Racing

Logano wins in Phoenix, claims 2nd NASCAR title

vertshock.com

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Joey Logano won his second NASCAR championship to give Roger Penske two titles in the same season with a victory in Sunday’s winner-take-all finale at Phoenix Raceway.

It was the fourth win of the season for Logano, who opened the year with a January victory in an exhibition race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the debut of NASCAR’s Next Gen car. Less than a month later, rookie teammate Austin Cindric won the Daytona 500 on Penske’s 85th birthday.

Will Power added the IndyCar championship to the Team Penske trophy case in September, and Logano’s dominating run Sunday marked the first time Penske has won the championship in both series in the same season.

“I knew going into this thing that we’re going to win the championship. I told the guys we were the favorite from Daytona, and we truly believed it, and that’s the difference,” Logano said. “I had a good team with a bunch of confidence, and we had all the reason in the world to be confident. I’ve never been truly this ready for a championship race, and yeah, we did it, man. I can’t believe it.”

Logano was met after the win by his wife, Brittany, and 4-year-old son, Hudson, the oldest of his three children and only one to make the trip to Phoenix. Logano took Hudson by the hand and ran up the banking to collect the checkered flag.

His son skipped back down the track, waving the flag and holding his champion father’s hand. Logano had promised Hudson he would win the championship.

“We’ve had so many conversations over the last couple weeks before bedtime,” Logano said. “First was ‘Daddy is going to get a pole, and he’s going to meet me out here and we’re going to win the race,’ and I couldn’t be a liar to my son.”

Logano then drove Hudson inside the No. 22 Ford to the championship stage.

“I always wanted to do that with Hudson,” Logano said. “He’s such a little car guy. It was a special moment to ride together.”

Logano, 32, was the oldest driver in the championship four and the only one who is married with children. The Next Gen car equaled the competition this season, and the Cup Series saw 19 different winners, including five first-timers and two drivers making their first appearance in the championship race.

Even with the parity, Logano never doubted this would be his season.

“Getting the bookends, the first and the last race, means a lot,” he said. “It’s just a really special year for us with our third baby, and 22 in ’22, I told you so!”

It is the third Cup championship for Penske, who won with Brad Keselowski in 2012 and Logano’s first title in 2018. Logano joined Kyle Busch as the only active drivers with multiple Cup titles.

Logano won the pole and was never really challenged Sunday as his Ford led 186 of the 312 laps. He was not the highest running title contender for only one lap as he became the first Ford driver to win two Cup titles since David Pearson in 1968 and 1969.

It is the second Cup championship for crew chief Paul Wolfe, who won with Keselowski in 2012.

Ross Chastain finished third in his championship race debut, and Christopher Bell was 10th. Bell raced hours after Joe Gibbs Racing learned that vice chairman Coy Gibbs, son of the Hall of Fame team owner, died in his sleep at 49.

“You wake up this morning and you’re racing for a championship, you’re happy, you’re elated, and then your world comes crashing down,” Bell said after finishing 10th overall and third among the championship contenders. “Whenever you get news like that, it definitely puts it in perspective that there’s much more to this outside of racing.”

Logano, who started his career with JGR and spent five seasons there before he was fired after the 2012 season, gave his regards to the Gibbs family after the win.

“I don’t know what to think, but obviously my condolences go to the Gibbs family,” Logano said. “But just an incredible day for us, and kind of mixed emotions at the moment.”

Chase Elliott was spun by Chastain early in the final stage, his Chevrolet hit the wall, and he was immediately out of contention. It snapped Hendrick Motorsports’ streak of two consecutive Cup titles.

NASCAR’s most popular driver won a career-high five races this year and the regular-season championship, but Elliott lost his shot at a second title when he cut across the front of Chastain and Chastain refused to lift. The contact sent Elliott spinning into the wall. He dropped to 30th and down a lap during the repairs and finished 28th.

“Just disappointed, obviously, ended our day and ended our chance at a win or a championship. Just disappointing,” Elliott said.

Source : ESPN.com

Share with your friends!

Products You May Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get The Latest Sports News
Straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.