He had to endure a broken jack on pit road, a flurry of late-race cautions, wild restarts, and an overtime finish. But Joey Logano, in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang, holds off a fierce charge by Kevin Harvick on the final restart to take the victory in the Fan Shield 500 at Phoenix Raceway. The victory is the 25th of Logano’s NASCAR Cup Series career, and his second of 2020.
An incident between Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and John Hunter Nemechek set up an overtime finish. Logano and Harvick shared the front row with Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson behind them in row two. Larson sent his No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro down to the very bottom of the track below Logano and Harvick, but lost momentum out of the corner and fell back to fourth. The No. 4 Ford Mustang of Harvick tried to stay in Logano’s tracks, but fell back at the exit of turn two on the final lap, allowing Logano to pull away to the checkered flag.
After starting the race in 13th, Logano took the lead for good on lap 293 over stage two winner and teammate Brad Keselowski. Logano led 60 laps in total.
“Boy, we had more things go wrong today, unfortunate situation with the jack breaking, nobody’s fault,” Logano said in his front stretch interview after the race, “Had some good restarts to get ourselves back up there, being aggressive and having some tires there towards the end. I knew racing Kevin (Harvick) was going to be hard. I was figuring I was going to get hit, so I throttled up in the corner so much, I thought he was going to give me the bump‑and‑run, which I expected, wouldn’t blame him for. I’m out of breath.”
Logano continued, “That was a pretty intense last 30 minutes or hour of the race. A lot going on. Couldn’t be more proud of this team. Two wins already in the books. We’ve got to keep this thing rocking.”
Polesitter Chase Elliott, in his No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro, won the first stage and led a race-high 94 laps. He pitted under green flag conditions for a loose wheel in stage two, but recovered to finish seventh.
With the runner-up finish, Harvick leaves Phoenix as the new series points leader by a single point over Logano. He is the only driver to score top-10 finishes in all four races so far in 2020.
Harvick on coming up just short of the victory, “(Logano) got by and got control of the race.” “He got to restart where he wanted to. “Our Jimmy John’s Ford was better, especially when we could put it in front of his. We just didn’t get the control of the race back there, and he was able to get by us on that restart where I got hung up.”
Ryan Blaney lost the points lead after being involved in a lap 65 wreck with Denny Hamlin and Keselowski in turn three. Hamlin and Keselowski would continue, but Blaney’s No. 12 Ford Mustang would suffer terminal damage, resulting in a 37th-place finish.
The top finisher amongst the Rookie-of-the-Year contenders was Custer, finishing a career-best ninth place in his No. 41 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing.
The race had 12 caution flags for 73 laps, two for stage endings and 10 for on-track incidents. 20 lead changes were made between seven drivers.
Next race on the 2020 Cup Series calendar will be held at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, GA, for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. The race is set for Sunday, Mar. 15, at 2:00 p.m. EST on FOX.
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