Joey Logano wins the 18th Annual Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway during a Green-White Checkered run. This is Logano’s fourth victory in 190 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Logano is the youngest winner in TMS history.
Logano led on 3 separate occasions for 108 laps and receives the most laps led bonus, after having dominated the second half of the race.
“Talk about a lot of emotions, you feel like you’re about to win the race and then the caution comes out as your coming to take the white,” said Logano in victory lane. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“It feels good to be back in victory lane,” said Logano. “I felt very confident coming into this race. I said we were going to win this weekend, and I was mad when we didn’t win the pole.”
Logano’s last victory came at Michigan International Speedway last August, 19 races ago.
Logano was coming out of Turn 4, with his Penske teammate Brad Keselowski behind him, to take the white flag just at the moment of caution. Erasing Logano’s lead of just over 2 seconds when Kurt Busch blew a left rear tire littering the track with debris.
Everyone came down pit road with Jeff Gordon, driving the #24 Axalta/Texas A&M School of Engineering Chevrolet and Brian Vickers, driving the #55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota, gambled on took two tires coming out first and second, leaving Logano with four fresh tires in the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford in third and Keselowski coming out fourth but received a speeding penalty.
The race gave three previous season winners difficulty today with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s #88 National Guard Chevrolet bursting into flames only 13 laps into the scheduled 334 lap race, after hitting the rain drenched grass, leaving the left side heavily damaged. Earnhardt Jr. escaped without injury but teammate Jimmie Johnson’s #48 Lowes Spring if Calling Chevrolet received the brunt of the damage that took several stops to repair some of the damage, Johnson struggled for much of the day finishing 4 laps down in 25th
Earnhardt Jr. drops from first to sixth in the point standings.
Shortly after Earnhardt Jr.’s untimely finish, Kevin Harvick loss an engine on lap 28, finishing 42nd, giving Harvick a series of bad finished since his victory at Phoenix. Harvick has four finished 36th or worst since Phoenix. Harvick is 26th in the points and must remain in the top 30 in the points’ standings following the 26th race of the season at Richmond International Raceway in order to receive one of 16 positions open for the Chase contenders who have a victory.
“The car was really fast,” said Harvick. “It’s frustrating. I don’t know what else I can say. I didn’t get any indication that anything was going wrong. Hendrick engines are among the fastest and more reliable engines in the garage. We’ll take it back to the shop and figure out what happened. But that’s a disappointing end.”
Kurt Busch, fellow Stewart-Haas Racing teammate with Harvick, spun coming out of Turn 4 on Lap 177 causing the caution to come out, again at Lap 219 Busch spun going into Turn 1, and the final caution came out with the debris littered by Busch’s exploding tire.
With the bad luck of fellow Stewart-Haas Racing teammates, Tony Stewart had a good day when he started the race off from the pole, then went on to lead 74 laps. Stewart has not led a lap since August 4, last season at Pocono Raceway and went on to miss the last 15 races of the season with a broken leg. Stewart has now becomes the all-time lap leader with 801 at TMS.