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What went down in the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 at Nashville

Joey Logano​ captured his first win of the season on Sunday in the ​Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway.  This was Logano’s 33rd NASCAR Cup Series​ (NCS) career win, Ford’s first NCS at Nashville, Team Penske’s 96th series win with Ford, and the 732nd series win overall for the manufacturer.

“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.

On the fourth overtime restart, Team Penske’s Joey Logano and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase ​Briscoe restarted on the front row.​  Logano’s held them off on the restart, but another crash brought out the caution flag and the final fifth overtime restart of the race.  Logano took the inside lane with Briscoe on his outside, and Logano kept the lead by 0.068 seconds ahead of second-place Zane Smith.

“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,” Logano said in victory lane.​

This win also qualifies Logano for the NASCAR Playoffs, which get underway in September.

“It’s been a hard season,” Logano continued, “and being on that cut line, I tell you it sucks. 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.”

Race Notes

  • The average speed of the race winner was 108.298 mph.
  • The race lasted 04:03:54, and the margin of victory was 0.068 seconds.
  • There were 15 caution flags for 79 laps.
  • There were 20 lead changes among nine drivers.
  • This was Ford’s 732nd all-time NCS victory, its fourth of the season, and the first NCS victory at Nashville.
  • 24 of the 38 drivers finished on the lead lap.
  • Kyle Larson remains the series championship leader with a 20-point advantage over second-place teammate Chase Elliott.

What went down behind Logano

Zane Smith finished second, driving the No. 71 Jockey Outdoors by Luke Byran Camaro ZL1.

“It’s been a rough, rough year,” Smith said, “but this is a great momentum booster, a great confidence booster, all of the above. 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.”

23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick had to pit for fuel and restarted fifth on the final green-white-checkered restart. Reddick had the fastest car at the end and got to Logano’s bumper, but he knew that he let one (a win) get away in the end. Reddick finished third and captured his seventh top-five and the 12th top-10 finish of the season.

“We just had a bad restart,” Reddick explained. “I fell back, and I could tell there in the closing laps we were wounded bad. The tires were corded. When the caution came out, we were in a really bad spot. We were going to lose all our track position, but we had to put tires on as I don’t think we were going to be able to hold on during a restart, but it became the very thing that gave us an opportunity to win the race. It was a great call, a gutsy call by the crew chief, Billy Scott.”

Ryan Preece finished fourth and captured his first top-five and second top-10 of the season.

“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,” Preece said.

Chris Buescher finsihed fifth.

“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.” Buescher said.

The Series points leader, Larson, ran out of fuel but somehow managed to finish eighth.

“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.”

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin had a strong car but had to pit late for fuel and finished 12th.

“We ran out under caution,” Hamlin said. He (Chris Gabehart, crew chief) was monitoring fuel pressure. I let him know what the fuel pressure was. We were fine, just running out of gas and we did under caution. It was the right call. I was going down pitlane there out of gas.”

What’s Next

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to the streets of Chicago, Illinois, for the Grant Park 165 at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

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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