It came down to the final restart at Darlington Raceway where Keselowski kept the lead off pit road and drove off from Larson’s Chevrolet. The dominant No. 42 was beaten fair and square after leading 284 of 367 laps.
With Keselowski earning his first Southern 500 win, Logano earned perhaps his happiest runner-up finish yet in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Not only did he take more than the car had but he completed a 1-2 sweep for the team.
“I knew it would be cool to have a 1-2 but really cool to be the ‘1’ and not the ‘2’,” Logano said. “But overall, it’s really cool to see the speed in Team Penske cars tonight. We ran top five all night. I’m probably more proud of that than the 1-2 finish because right around the corner here will be playoff time.”
“We were all on it. That one worked to plan. Brad took off like a rocket ship.”
Winning just once in 2018 at Talladega, the restrictor plate win was the lone victory for Team Penske through nearly the entire regular season. Now ending the winless drought, Logano is going full-boar into the championship postseason, which starts in two weeks at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
However, the result wasn’t without some questioning from Logano. After a quick pit stop lined him and Keselowski up first and third for the final restart, Logano wishes he had a better launch on the prior restart to have a better chance at Larson.
“I go back two restarts,” he said, “If I had a better restart to hold off and get to second, our pit stop was probably good enough to take the lead and have control from the bottom lane. We most likely would have maintained the lead and won the race.”
“We were good enough to win.”
With the race-losing mindset behind him, Logano will be sure to hold onto one memory from the Darlington Throwback Weekend: driving fellow New England native Steve Park’s No. 1 paint scheme.
“One of the coolest things today was driving Steve Park’s car,” he said. “That was neat to me as a New England guy. To see his name on the car I remember watching growing up. To run it here was special. We talked before the race that we wanted to hold up the No. 1 he used to drive in Victory Lane. Gosh, we came close.”
About the author
Growing up in Easton, Pa., Zach Catanzareti has grown his auto racing interest from fandom to professional. Joining Frontstretch in 2015, Zach enjoys nothing more than being at the track, having covered his first half-season of 18 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017. With experience behind the wheel, behind the camera and in the media center, he thrives on being an all-around reporter.
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