02/23 18:03 CST Joey Logano defends Las Vegas victory with another win
Joey Logano defends Las Vegas victory with another win
By JENNA FRYER
AP Auto Racing Writer
LAS VEGAS (AP) --- Joey Logano won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a two-lap
sprint to the finish Sunday that ended under caution.
Logano, winner of this race a year ago, put his No. 22 Ford for Team Penske in
victory lane by holding off runner-up Matt DiBenedetto, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and
A caution with six laps remaining complicated the race to the finish as all but
seven cars on the lead lap headed to pit road for tires. But Logano, working
with new crew chief Paul Wolfe for just the second race since an offseason
Penske team overhaul, called for his driver to come get new tires.
But Logano didn't catch the directive on his radio, stayed out and moved into
the lead. He had six other cars behind him on old tires, but 17 cars with fresh
It didn't matter as Logano got a great jump on the restart and was too far out
front for the outcome to be altered when the caution waved on the final lap.
Because Logano had already taken the white flag, he was scored with his first
win of the season.
DiBenedetto in a Ford for the Wood Brothers --- a Penske partner --- for his
second race was 0.491 seconds behind. Stenhouse, pole-sitter for the Daytona
500 a week ago, was third in a Chevrolet in his second race for new team
Dillon was fourth for Richard Childress Racing and followed by Jimmie Johnson,
Bubba Wallace, Logano teammate Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick.
Kyle Larson and Ty Dillon rounded out the top 10.
Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in 17th
as the brand and Joe Gibbs Racing struggled the entire 400 miles.
Chase Elliott appeared to be the driver to beat through the first two stages,
both wins for Elliott in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
But his shot to win the race ended after a tire issue following a pit stop from
the lead caused Elliott to hit the wall. He had led five different times for 70
laps, with the two stage victories, before heading to pit road for repairs.
Elliott finished 26th.
BLANEY BOUNCES BACK
An emotional week for Ryan Blaney ended with an 11th place finish at Las Vegas
and Blaney moving toward closure after Ryan Newman's crash on the final lap of
Monday night's Daytona 500.
It was contact from Blaney that triggered Newman's crash, and Blaney said
Sunday morning before the race he struggled in the first few days over his role
in the accident.
"I talked to his dad on Tuesday and said when he's feeling better, I'd like to
talk to Ryan," Blaney told The Associated Press. "Ryan called me Wednesday and
just talking to him, hearing him, really made things easier."
Blaney said he'd never before been involved in such a violent crash and the
potential of Newman being hurt rattled him.
"You never want to see something like that, especially coming off your own
nose," Blaney told AP.
Blaney thought he had a shot to win the race until he was one of the drivers to
pit on the final stop and he failed to make up the difference with his fresh
Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, where Kyle Busch won last season. It
is not determined if Ryan Newman will be back in his car next week, or if the
team will use a replacement driver again.