Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion, earned his ninth-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory on Sunday afternoon, taking the checkers in the 57th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Logano started the day in fifth and ran near the front all afternoon long, showing his Ford Fusion was one of the strongest cars on the track. Despite a tight-handling car, Logano kept his No. 22 at or near the front of the field most of the afternoon, leading six times for 31 laps. Logano, with a big push from Clint Bowyer late in the race, took the lead for the final time on lap 191. However, just two laps from the end, a crash and subsequent red flag set up a green-white-checkered finish. When the race resumed, Logano was once again able to pull away from second and third and gap the cars behind him as a multi-car accident brought the field under caution as the leaders were coming to the checkers. The win was Logano’s seventh with Team Penske and his first since Kansas last season. With the win, Logano has locked himself into the NASCAR Chase of the Sprint Cup for the third-consecutive year.

“This is about as cool as I thought it would feel. I think as a kid any young racer dreams of winning the Daytona 500. It’s the biggest race we have all year and you’re down here for two weeks and there’s just so much build-up coming up to this race with the qualifying and the Duels. You get out there and it’s the first time you’re racing in a couple months, so there’s a lot of anxiety and a lot of nerves before the race. To be able to pull that car into Victory Lane and see my team there and see my family and my friends. Everyone was here, so it couldn’t be any better. It’s an amazing feeling. I can’t really put it into words. It’s something you can’t describe. I keep re-living over and over again what it was like down the back straightaway when I came off of turn two and I was looking in the mirror. I saw them crashing and I’m like, ‘OK, keep my foot in it here,’ and you hope there’s a caution. You have a split-second after the caution came out and you think about it and you’re like, ‘Did we win?’ And then it’s straight chaos after that. It’s an amazing feeling. I’m fortunate to get to race for Roger and Shell-Pennzoil and Todd Gordon over here. I’m just the lucky guy that drives this thing.”

Daytona 500