Joey Logano Goes The Distance To Win At Nashville And To Punch Ticket To Playoffs

Joey Logano Goes The Distance To Win At Nashville And To Punch Ticket To Playoffs

by June 30, 2024 1 comment

LEBANON, Tenn. – In a wild finish that featured chaotic crashes, fuel mileage gambles and five NASCAR Overtime restarts, Joey Logano came out on top at Nashville Superspeedway as he secured his first win of the season and a berth in the 2024 NASCAR Playoffs.

Logano ran 110 laps on one tank of fuel to reign supreme in the Ally 400. Others tried to make the same gamble but they either ran out of fuel or didn’t feel comfortable enough to gamble. With five Overtime restarts, there was a plethora of opportunities for an array of strategies to come to fruition. As for Logano, he not only saved enough fuel, but he held off a hard charging Zane Smith and Tyler Reddick for the win.

“That’s a good question for Paul, but I know into (Turn) 3, my fuel light came on and it stumbled across the line,” said Logano about the confidence of his team’s fuel strategy. “That was definitely all of it.”

Logano’s last win came in March 2023 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and so far this season, the Team Penske No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford team has struggled, significantly compared to recent seasons. Through 19 races this season, Logano has only pieced together three top-five finishes, and coming into the weekend, he sat 14th in the standings. Now with the win, Logano has catapulted himself into the NASCAR Playoffs for a chance at a third NASCAR Cup Series championship.

“Trying to make the playoffs is not easy these days with these Next-Gen cars and everyone is so equally matched,” Logano said. “I made a lot of mistakes, even some tonight, and it’s nice to be able to overcome. I’ve just got to thank Shell-Pennzoil, Hunt Brothers Pizza, AAA, Ford, everyone that helps support us all the way through, Coca-Cola. This is a much-needed win for sure.”

Smith, competing in only his 28th career NASCAR Cup Series race, finished second on Sunday night. The runner-up finish marks his best-ever finish in the series, and in fact, it marks only the second time he has finished inside of the top-10.

“My winning side of me is pissed with the second place, especially after hearing the 22 (Logano) was going to run out for the past 10 laps, I don’t know how many restarts.

“No, I wouldn’t have done anything different. I felt like I chose the right lane, and it’s crazy how much different these cars drive with cleaner air. Just proud of our strategy there. Appreciate everyone on board throughout this year, sticking with us.”

Reddick had incredible speed in the final Overtime restart, but he came up just short to finish third. The driver of the 23XI Racing No. 45 Monster Energy Toyota has now finished inside of the top-10 in five of the last six races; however, he wasn’t content with the result of Sunday night’s performance.

No, all the good cars ran out of fuel, and we were in position to pass the 22 (Logano).” said Reddick. “He hadn’t been good all day long, and I didn’t get the job done.”

Ryan Preece and Chris Buescher rounded out the top-five. Ryan Blaney finished sixth, followed by Bubba Wallace, Kyle Larson, Daniel Hemric and Noah Gragson.

Christopher Bell was the driver to beat all race long. He won Stages 1 and 2, but on Lap 229, Bell lost control while battling for position deep in the pack and backed his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 DEWALT Concrete Solutions Toyota into the Turn 2 wall. Bell finished a disappointing 36th.

“I mean it’s disappointing, but there’s a lot to be positive about,” Bell said. “We won two stages, so we got more Playoff points which is really good. Yeah, and the performance of our team is doing really well, so hopefully we can keep the ball rolling and I think we can win a lot more races.”

There were 20 lead changes among nine drivers. Bell led a race high of 131 laps.

Throughout the race, there were also 15 cautions for 79 laps.

Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain were battling it out for the win prior to the caution that sent the race into its first NASCAR Overtime finish. Hamlin had to eventually pit for fuel during the chaotic final laps. He 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. I’m surprised we lasted that many green-white-checkers honestly. Certainly, stinks being 15 seconds from a win at the end and then 10 seconds from a win, and then to finish 12th. It’s just part of it.”

As for Chastain, he was taken out by Larson on the second Overtime restart and finished 33rd.

Kyle Busch was another driver who was looking to have a much-needed strong day. Busch was in prime position to earn a solid finish, but on the fourth Overtime restart, Larson had run out of fuel in front of him, and he was turned into the outside wall on the frontstretch. He finished 27th.

Larson now leads Chase Elliott in the standings by 20 points.

The NASCAR Cup Series will now head to downtown Chicago for the Grant Park 165. For the second consecutive season, the stars of the series will compete on the streets of the Windy City. Live coverage will broadcast on NBC at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 7.

Photo Credit: Mitchell White/

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