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Logano dominates for second All-Star triumph at North Wilkesboro

Joey Logano erased his difficult start to the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season by capping off a dominant run with a big victory in the 40th annual running of the NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Sunday, May 19. 

The two-time Cup Series champion from Middletown, Connecticut, led all but one of 200 scheduled laps in an event where he took care of business a day earlier by qualifying on the pole position for the main event. From the drop of the green flag to the checkered flag, Logano managed through the event’s tire options and repaved surface, including the use of optional tires for grip, to keep his No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang Dark Horse entry out in front amid four restarts and several challenges between his fellow competitors. Amid a 42-lap dash to the finish, Logano managed both his optional tires, the track’s racing surface and the clean air to fend off Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson to claim his second checkered flag in the All-Star event and cash in a million dollars.

The starting lineup for the main event was determined through a combined session of on-track qualifying and the NASCAR Pit Crew Challenge that occurred on Saturday, May 18, where each competitor eligible for the All-Star Race took the green flag, ran one full lap around the circuit, pitted within a designated pit stall for four-tire pit stop with a mock fuel delivery included during the second lap and raced back to the checkered flag once returning to the track.  

The overall qualifying time was evaluated by the total time from the green flag to the checkered flag, where the competitor who posted the fastest lap time between the three times would achieve the pole position. The event’s two 60-lap Heat events that would determine the rest of the starting lineup for the All-Star Race aside from the pole sitter was scheduled to occur on Saturday but was canceled due to on-track precipitation. 

At the conclusion of the qualifying and Pit Crew Challenge sessions, Joey Logano claimed his first All-Star pole position after posting the fastest three-lap qualifying run in one minute, 29.75 seconds. Joining him on the front row was Brad Keselowski, who clocked in the second-fastest three-lap qualifying run in one minute, 30.14 seconds.  

Christopher Bell, whose No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota pit crew achieved this year’s Mechanix Wear Pit Crew Challenge after delivering the fastest four-tire pit service during Bell’s qualifying run in 13.223 seconds, qualified in third place with a three-lap qualifying run in one minute, 30.17 seconds and he started alongside Daniel Suarez, who posted the fourth-fastest three-lap qualifying run in one minute, 30.20 seconds. 

Prior to the event, Kyle Larson, who qualified an impressive fifth place for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 while driving for Arrow McLaren, started at the rear of the field due to a driver change after Kevin Harvick practiced and qualified Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 entry while Larson was preparing for the Indy 500. 

When the green flag waved and the race commenced, Logano muscled his No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang Dark Horse ahead from the outside lane as he led the field through the first two turns and through the backstretch while Kyle Busch, who started towards the middle of the pack, hit the outside wall after making contact with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. amid a three-wide battle.  

Then as Logano proceeded to lead the first lap, Busch retaliated by bumping and sending Stenhouse hard into the outside wall in Turn 2 as his event came to an early end. Following the incident, however, Stenhouse nursed and parked his damaged No. 47 Icy Hot Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 into Busch’s pit stall before he climbed out and exchanged words with Busch’s crew chief Randall Burnett before being directed to the infield care center. 

During the caution period, a majority of the field led by Daniel Suarez pitted to have the soft “red” tires on their respective entries removed for prime “yellow” tires while the rest led by Logano and including Tyler Reddick, Brad Keselowski, Chris Buescher and Ryan Blaney remained on the track. 

When the event restarted under green on the 10th lap, Logano retained the lead through the first two turns and through the backstretch as Keselowski and Reddick battled for second in front of Blaney and Buescher. Behind, Christopher Bell, the first competitor racing on the fresh prime tires, was in sixth ahead of Suarez, Ross Chastain, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch as Logano proceeded to lead the Lap 15 mark. 

Through the first 20 scheduled laps, Logano was leading by four-tenths of a second over Reddick followed by Buescher, Blaney and Keselowski while Bell, Suarez, Chastain, William Byron and Denny Hamlin were racing in the top 10. Behind, Chase Elliott occupied 11th place ahead of Truex, Ty Gibbs, Kyle Larson and Busch while Bubba Wallace, AJ Allmendinger, Michael McDowell and Noah Gragson trailed behind, with last-place Gragson trailing the lead by more than seven seconds. 

Ten laps later, Logano extended his advantage to more than a second over Buescher followed by Blaney, Reddick and Keselowski, with all the top-five front-runners separated by more than three seconds and still racing on the option “red” tires. Behind, Bell, the first competitor racing on the primary “yellow” tires in his No. 20 Yahoo! Toyota Camry XSE, trailed in sixth place by more than three seconds while Suarez, Chastain, Byron and Hamlin continued to run in the top 10. 

Another 10 laps later, Logano stabilized his advantage to more than a second over Buescher while third-place Blaney trailed by more than two seconds. As Keselowski and Reddick trailed in the top five, Bell, Suarez, Chastain, Hamlin and Byron trailed in the top 10, respectively, while Elliott, Gibbs, Truex, Larson and Busch followed suit in the top 15 ahead of Wallace, McDowell, Gragson and Allmendinger. 

At the Lap 50 mark, Logano continued to lead by nine-tenths of a second over Buescher, with Blaney and Keselowski trailing in third and fourth, respectively. Meanwhile, Bell cracked the top five on his primary tires while Reddick fell back to sixth place on his optional tires. Suarez, Chastain and Hamlin followed suit from seventh to ninth, respectively, while Elliott occupied 10th place ahead of teammate Byron and Gibbs. 

Fifteen laps later, Logano retained the lead by a second over Buescher as Blaney, Keselowski and Bell trailed in the top five. Behind, Reddick occupied sixth place ahead of a battle between Hamlin and Suarez while Chastain and Elliott continued to run in the top 10. 

A few laps later, trouble struck for Byron, who nursed his No. 24 RAPTOR Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to pit road under green due to a flat tire and for a bent toe link after hitting a bump and the outside wall. Amid Byron’s issues, which pinned the Charlotte native multiple laps down while his pit crew made repairs on pit road, Logano, who was beginning to approach lapped traffic, was leading by less than half a second over Buescher, who was starting to close in on Logano for the top spot, by the Lap 75 mark. 

Just past the Lap 80 mark, Logano, who was still trying to navigate his way through lapped traffic, retained the lead by half a second over Buescher while third-place Blaney trailed by a second. Keselowski, Bell and Reddick continued to run in the top six ahead of Hamlin, Chastain, Suarez and Elliott while Logano, who was trying to lap Wallace, was still leading by the Lap 90 mark. 

On Lap 100, which marked the halfway point of the event, a designated All-Star caution was flown. At the moment of caution, Logano, who was unable to lap Wallace but survived through the event’s first half on the optional tires, retained the lead ahead of Buescher, Keselowski, Blaney and Bell while Reddick, Hamlin, Chastain, Suarez and Elliott were scored in the top 10. By then, McDowell, who was running in 16th place behind Wallace, emerged as the first competitor swho was scored a lap down and he was the recipient of the free pass. 

During the caution period, the field led by Logano made a mandatory four-tire pit stop. Following the pit stops, Logano retained the lead after beating both Buescher and Bell off of pit road first while Keselowski, Blaney, Hamlin, Chastain, Elliott, Suarez and Reddick followed suit in the top 10. Amid the pit stops, nearly the entire field led by Logano opted to change for a fresh set of optional tires while Gibbs and Reddick only opted to change for primary tires. 

When the race restarted under green with 92 laps remaining, where Logano and Bell occupied the front row, Logano maintained a slight advantage over Bell through the first two turns and the backstretch, with both still battling dead even back to the frontstretch and for the following lap. Logano and Bell would continue to battle dead even for the lead with 90 laps remaining, with the former trying to pin and stall the latter’s momentum through the turns and straightaways.  

Then with 88 laps remaining, Bell got loose underneath Logano, which sent both competitors up the track through Turns 3 and 4 amid contact. This allowed Hamlin to ignite a three-wide battle for the lead through the frontstretch. With Hamlin trying to emerge ahead through the first two turns from the inside lane, Logano fought back from the outside lane as he retained the lead by a narrow margin over Hamlin while Bell was trying to fend off Blaney for third place. In addition, Buescher was in fifth while Larson was up to sixth place. 

With 83 laps remaining, the caution flew after Gibbs, winner of the 2024 All-Star Open, was bumped twice by Busch’s No. 8 Lenovo Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 entering Turn 1 while racing for 12th place, which sent Gibbs’ No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry XSE spinning towards the outside wall in Turn 1. Gibbs would drop out of the lead lap category as he had issues trying to re-fire his car amid the incident while Suarez and Reddick pitted for tire options during the caution period. 

As the event restarted under green with 77 laps remaining, Logano muscled away from Hamlin and the field from the outside lane through the first two turns and through the backstretch. As the field behind battled for late spots, Logano maintained a steady advantage of two-tenths of a second over Hamlin’s No. 11 Mavis Toyota Camry XSE with 75 laps remaining while Blaney, Bell, Buescher and Larson followed suit in the top six. 

With 65 laps remaining, Logano stabilized his narrow advantage to three-tenths of a second over a side-by-side battle between Hamlin and Blaney for the runner-up spot. Behind, fourth-place Bell and fifth-place Buescher both trailed by a second as sixth-place Larson trailed by two seconds, with Keselowski, Wallace, Elliott and Reddick racing in the top 10. 

With 50 laps remaining, a second designated All-Star caution was flown. At the moment of caution, Logano was the leader ahead of teammate Blaney, Hamlin, Bell and Buescher while Larson, Keselowski, Wallace, Elliott and Reddick were scored in the top 10 followed by McDowell, Gragson, Chastain, Busch, Truex, Suarez, Gibbs and Allmendinger. 

During the caution period, some led by Larson and including Wallace, Elliott, Chastain, Truex, McDowell, Gragson, Busch and Suarez pitted for fresh optional “red” tires while the rest led by Logano remained on the track. 

Down to the final 42 laps of the event, the event restarted under green as teammates Logano and Blaney occupied the front row. At the start, Logano retained the lead while Blaney, who got loose entering the first turn, was quickly overtaken by Hamlin for the runner-up spot. Blaney would then be challenged by Buescher for third place along with Larson as Hamlin started to challenge Logano for the lead with 40 laps remaining.  

Over the next two laps, Larson, racing on fresh optional tires, overtook both Blaney and Buescher to move his No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 into third place. By then, Logano retained the lead ahead of Hamlin as Larson started to close in on the two leaders. Larson would then have issues trying to overtake Hamlin for the runner-up spot through the corners while Logano retained the lead with less than 35 laps remaining.  

With 25 laps remaining, Logano was leading by six-tenths of a second over Hamlin while third-place Larson trailed the lead by a second. Behind, Buescher retained fourth ahead of Blaney while Wallace was up to sixth place followed by Chastain, Elliott, Truex and Busch. 

Down to the final 15 laps of the event, Logano extended his advantage to a second over Hamlin while third-place Larson, who was starting to fade on his fresh tires, trailed by more than two seconds as he was also trying to fend off Buescher to retain third place. Blaney, Wallace, Chastain, Elliott, McDowell and Truex followed suit in the top 10 as Logano was leading by six-tenths of a second over Hamlin with 10 laps remaining. 

With five laps remaining, Logano retained the lead by eight-tenths of a second over Hamlin as third-place Larson trailed by four seconds followed by Buescher and Blaney.  

When the white flag waved and the final lap started, Logano remained as the leader by six-tenths of a second over Hamlin. Despite Hamlin’s late effort in keeping Logano as close as he could in front of him, he could not narrow the gap as Logano, who was out front in clean air, was able to cycle around the North Wilkesboro circuit smoothly for a final time and back to the frontstretch victorious as he claimed the checkered flag by six-tenths of a second. 

With the victory, Logano joins Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin, Terry Labonte and Davey Allison as competitors to win the All-Star Race twice as this marks his first time winning the All-Star event since 2016. He also recorded the fifth All-Star victory for Team Penske and the 14th overall for the Ford nameplate, with the new Ford Mustang Dark Horse stock car winning for a second consecutive weekend.

Logano’s All-Star victory capped off a strong day of motorsports competition for team owner Roger Penske, whose three-car operation in the NTT IndyCar Series swept the front row for next Sunday’s 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 as Scott McLaughlin captured his first Indy 500 pole over teammates Will Power and Josef Newgarden. For Logano, the victory served as a momentous boost for the former Cup Series champion, who came into the event with a single top-two result registered to his racing stats along with being winless through the first 13 events on the 2024 schedule. 

Photo by Andrew Boyd for

“How about that, Wilkesboro?! That was awesome!” Logano exclaimed on the frontstretch on FS1. “What an incredible Shell/Pennzoil Mustang. It was so fast. Man, we came here and tested [in March]. We ran over 800 laps at the tire test. [Crew chief] Paul [Wolfe] really put me to work, really figured out what it was going to take to win the race. The [No. 22] boys executed a fantastic stop. Fantastic weekend, great execution. It’s been a while since we’ve won a race. I wish this one counted for points, but a million bucks will work as well…Man, it feels good. Feels great.” 

As Logano celebrated on the frontstretch, tempers ignited in the garage area and towards the transport haulers as Stenhouse, who waited for Busch, who ended up 10th and was still displeased over the opening lap incident, confronted the latter as harsh words were exchanged. As the conversation continued, Stenhouse then swung a fist towards Busch as a fight ignited between both competitors and their respective crew members before they were separated. 

Denny Hamlin, the 2015 All-Star Race winner, settled in second place for the second time in his career followed by Chris Buescher, who achieved his first top-five result in the All-Star event. Meanwhile, Kyle Larson capped off an eventful run between his Indianapolis 500 qualifying trials to campaigning for another All-Star victory by finishing fourth while Blaney rounded out the top five. 

Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott, Michael McDowell and Kyle Busch completed the top 10 in the final running order. 

There were two lead changes for two different leaders. The race featured four cautions for 27 laps. In addition, 17 of 20 starters finished on the lead lap.


1. Joey Logano, 199 laps led 

2. Denny Hamlin 

3. Chris Buescher 

4. Kyle Larson 

5. Ryan Blaney 

6. Bubba Wallace 

7. Ross Chastain 

8. Chase Elliott 

9. Michael McDowell 

10. Kyle Busch 

11. Noah Gragson 

12. Martin Truex Jr. 

13. Ty Gibbs 

14. Tyler Reddick 

15. Daniel Suarez 

16. Brad Keselowski, one lap led 

17. Chistopher Bell 

18. AJ Allmendinger, two laps down 

19. William Byron, 14 laps down  

20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – OUT, Accident 

Next on the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the 65th running of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. The event is scheduled to occur next Sunday, May 26, during Memorial Day weekend and air at 6 p.m. ET on FOX. 

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


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