Joey Logano won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday (Oct. 16), securing his place in the Championship 4.
Logano had a tight battle with Ross Chastain in the final six laps, sliding just in front of him with less than three laps to go.
From there, the No. 22 Team Penske driver earned his third win of the season.
“We’re racing for a championship, let’s go!” Logano exclaimed after the race. “What a great car, Penske cars were all fast, all of them were really fast today. All you want to do is go to the Championship 4 when the season starts and race for a championship. We got the team to do it, I don’t see why not we can’t win at this point. Things are looking really good for us, awesome Pennzoil Mustang, great Roush Yates motor in this bad boy.
“Just a lot of adversity fought through the last 50 laps or so. I thought we were gonna win, then we kinda fell out and had new tires. Racing Ross was fun he was doing a good job air-blocking me. I was trying to be patient and eventually, I was like ‘I gotta go here.’ Great to win out here at Vegas again and it means so much to get into the championship.”
Logano won by .817 seconds over Chastain, who held Kyle Busch on the final lap. Busch, who overcame some spins and a lost wheel during the race, ended up hitting the wall coming off of turn 4. Chase Briscoe recovered from a bad start to finish fourth, while Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.
Reddick led the first several laps before Austin Cindric went by him around lap 34. Daniel Suarez pitted a little early during the first round of pit stops and assumed the lead ahead of Bubba Wallace once the sequence was complete.
Wallace took the lead on lap 57 and went on to win stage one after Kyle Busch’s spin brought out the caution shortly before the stage ended.
Things then went a bit wild after the start of stage two. Wallace lost the lead to Suarez and eventually went down to sixth-place when a battle with Kyle Larson went south. Larson drove up close to Wallace in turn 3, causing the No. 45 to hit the wall. As they came down across the racetrack, Wallace appeared to turn down and hook Larson’s left rear, which sent the No. 5 back across and into Christopher Bell.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) October 16, 2022
All three drivers’ days were done, with Bell being an innocent bystander.
After Wallace got out of his car, he confronted Larson on the frontstretch and shoved him a few times before they went their separate ways.
Bubba Wallace is NOT HAPPY with Kyle Larson.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) October 16, 2022
“Cliff [Daniels]’s smart enough to know how easily these cars break,” Wallace told NBC Sports’ Marty Snider. “When you get shoved into the fence deliberately like he did, trying to force me to lift, the steering was gone. He just so happened to be there.
“Larson wanted to make a three-wide dive bomb, never cleared me. I don’t lift. I know I’m kinda new to running up front, but I don’t lift. Wasn’t even in a spot to lift, and he never lifted either, so now we’re junk. Just a piss-poor move on his execution.”
“No, (his reaction) didn’t surprise me,” Larson told Snider. “I obviously made an aggressive move into [turn] 3. I got in low and got it loose and chased it up a bit. He got into my right front and it got him tight and into the wall. I knew he was going to retaliate. He had a reason to be mad but his race wasn’t over until he retaliated. Is what it is. Just aggression turned into frustration.”
After another restart, Ross Chastain went by his Trackhouse Racing Team teammate Suarez for first and held it until about lap 126. Ryan Blaney then took the position from the No. 1, holding off further advances and going on to win stage two.
During this round of pit stops, Suarez’s team needed to tighten the right front tire, which left him behind.
Team Penske teammates Logano and Blaney once again fought for first place when the race went back underway. However, their fight was short lived, as JJ Yeley spun in the frontstretch grass, bringing out the caution once again on lap 194.
After the leaders pitted, Chastain soared out to the front while Blaney had some moments fighting for second with William Byron. Though Blaney lost some spots, he had a hot rod and was back up to second before he had problems. On lap 228, the No. 12 got loose and hit the outside wall twice before coming back down the racetrack and into the inside wall.
As usual, the leaders hit pit road for service. Right after Busch pitted, the left front started smoking and the wheel eventually came off. Look for suspensions to be announced later this week.
Justin Haley took two tires and came off pit road in first place, holding on to the lead on the ensuing restart.
Cautions would continue, however, starting with Suarez. The No. 99 fought Reddick for third-place, but got loose and spun around coming off of turn 4, eventually stopping in the grass. No harm was done to his car, so he returned to the track.
After the eighth caution of the day for Landon Cassill spinning due to his radiator getting punctured, Chastain grabbed first away from Haley, who still was on two tires.
Logano chased Chastain down in the closing laps and fought hard for the lead. The No. 22 got just in front of the No. 1 with about three laps to go and went on to win.
Chastain, Elliott and Hamlin are all above the cut line, while Byron is six below.
Cup drivers take on Homestead-Miami Speedway next week for another chance to lock themselves into the Championship 4. The Dixie Vodka 400 airs Sunday, Oct. 23 at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC and the Motor Racing Network.
About the author
Joy joined Frontstretch in 2019 as a NASCAR DraftKings writer, expanding to news and iRacing coverage in 2020. She's currently an assistant editor while continuing to write daily fantasy and news articles. A California native, Joy was raised as a motorsports fan and started watching NASCAR extensively in 2001. She earned her B.A. degree in Liberal Studies at California State University Bakersfield in 2010.
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