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Logano Wins Ally 400 Overtime Clash

Joey Logano outlasts field for second career win at Nashville Superspeedway

LEBANON, Tenn. – Joey Logano won a wild Ally 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway that took a record five overtimes and 31 additional laps to complete.

With his No. 22 Team Penske Ford low on fuel, Logano managed to pull away from the pack in the fifth overtime and as they all charged down the stretch, Logano swerved to block challengers Zane Smith, Tyler Reddick and Ryan Preece at different points on the track and then he led them all across the finish line at the end in dramatic fashion.

“There wasn’t a drop of fuel to spare, my fuel light came on in turn three and that was it, we had just enough fuel to spit and sputter across the line,” said Logano, who started the race in the 26th position. “Tyler (Reddick) had the fastest car at the end, but we were able to stay in front of him. I’ve never been involved in a fuel-mileage race before. This is a big one.”

It was Logano’s first win of the season, first Cup Series win at the 1.33-mile Nashville track and 33rd victory of his career. He said the win qualifies him for the post-season and takes off some of the pressure for he and his team before the NASCAR Playoffs get underway in September.

“It’s been a hard season and being on that cut line, I tell you it sucks,” Logano said. “It’s just not fun. It’s hard and you just want a little bit of relief of the pressure and with seven weeks to go until the playoffs it gives us a chance to breathe for a second and start just kind of working on our car a little bit differently and just sleep better, to be honest with you. I’m proud of this team and proud to be here in victory lane, for sure.”

As the laps winded down in regulation, it appeared that pole-winner Denny Hamlin was going to cruise to victory. He passed then-leader and defending champion Ross Chastain with seven laps to go, and seemed like he was on his way to strumming a Gibson guitar in victory lane.

That’s when all hell broke loose. Noah Gragson and Austin Cindric made slight contact back in the pack sending Cindric’s No. 2 machine into the wall. The field was then bunched up for its first overtime period.

On the first two overtime periods Hamlin also was out front and in position to win but caution flags flew in both after incidents involving Kyle Larson’s No. 5 Chevy that was low on fuel. Hamlin’s No. 11 machine finally ran out of fuel as well, ending his chance to win.

Hamlin said he couldn’t believe his car made it through that many overtimes.

“We were 15 seconds from a win and then we were 10 seconds from a win and then we finished 12th,” Hamlin said with a smile. “That’s just NASCAR Cup Series racing and it’s just part of it.”

Larson said he was racing for the win at the end before his car also ran out of fuel. Remarkably, he was able to get fuel and salvage an eighth place finish.

“I thought my opportunity to give myself a win was to get clean air on the nose,” Larson said. “I just ran in, got tight and drove into Ross. I hate that, for sure. The next restart I just got really out of shape through the gears and, thankfully, didn’t cause a crash on the frontstretch. And then the next one we ran out of fuel and caused that wreck. Hate that for Kyle (Busch). I had no warning.

“Obviously, we knew we were really close on fuel,” Larson continued. “It was going to be a stretch to make it, but I had no low fuel pressure alarm on my dash, so it was a bit surprising. When I went to the throttle, it just never went. I couldn’t really get out of the way either, because we were still to the wall – hadn’t even gotten to the dogleg yet to get out of the way. I’m really, really bummed for (Busch) because he needs the points. Thankfully, we were able to work through the last restarts and get a top 10, but bummed with how it all kind of ended up.”

Second-place finisher Zane Smith nearly became the latest Cup rookie to grab a victory, as he finished second in his No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevy after starting 36th.

“It’s been a rough, rough year, but this is a great momentum booster, a great confidence booster, all of the above,” Smith said. “So, hopefully we can carry this on. It was awesome to kind of sniff your first Cup win. You don’t ever know if you’re going to have a shot at another Cup win, so you just try to execute the best you can … It just goes to show that everyone is just so dang good in the Cup series.”

Third-place finisher Reddick was visibly dejected after the race, saying he knew he let one get away at the end after running up front all day and moving into position at the end.

“We got to the 22’s bumper on the last lap and um, he just kicked my (butt),” Reddick said. “We should have won the race. We just didn’t get the job done. We had better tires, pretty much the race was gifted to us. It takes a toll on you, that’s for sure.”

Ryan Preece was thrilled with another solid finish in his No. 41 machine in as many weeks.

“We just kept moving forward, and we had fresher tires,” Preece said. “I’m just really happy with how these guys fought all day. It didn’t look like it was going to be pretty, but another chaotic 10 or 15 laps at the end, and we salvaged a good day. At the end of the day I will take that result and hopefully this will help build some morale. We’ve been trending in that direction. Between last week and this week, it’s positive coming into the summer months.”

Fifth-place Chris Buescher felt like he was in the Twilight Zone out there in all of the overtime sessions.

“We definitely did have a good car, had the ability to run in the top 10 all night, and got stage points; still just frustrated; it was just chaos there at the end,” Buescher said. “I don’t know what in the world happened there at the end; I’ll have to go back and look… We were able to get a top-5 out of it; we just needed laps to pass cars and really just never quite got it there in the last 40 laps of the race. What a day, up and down for us, but everyone regrouped and did a good job at the end.”

Several front-runners fell out of the race as the result of single car spins, including Christopher Bell, who won stages 1 and 2 and led 132 laps in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing machine. His car lost traction with 71 laps remaining in the race and received heavy damage after it impacted the wall in turn 2.

Brad Keselowski also ran up front in both of the first two stages but his car slid out underneath him on lap 244, resulting in a 25th place finish. Chase Elliott also suffered a single car slide coming out of a turn when his No. 9 machine got loose and he posted an 18th place finish.

Ryan Blaney, Bubba Wallace, Larson, Daniel Hemric and Gragson completed the top 10. Defending winner Chastain, who was challenging for a top three finish ultimately finished 33rd after being involved in the restart incident in the first overtime.

NASCAR Cup Series Race – Ally 400
Nashville Superspeedway
Nashville, Tennessee

1. (26) Joey Logano, Ford, 331.
2. (36) Zane Smith #, Chevrolet, 331.
3. (6) Tyler Reddick, Toyota, 331.
4. (22) Ryan Preece, Ford, 331.
5. (9) Chris Buescher, Ford, 331.
6. (18) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 331.
7. (24) Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 331.
8. (4) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 331.
9. (37) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 331.
10. (16) Noah Gragson, Ford, 331.   
11. (28) AJ Allmendinger(i), Chevrolet, 331.
12. (1) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 331.
13. (33) Justin Haley, Ford, 331.
14. (12) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 331.
15. (10) Austin Cindric, Ford, 331.
16. (15) Carson Hocevar #, Chevrolet, 331.
17. (32) Todd Gilliland, Ford, 331.
18. (13) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 331.
19. (7) William Byron, Chevrolet, 331.
20. (21) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 331.
21. (19) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 331.
22. (31) Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 331.
23. (8) Ty Gibbs, Toyota, 331.
24. (17) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 331.
25. (5) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 330.
26. (2) Josh Berry #, Ford, Accident, 327.
27. (27) Kyle Busch, Chevrolet, Accident, 319.
28. (25) Harrison Burton, Ford, Accident, 312.
29. (29) Corey Heim(i), Toyota, Accident, 312.
30. (23) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 312.
31. (35) John Hunter Nemechek, Toyota, Accident, 306.
32. (11) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, Accident, 305.
33. (20) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, Accident, 304.
34. (34) Erik Jones, Toyota, Suspension, 287.
35. (14) Michael McDowell, Ford, Transmission, 239.
36. (3) Christopher Bell, Toyota, Accident, 227.
37. (30) Riley Herbst(i), Ford, Accident, 201.
38. (38) Chad Finchum(i), Ford, Electrical, 132.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 108.298 mph.
Time of Race: 4 Hrs, 3 Mins, 54 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.068 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 15 for 79 laps.
Lead Changes: 20 among 9 drivers.

Lap Leaders: D. Hamlin 1-16;C. Bell 17-38;T. Gibbs 39-40;T. Reddick 41-45;M. McDowell 46-76;C. Bell 77-92;D. Hamlin 93-117;C. Bell 118-187;T. Reddick 188;C. Bell 189-208;T. Reddick 209-213;C. Bell 214;T. Reddick 215;C. Bell 216-217;T. Reddick 218-221;R. Blaney 222-233;A. Allmendinger(i) 234;R. Blaney 235-248;R. Chastain 249-293;D. Hamlin 294-322;J. Logano 323-331.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Christopher Bell 6 times for 131 laps; Denny Hamlin 3 times for 70 laps; Ross Chastain 1 time for 45 laps; Michael McDowell 1 time for 31 laps; Ryan Blaney 2 times for 26 laps; Tyler Reddick 5 times for 16 laps; Joey Logano 1 time for 9 laps; Ty Gibbs 1 time for 2 laps; AJ Allmendinger(i) 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage 1 Top Ten: 20,11,45,5,6,54,24,17,19,23

Stage 2 Top Ten: 20,45,5,11,6,9,19,12,17,10

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About Nashville Superspeedway
Nashville Superspeedway, Middle Tennessee’s racing jewel, is a year-round family-friendly destination in one of the fastest-growing regions in the country. The 1.33-mile D-shaped track with 14 degrees of banking has hosted four NASCAR Cup Series races, 25 NASCAR Xfinity Series races, 17 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events and eight INDYCAR SERIES contests. The largest concrete-only track in NASCAR, Nashville Superspeedway is owned by Speedway Motorsports.

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

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