Logano Earns First-Career Talladega Superspeedway win with Last-Lap Pass of Kyle Busch

Post Race Highlights:

  • Qualifying for the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway was canceled and the lineup was set by points following an all-day rain on Thursday. As a result of the canceled qualifying session, Logano started the race fourth.
  • During the week, Logano had made a deal with NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader Elliott Sadler to work together during the weekend and it took little time for the two drivers to hook up. The two grabbed first and second at the end of lap one.
  • Logano found himself in the top-spot for the first time on lap 15.
  • As is typical with restrictor-plate racing, Logano found himself first one lap, seventh the next and 12th the following lap. Logano never fell further back than 15th all afternoon long.
  • Logano and Sadler continued to work together all afternoon long, each spending time at the front of the field and hooking up and moving through the field. On lap 48, the two drivers got together while leading nearly resulting in an accident, but Sadler never left Logano’s side.
  • Logano led the race on six different occasions for a total of 17 laps.
  • Logano and Sadler’s pairing finally came to an end about 20 laps from the finish of the race when Sadler’s No. 2 began to overheat. After that, Logano worked with a number of different drivers to keep his No. 18 GameStop Toyota near the front of the field.
  • Logano missed a number of multi-car accidents at the end of the race and found himself running third and starting behind Sprint Cup Series teammate Kyle Busch on the final green-white-checkered restart.
  • At the drop of the green on the final restart, Logano and Busch pulled ahead and held off a charge from Cole Whitt and Ricky Stenhouse Jr over the last two laps. Coming to the checkered flag, it was a two-car race between Logano and Busch.
  • With Busch leading, Logano made a “slingshot” pass through the tri-oval and beat Busch to the checkers by 0.034 seconds. The win was Logano’s second NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of the season (he also won at California) and was the 11th victory of his career. Prior to the day, Logano had recorded finishes of third, second and second in his three previous NNS Talladega starts.
  • The win was also the fourth-career win for Logano’s crew chief Adam Stevens, who also celebrated the birth of his second son earlier this week.

Logano’s Post-Race Thoughts:

“Wow it feels good to get another win and to finally win a race here at Talladega after I’ve been so close so many times. That right there might have been the most excited I’ve ever been in a racecar. After the race, I was just pumping my fist and going crazy in the car knowing that we had just made that pass and won the race. What an amazing race. That was a lot of fun right there. I have to thank Kyle for racing me clean and not putting a huge block on me there at the end. We just timed it right and made our move at the right time. I wasn’t sure if we had won or not but right away my spotter came on the radio and said we’d won the race and I just started celebrating.

“We had a really strong GameStop Toyota all afternoon long. We had made a plan earlier in the week to work with Elliott (Sadler) and it worked out well. All afternoon, we worked together really really well. We always found a way to find each other, even when one of us got in trouble. We never left each other out to dry and we always worked with each other. It’s just too bad that his car started overheating bad there at the end of the race. I think the race would have come down to the two of us had he not had those problems. He did a great job working with us today.”

“There at the end of the race, we just tried to get ourselves in the right position. When I knew that we were going to start behind Kyle on that final restart, I knew we were going to work together and race for the win. I wasn’t overly excited about being second, but you never know what is going to happen. But we were able to hold off the guys behind us and race each other there at the end. I just made my move coming into the tri-oval and figured that would me my shot. I got a good side-draft off of him and it was close when we crossed the finish line. I’d thought I got him but I wasn’t sure, but my spotter came on and said we’d won the race and I knew we’d done it. That was a great finish right there. I’m so glad to get GameStop back in Victory Lane. They’ve been with me from the beginning and it’s been a while since we won a race for them, so it was awesome to get to celebrate with them in the end. It’s also very cool to get Toyota’s 200th win in NASCAR. That is pretty special.”