Joey Logano earned his second win of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup season, rolling to a dominant victory in the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Monday.
Logano led 163 of the 203 laps at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This is his third checkered flag in 21 tries at Michigan.
A late caution opened the door for Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch to potentially steal a late win. However, Logano restarted perfectly and held off Kurt Busch and Truex to coast across the finish line.
CHECKERED FLAG: @joeylogano holds off the field in overtime to win his second 🏁 of the season! https://t.co/fo6bly0BhJ
Here are the top 10 finishers, with the full leaderboard available on NASCAR.com:
FireKeepers Casino 400 Leaderboard
1. Joey Logano
2. Kurt Busch
3. Martin Truex Jr.
4. Daniel Suarez
5. Kyle Busch
6. Brad Keselowski
7. Kevin Harvick
8. Ryan Newman
9. Ryan Blaney
10. Alex Bowman
This race was originally scheduled for Sunday, but inclement weather pushed the green flag into Monday evening. The track conditions presented a few challenges for drivers but didn’t lead to an overly sloppy affair, with seven cautions spread across the FireKeepers Casino 400.
Logano looked set for a straightforward win as the day wound down, but Erik Jones made things a little more difficult. Jones hit the wall and spun out into the infield with four laps remaining.
That was the miracle Truex and Kurt and Kyle Busch needed as they were able to close the gap on Logano prior to the restart.
Any drama quickly faded, though, as Logano once again opened a healthy lead on the rest of the field and maintained his position.
FOX: NASCAR @NASCARONFOX
Joey Logano holds off Kurt Busch! Retweet to congratulate the No. 22 team on their WIN in Michigan. https://t.co/1dfs8mW2Up
“You race this whole race and you keep building that notebook up,” Logano said of the result, per Performance Racing Network. “We had a great execution day, our pit crew was great, our race car was fast. Coming up here to Michigan, there’s no better feeling to win in a Ford. This is a big one for us.”
After a somewhat uneven start to the year, the reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup champion is rounding into form. He has five top-five finishes and seven top-10s in his last eight races.
Logano is now fourthin the playoff standings, and his 564 points are the second-highest on the circuit.
Jimmie Johnson is the last driver to repeat as champion in 2010. The playoffs can be unforgiving since one poor result can doom a driver’s title chances. But Logano looks to be in a good position to challenge for another points crown.
Clint Bowyer, on the other hand, is looking to turn his luck around.
Bowyer had five top-five finishes in the first 14 races of the season, yet hadn’t reached Victory Lane. That stretch extended to 15 after he was unable to complete Monday’s race. On Lap 130, he made contact with Jones and hit the wall.
FOX: NASCAR @NASCARONFOX
Clint Bowyer’s day comes to an end in Michigan https://t.co/e2eUpZIbpo
Bowyer vented his frustration with the wreck but held back his full thoughts on the situation.
Matt Weaver @MattWeaverAW
Clint Bowyer “This isn’t racing. I’m just biting my tongue.” https://t.co/fB2rohstMG
Bowyer will have a week to cool off before he’ll have to refocus for his next race. The Toyota/Save Mart 350 is June 23 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.
Fortunately for the 40-year-old, his average finish of 10.08 in 13 races at Sonoma is his best of any active NASCAR track-excluding the Charlotte Roval, which has only seen one official event.