher Bell
  25. John Hunter Nemechek
  26. JJ Yeley
  27. Corey LaJoie
  28. Erik Jones – three laps down
  29. Joey Gase – three laps down
  30. Reed Sorenson – four laps down
  31. Brennan Poole – OUT
  32. Martin Truex Jr. – 11 laps led, OUT
  33. Tyler Reddick – OUT
  34. Quin Houff – OUT
  35. Garrett Smithley – OUT
  36. Austin Dillon – OUT
  37. Ryan Blaney – OUT
  38. Timmy Hill – OUT

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