DARLINGTON, S.C. - Joey Logano passed William Byron with two laps to go and went on to win Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway for his first NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season.
Logano dominated the Throwback Weekend, capturing the pole on Saturday and then winning the first stage before green flag pit stops and race strategy took over. He ended up leading eight times for 107 laps, most among all drivers, and ended up dueling with Byron for the win over the final 26 laps.
The two were on the front row for a restart on lap 268 of the 293-lap race. Byron raced his way to the lead, but not without some contact between the two drivers. Logano hit the fence, but was able to continue in Byron’s tire tracks. As the race wound down, Logano was able to close and made contact with Byron’s bumper, moving him out of the way and passing for the lead with two laps to go.
Kevin Harvick, who started from the rear after being involved in a practice accident and not being able to make a qualifying attempt, finished fourth while Michael McDowell round out Ford’s top-10 finishers in seventh-place.
Logano is the 10th different winner in 12 series races this season as he won at Darlington for the first time in his career.
The Cup Series continues next Sunday at Kansas Speedway (3 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM).
NCS RACE TOP-10 FINISHERS
1st – Joey Logano
2nd – Tyler Reddick
3rd – Justin Haley
4th – Kevin Harvick
5th – Chase Elliott
6th – Christopher Bell
7th – Michael McDowell
8th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
9th – Austin Dillon
10th – Daniel Suarez
REMAINING FORD FINISHERS
11th – Aric Almirola
14th – Harrison Burton
15th – Todd Gilliland
16th – Chris Buescher
17th – Ryan Blaney
18th – Austin Cindric
19th – Cody Ware
20th – Chase Briscoe
23rd – JJ Yeley
26th – Cole Custer
32nd – BJ McLeod
34th – Brad Keselowski
JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang
VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW – DESCRIBE THE LAST FEW LAPS OF THAT RACE? “
Just an incredible race there at the end with William. I don’t know if he meant to get into me and fence me, but he did and at that point I felt like it was game on and was able to get back to him there the last few laps, pushing really hard, and just knew that was my shot to win the thing and I had to take it. Man, I’m so proud of this team. It’s so cool to win in this car. This is my first quarter midget. This is the beginning and to see it in Victory Lane, I’m just so proud. My family is here. My mom, my dad. Happy Mother’s Day. My sister is here. Everybody is here. My wife is not here, unfortunately, and my kids, but this is a very special day to be able to get this one in Victory Lane and celebrate with a few of us here.”
HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO BOUNCE BACK AFTER A SUB PAR WEEK?
“Such a huge recovery. Last week was the lowest of lows and the week before that we wrecked at Talladega, so to come out of here and get the pole, get a stage win and then ultimately win the race at the end, I couldn’t be more excited about what we just did. The guys did an amazing job back here. The pit crew was great. The pit stall helped a lot. I tell you, winning at Darlington means so much. This is one that’s come very close to me a few times and have never been able to get it done, so proud to get it.”
THIS IS A TRACK EVERY DRIVER WANTS TO WIN AT. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
“Oh, man. You kind can kind of look at it as Throwback Weekend and there’s so much footage that everybody plays throughout the weekend of all the old races, all the legends that have raced here and say they’ve won here. It’s nice to put your name on that list. This is where a lot of it started for NASCAR, so to get one here and, like I said, this quarter midget. I said it on the frontstretch, but it just goes to show all the young kids racing, whether its quarter midgets, Bandeleros, Legends cars, Outlaw cars, whatever it may be, stick to your dreams. That was the advice that Mario Andretti gave me when I was a kid. He gave me a signed poster and it said Never Stop Chasing Your Dreams, and this is what can happen, so pretty cool.”
SMOKIN’ JOE IS ON TOP OF THE CAR. WILL WE SEE MORE OF THAT?
“I think it should stay (laughing). Smokin’ Joe is back.”
KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Rheem Ford Mustang
“I felt like we finished probably better than we should have, but I think the guys did a good job on pit road with our Rheem Ford Mustang and just kind of one side or the other. The last run was probably the best that we were, just being able to hold on. We just couldn’t hold on once it started getting cooler, but we wound up with a good call there and got the caution and wound up in the right spot and then were able to capitalize on it.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Menards/Libman Ford Mustang
“We had an up and down day and kind of felt like it was a missed opportunity for our Menards/Libman Ford Mustang. We got way too loose in the middle of the race. We got the car driving really well and then about halfway we started having some engine problems and were really down on power that really prevented us from moving our way back forward through the field once we got back on the lead lap. It definitely was not meant to be. Every single caution that would have hurt our strategy came out exactly when it didn’t need to so just not ideal, but we certainly learned a lot as a team today and got our car driving well again in stage three, which I think there’s a lot to learn from that.”
BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 6 Socios Ford Mustang
“I just blew a tire. I’m pretty sure I ran over debris off of two. There had been debris there for about 25 laps and I think I finally got it. I just blew a tire and went straight. That’s part of it.”
DO YOU FEEL ANY WORSE FOR WEAR AFTER THAT?
“I mean, it doesn’t feel good, but it could be a lot worse.”